Christmas is quickly approaching and stores are gearing up for the busiest time of year. If you would have asked any retailer 10 years ago what their busiest shopping day of the year was, most would tell you the day after Thanksgiving, commonly referred to as Black Friday. Now that the internet has weaved itself into the daily lives of consumers, the Monday after Thanksgiving has quickly become stiff competition for traditional retailers. The main question here is: which shopping day is better for you? Read further to find out.
The number one thing I dislike (and probably everyone else, too) about Holiday shopping is the amount of people that are also out shopping. Finding the perfect gift is hardly enjoyable when you’re elbow to elbow with a ton of other people and waiting for 30 minutes just to check out. Unless you love the commotion, this is where Cyber Monday far outweighs Black Friday. Shop at your leisure, read reviews on the product, browse more than one website to find the best price. Smart shopping is so much simpler when done online. The downside of skipping the traffic is paying for shipping and you also have to plan ahead of time to make sure that your gift will be here in time. Last minute online shopping is risky during this time of year.
The Perfect Gift
Unless you already have the perfect gift planned out, it’s hard to find that “diamond in the rough” when you are online shopping. Typically, online shoppers know what they want and are just simply looking for the best deal. For those that only have a list of people they need to get gifts for, shopping in store will usually let you find a more personal gift for everyone on your list. You might find a product that you haven’t heard about or you can talk to store employees and get their input on what the “hot” item is in their store. Store employees are seeing and helping a lot of customers during this time of year so listen to their input, they are full of knowledge on what the store has to offer and can assist in guiding you to the perfect gift.
While online stores have embraced Cyber Monday and typically run deals on both Friday and Monday, Brick and Mortar stores are less inclined to offer discounts on Cyber Monday. What does this mean for you? Brick and Mortar stores are more aggressive with sales on Black Friday. If you want to find the really good deals then you should shop on Black Friday and start early. Door buster deals are usually first come, first serve, and they can be worth the lack of sleep. This is where the big, box stores get their edge. Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s and others all have huge discounts for early birds on Black Friday, especially if you’re on the hunt for electronics. My best advice would be to scout their ads before-hand and know where the deals will be and what time you need to be there to get them. Grab a friend and make it fun!
The best reason to shop at a store, whether a national chain or small business, is to put your money back in your own economy. Shopping online is easy and less stressful, but you’re not helping out your community by spending money on a company that is thousands of miles away. When you shop at a small business in your area, an average of $48 for every $100 is going back to your community. Shopping at a large chain that is in your area puts $14 for every $100 back into your community. All of this is compared to the average $1 per $100 if you choose to shop at a remote online store. Shopping locally means more money is going to schools, public service workers and other government subsidies in your area, not to mention is helping keep your friends and neighbors employed by local businesses.