The Unpleasant Side of Black Friday Sales

The Black Friday sales juggernaut only gets bigger each year. There have been new kinds of retailers jumping on the black Friday bandwagon this year, trying to get a little bit of the holiday sales excitement to rub off on their bottom lines. As hard as they might try though, there's one thing about Black Friday sales these days that is hard to suppress: not as many people are biting. Back in 2009, one out of two consumers in the country took advantage of such a sale. This year, only one out of three did – and the trend seems set to continue. However, at Your Local List we believe that good value is important all year round and so we encourage our business owners to promote their products and give keen prices no matter what the season. It just makes sense to us.

Of course, the retailers know that they're onto something good with the whole Black Friday idea. And they're really upping the ante. They have been really hardselling the deals they have on the social media and on text messaging ads.

Of course, there comes a point when you push too hard. Last year, they managed to cross some kind of line. Stores like Macy's, Best Buy and Walmart last year opened for Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving day itself. 

For thousands of retail employees, this meant that they had to tear themselves away from their families on Thanksgiving and show up for work late at night on the day. Happily though, in states like Massachusetts and Maine, the law requires that no store remain open on the holiday.

You're probably wondering – why is every retailer is so eager to slash prices to get customers in? Don't they lose money?

The secret to that is this: ever since the recession started, consumers have been less and less willing each year to spend much money on their holiday shopping. Retailers hope that if they try early season sales gimmicks like door buster prices on Black Friday, that they'll get consumers to come in early with their shopping dollars and spend with them instead of with regular retailers who don't run these sales. It gives them a way to take as much of your shopping budget for themselves as possible.

There's another secret at work there too. When retailers announced Black Friday sales and try to push the idea with this much hoopla, they hope that you believe that everything they sell is really cheap. But they don't sell everything really cheap – just a few things. 

They hope that you'll come to the store to look for things, and you'll be tricked into believing that the prices on offer are actually the cheapest. When people just believe that everything they are looking at is probably cheap, they often don't stop to check.