Home > Cutting Spending > Black Friday is a Zero-Sum Game (my annual rant)

Black Friday is a Zero-Sum Game (my annual rant)

Before a gaggle of deal hungry (turkey fattened) consumers head out this Black Friday to be disappointed by mediocre “deals” at big box stores, I wanted to pause and think about the net impact of this genuinely capitalist tradition.

Creeping Crud

We all know Black Friday has been creeping in the direction of Thanksgiving for the past few years, this year it seems the retailers have no shame.  A number of stores will be opening their doors at 8PM on Thanksgiving!

There comes a time when citizens can no longer sit idly by and accept this tragedy.  While their may be modest deals out there for those of our who are crazy enough to fight the crowds, I believe that Black Friday is a zero sum game.

Regardless, just by you being there, the retailers get money from you.  On average, each consumer they get in their store will purchase a certain amount that is not a “loss-liter”.  They wouldn’t do it if the analytics didn’t tell them this was the case.

You loose because you end up “accidentally” splurging on another item once the “5 per store” quantity of each loss-liter is depleted.  Plus I would imagine many of their “deals” actually do provide them with some margin.

Finally, and most importantly, the biggest losers are most certainly the employees.  If a store is opening its doors at 8PM on Thanksgiving day, when do you think the employees who actually operate the store are forced to leave their families?

Making Children Cry

Although you may or may not get that TV for $17 dollars off, one this is for certain, children all over the country are going to be disappointed because you forced their parents to go to work on Thanksgiving.

I understand that some jobs require being available 24/7 like a surgeon or a firefighter, but “Consumer Sales Associate” should not be on this list.

So why don’t I complain about other holidays that force employees to work?  Because Black Friday leaking into Thanksgiving is different.  We chose to do it.  We chose to tell the various market research organizations that we’d be willing to sacrifice the happiness of other people to spend more money on crap we don’t need.

Instead of spending a few hundred dollars on Xmas gifts this Thanksgiving, why not bake some cookies with the fam and put that $200 you would have spent into an asset with exponential returns.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

So I realize that this has been a downer.  But sometimes you need to get people angry, because there is something we can all do about it.  STOP SHOPPING and start thinking!  I’m going to be playing Scrabble and eating pie with my family at 8PM on Thanksgiving.

If we tell the big box stores that we all want to stay home on Thanksgiving, maybe, just maybe, we can abate some of this creep.  This is your most important task this Thanksgiving.  Good luck!

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Conventional Financial Wisdom is Overrated


Learning to be a fiscally responsible member of “Generation Me”

Solving The Money Puzzle

Putting the pieces together for a secure financial future.

Are Ya Gonna Eat That?

A blog to pass the time until my next meal

Homemade with Mess

who wants life to be tidy when you can have more fun making a mess??!

Evolving Personal Finance

Conventional financial wisdom is overrated

Prairie Eco-Thrifter

Go Green, Save Money, Live Healthy, Give Back, Have Fun

Planting Our Pennies

Money, Happiness, Kittens

Mr. Money Mustache

Early Retirement through Badassity

Eat Climb Travel

Travel tips and inspiration for the beginner solo traveler

The Money Puzzle

Putting the pieces together for a secure financial future.

Canadian Performer's Money

Financial education for performing artists

%d bloggers like this: