So, I’ve gone on many a Black Friday excursions. I remember going with Dad when I was young, helping him get gifts. That was when the stores offered doorbuster prizes to the first 100 or so people who went through the doors. Snowmen, gift cards, Matchbox cars…
I’ve also gone a few times by myself, mostly in the last few years. Most of those times I’ve waited in the Staples store line to get a hard drive or blank CDs. My most profitable year by far was the year I waited at Target for $100 Star Wars Lego sets that were on sale for $50. I got two of them and sold them for a total of about $250 on eBay- definitely worth that wait.
As each Black Friday comes and goes, I notice more and more how my mindset is so different than that of other people. I still go every year, and this is my list of priorities: 1) Buy something that I can later resell for more, 2) Buy something I could really use or a gift for someone else, and 3) Watch the chaos of greedy humanity.
First of all, Black Friday is one of my best chances to find low-priced items that people want and later sell it for more. So if I can replicate the incident where I made $150 with the Lego sets, that’s what I most want to do.
Secondly, sometimes I find things that would be really useful to me, or I find gifts that I want for others but at a lower price. Such was the case this year when I found something for a member of my family. But for the most part, I rarely find anything I can’t live without or something that I can’t go without until the next Black Friday. For example, I would like to have a laptop someday, but I keep putting off buying one because each year I decide that I can go one more year without one, and as year goes by, they just keep getting nicer and nicer and less and less pricey.
Sometimes I find things that I’d really like (usually computer-related stuff) at great low prices, but I quickly convince myself that I’ve lived long enough without it that I don’t truly need it. As for the things I do consider nowadays, they are usually photography-related items because I’m always looking to upgrade my photography outfit. But over and over again I realize that I can do just fine without many of the extra things.
The last few years I haven’t really had a lot that I wanted to get, so I’ve mainly gone out just to watch all the other people go wild. In fact, this year I woke up shortly after 4am and went to Staples without wanting to buy anything there. But I was first in line and I just sat down and worked on memorizing the book of James. Eventually I got pictures of the line as it formed and soon after that I left. First in line and I saved ALL my money!
After Staples I went to other stores just to take pictures, and of course, I also bought that gift for someone else. It was a fun time, and here are some things I heard other people saying.
“I figured you would want the couch cover more than the tutu?” (a man talking to his wife on the phone while waiting in line)
“They’re all teenagers! They shouldn’t even be out at this time!” (referring to all the people- she was way wrong though)
“I smoked three cigarettes while standing in line out there.” (makes me want to start coughing really loud!)
“I’ve stood out there since 10:00!” (a woman at Best Buy telling an employee how long she waited; the current time was 5:15am)
It’s just CrAzY to hear what people are thinking and what prizes they want to secure.
Ironically enough, one verse in particular from James really stuck out to me today as I memorized it: “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there” (James 3:16).
Black Friday epitomizes the concepts of envy and seeking self…and of course, it promotes chaos and confusion. Yet this is now one of the reasons many Americans look forward to Thanksgiving. They spend Thursday being grateful and they spend the next day doing just the opposite.
Anyway, having said all that, I still have fun going out on Black Friday even though I don’t plan to get anything.
Long gone are the days of door buster prizes. People don’t need those items to motivate them to line up anymore.
Each year stores open earlier and earlier…the recent trend is to just open the night before while people are still digesting their turkey.
But one thing that doesn’t change is watching people go CrAzY.