For years my mother and I have been going shopping together on Black Friday. It was one of those traditions that fed our mutual love of saving money, exciting shopping discoveries and the promise of a meal that didn’t include turkey.
This tradition dates back to when I was in high school and my youngest brother was a toddler. Oh, yes…and the internet didn’t exist.
My mother and I had strategies for parking, gathering doorbusters and reducing our wait in line. We were a skillful team of bargain shoppers and didn’t mind the early hours, traffic and the unbelievable patience needed to stand in line under the weight and heat of your purchases. We were like living coat racks, moving an inch per minute, using every limb to advance our gift selections closer to the cash register.
Why I will no longer GO shopping on Black Friday
Last year was very different.
After running our Black Friday rounds, I spent the following weeks finding better deals, second-guessing my purchases and returning items. The best purchase I made was a handmade lamp from a consignment shop. The lamp was made with a pre-prohibition beer bottle from Buffalo, NY. The artist behind these cool lamps has an online store with an even greater selection than the consignment shop – though I was happy to support another small business.
The rush, stress and chaos of Black Friday shopping is over for me. I can no longer sugar coat it as a challenge.
I now find more joy in discovering one-of-a kind goods on-line, anxiously awaiting their delivery, and possibly a note from the owner or a coupon for a future purchase. Those things don’t usually happen with brick and mortar stores.
Bringing Back Customer Care
A couple weeks ago I took my children for an architectural tour downtown. We passes several old department stores that had been repurposed into banks and office space. My son thought it would be so cool to bring back the old shops – ones that knew your name and packaged your purchases in an almost ceremonious way.
We passed an old book store and my mother explained that each floor of the towering building featured a different type of book. “It was amazing to see all the different books available,” she marveled.
I had to break it to my son that this type of store wasn’t coming back to downtown, but it was available online.
For someone who likes to buy online, I know what it’s like to open a box and have its contents carefully wrapped in bright tissue paper. Or to discover a handwritten note. Or to receive my package and find inside a list of ways I can enjoy my new product.
E-commerce store owners are real people who take great pride in their products AND their customers.
That’s where I want to be this “Black Friday.” How about you?
If you are thinking about venturing out this year, Penny Hoarder just launched a new part of their site to share Black Friday deals!
Giveaway from 9 Online Businesses
To get you started in discovering unique holiday gifts from small business owners, Eve of Reduction is proud to host giveaway (open to US residents) with these awesome products.
The giveaway will end at midnight on November 25th. Winners will be announced on Black Friday – 11/27.
There will be 9 winners. Each winner will win one of the products below!
- Eve of Reduction win a signed copy of “Living Simple, Free & Happy” the DIY lifestyle book that will help you declutter, get organized and learn how to transform your home into an arena for living. If you have a new homeowner on your Christmas list this book is a perfect gift!
- Curiosity Pack is giving away a box full of letter games and activities for beginning readers. Parents and pre-schoolers will love learning through play with this engaging gift that makes learning fun.
- Steeping Secrets is a tea lovers emporium! Enter to win one of their tea wallets, which make a special gift for hostesses, friends, family and travel enthusiasts.
- Stitches Quilting is giving away an Olfa Rotary Cutter. Even if you’re not a quilter, this handy tool is versatile is so many types of crafting and DIY projects!
- DIY Happy Kits, an online store that puts you in the driver’s seat of creativity is giving away a DIY soap making kit. Not only do you get to take pride in making a special gift, this kit is specifically for holiday themed scents like cinnamon, pine and cranberry. Take a deep breath and smile.
- Heavenly Home Cooking is a food blog that features amazing culinary creations that you definitely want to check out this holiday season. But to sweeten the deal, they’re giving away a one-of-a-kind set of 4 espresso cups. How’s that for super charging your holiday shopping!
- Woot & Hammy is an online store specializing in jewelry with thoughtful messages like their gorgeous silver infinity necklace that one lucky winner will receive!
- Udderly Hot Mama has made breast-feeding discreet and stylish with their Nursing Wrap Top. If you have a pregnant woman or new mom on your shopping list check it out and enter to win!
- Pampered Teacher is redefining teacher gifts with their subscription box full of products like fashion accessories, cute classroom supplies, school-appropriate jewelry and peanut-free snacks to show appreciation to teachers that work so hard.
Congratulations to Julie W., the winner of a signed copy of “Living Simple, Free & Happy.”