Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Is a Good Deal Worth the Added Stress?

To what lengths would you go to score a great deal?
Photo by digitalart

With Thanksgiving nearly here, you know what’s coming next:  Black Friday. It’s practically a holiday in its own right.  When I was working at the hospital, the day after Thanksgiving was a paid holiday.  But what a strange juxtaposition, when you stop and think about it.  A holiday of giving thanks for all that we have, immediately followed by a holiday in which we desperately try to get more. 

While the original intent of the first shopping day following Thanksgiving was to help people get a head start on shopping for gifts for friends and family, it has devolved into a mad scramble to get the very best deals on stuff for ourselves.  Seriously, you really think anyone is going to give away that Blu-Ray player or TV they just scored a mad deal on?  

While I would normally be all over a good deal, I make a point of staying home on Black Friday.  Part of it is to make my own statement, and part of it is to avoid becoming part of the problem.  Good deals are great, but not when they come with the stress and craziness that is often attached to Black Friday sales.  Everyone knows the horror stories.  People being trampled in the mad crush to get that incredible deal and getting killed for their desire to save a few bucks.  Why do we do this?

Last night Gavin was telling me about a co-worker of his who was heading down to Best Buy right after his shift (on Tuesday, mind you) because he wanted to get the deal on the $200 42-inch TV.   Okay, granted, that’s an awesome deal.  But really?  He’s going to camp out for two days and miss Thanksgiving for it.  He’ll probably save about $400, but at what true cost?  He’ll need to eat for those two days, so I assume he’s going to be spending money on fast food.  He’s going to be cold and wet, it’s a typical Seattle Thanksgiving, after all.  And isn’t his time itself worth money? 

This opens up the question:  How far are you willing to go for a good deal?  I’ve detailed my efforts to make my own cleaners and broth, and I’m going to be incorporating more of these “DIY” efforts as we go.  I clip coupons (I’ll be talking about that later), but not to the point where it takes over my life.  I watch for sales, but I’m not going to drive to four different stores to get my shopping done.  And you’re never going to catch me camping out for two days to pay money for an item that, let’s face it, I don’t actually need.

Would I like a new TV?  You bet I would.  The color is going out on the old one and games designed for HD look distorted on it.  But for the time being, it’s perfectly serviceable.  The kids are happily watching Go, Diego, Go even now and I haven’t heard any complaints from them.  Well, except that the older one would rather watch Astro Boy, but that’s a whole other issue.

So what about you?  Are you hitting any Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals?  Are they for you or for gifts?  Are they for items you need or items you want?

No comments:

Post a Comment