Every year the world’s media goes crazy for Black Friday – but where did the term come from and what does it actually represent?
For those of you that have lived under a rock for the past 5 years – Black Friday is known as one of the busiest shopping days of the year and even more so in recent years stores have been putting on huge discounts on this day to lure in all the seasonal shoppers.
When is Black Friday?
Black Friday falls on the Friday after “Thanksgiving” an American holiday.
So in 2018 this will be Friday 23rd November.
Whilst the date has little significance with the UK holiday season – the rise of the Internet and large retailers such as Amazon has meant that the day also has a significant impact here in the UK as well as around the world.
The origin of Black Friday
The official origin of the term Black Friday is still an issue of contention with several popular theories leading the way.
The first theory is that the term was coined by the Philadelphia Police Department when describing the increase in traffic, accidents and violence on the streets due the sheer volume of people who went out shopping on this day.
In recent years this theory has been pushed backwards and a new meaning for the term has risen in popularity in that Black Friday is the day that business books/accounts go from red to black for the year, essentially signalling the day they turn a profit for the year.
In any case, the term Black Friday now represents to most the day that they know they can get some serious bargains in the shops and many people hold off from buying certain items to buy them on this date.
History of Black Friday violence
As well as all the joy that Black Friday brings it has also been linked with a rise in violence in the last couple of years.
As shoppers rush through stores and race to get the best bargains it can often lead to arguments about who picked up the item first in the store and who will get the last one before they sell out.
Stores have started to employ more security staff and police numbers on the streets have been increased on this day to help manage the increased levels of violence.
Social media and the news are usually full of stories and videos of people literally fighting each other to get their hands on a TV, Mobile phone or other electricals.
There have been reports of people being shot in stores and social media has in the last few years seen the rise of the hashtag #WalmartFights as Walmart appears to be more commonly associated with violence on Black Friday.
Should you take advantage of Black Friday?
As frugal consumers Black Friday is a great day to land some fantastic discounts on items.
The trick is to only buy those items that you were going to buy anyway and make sure you know what the true value of them was before the big day.
Many retailers try to trick consumers with adverts of 70-80% off RRP on Black Friday when in fact the items have never been sold at full retail price in their stores previously.
Go into the day with an idea of what you want and what your budget is and shop around the stores. This is most easily done online where you can quickly surf large retailers websites to compare prices.
Remember to budget well going into the day and don’t overpay for items or buy things on impulse that you will never use/need!
I have always been good with money – I budget well, avoid making impulse purchases and attempt to adopt a frugal lifestyle as much as possible. I love to share my personal finance tips with you to help you achieve your financial freedom as well.