Yuri Chang | I hate you, but I love you
Thank god it’s not Friday
Published: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 08:11
Oh Black Friday, how I despise you. Your long lines of angry customers fighting to get the highest−inches−to−lowest−price ratio for flat screen TVs, your infamous stories of shattered storefronts and trampled shoppers and your crushing peer pressure to buy, buy, buy have taught me to steer clear of any malls on this day.
When it comes to shopping, I do appreciate the hunt of finding the perfect item at a steal of a price. But tackling Black Friday is terrifying and the option of shopping at the comfort of my bed is too enticing, which is what Cyber Monday is all about.
According to a 2005 article in The New York Times, the name Cyber Monday “grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high−speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”
Companies took note of the spike in online shopping on this day and marketed it as a quasi−official national event that is now Cyber Monday. It also could have very well been a marketing ploy to get people to shop and therefore make it a self−fulfilling prophecy. Either way, the beauty of Cyber Monday is that you don’t have to let Black Friday turn you into a highly disgruntled shopper. You can sit back on your couch with a cup of coffee and still partake in the great sales.
Blogs like Refinery29.com cover which companies are offering the best deals while others such as Hypebeast.com have forums where users can ask and answer questions on where to get the latest steals. Mobile−friendly websites for online shopping have become standard, as well as websites specifically designed for tablets. Friends let each other in on sales that they think they’d appreciate knowing about.
In addition to Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday was recently introduced as a way to bridge the gap between Friday’s and Monday’s sales, as well as a way to support locally owned businesses.
“Most of the Black Friday sales are targeted towards big box retailers and this is one way to ensure that the small businesses get their attention as well,” Examiner.com, an entertainment site, explained. “And supporting small businesses gets ignored on Black Friday, and buying local is a nationwide movement that has grown stronger over the last decade.”
Small Business Saturday gained recognition as celebrities tweeted about their purchases from local establishments. American Express spearheaded the event by having cardholders sign up online to participate. When cardholders used their American Express card on Saturday at participating stores, they received a $25 credit from American Express. Over 500,000 U.S. small businesses participated and, according to the American Express website, it was a huge success.
You don’t need to go far from Tufts to find participating establishments. In Porter Square, Susanna, a women’s clothing store that has been in business for more than 30 years, reported an increase in business because of the promotion. Just a couple blocks away is Abodeon, described by Boston.com as a family−run business that offers vintage and modern handcrafted items. Businesses like these offer high−quality service, as well as unique and personalized touches, making Small Business Saturday something worth celebrating.
Unfortunately, if you are just learning about Small Business Saturday or Cyber Monday now, then you, my friend, are too late to join in on the sales. However, now that I’ve so wonderfully enlightened you, you can avoid the nightmares of Black Friday when next Thanksgiving comes around, and you can shop locally or while eating leftovers in the convenience of your home.