3 Easy Ways To Avoid Holiday Shopping Frustration

By: | December 2, 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

holiday shopping

 

 

Don’t get me wrong; I like getting out with the crowd.  I really do.  Although born in New York, I’m an L. A. girl.  I relish rooting for my boys, the Dodgers.  The most thoughtful present a guy can give me is theater tickets to the hottest show in town, I’ve braved the L.A. May heat to attend the Renaissance Fair, and I use to be a frequent visitor to the UCLA Book Fair.  I like getting out with the crowd, but not when it comes to holiday shopping.

Holiday shopping is where I draw the line.  Do you know the three easy ways to avoid frustration?  Do not participate in Black Friday, Cyber Saturday, or Cyber Monday.

Black Friday

Years ago, I got up early to go shopping on Black Friday.  Mind you, I’ve never been a morning person, especially on my days off from school.  However, a discount, a bargain, hey, I was there!  I’d walk far in the early morning cold because, of course, parking near my store of choice (usually Best Buy) was impossible.  At a mall near where I work, cars are lined up waiting to park.  It bears repeating, people weren’t lined up to shop or spend, they were lined up to park their cars.  I realize today there are high-tech parking structures that tell the driver electronically where there is a space.  This lot didn’t, and still doesn’t, have that.  Neither does the structure at my mall.

Frozen, and still sleepy, I’d finally make my way into the store just to find that the item I’d gone to this trouble for was exactly the same price as it had been the day before.  When I questioned how that was possible considering it was Black Friday and all, I was told that electronics, my item of choice, was something called “fair market,” which means the price would not change at all no matter what color “Friday” it was.

I figured I could beat the system.  I would outsmart retailers at their own game.  The follower year I would inquireshoes at the store before Black Friday if my desired purchase would be discounted.  No matter the store, no matter the employee, the answer was always the same.  “We don’t know.  They don’t tell us ahead of time.”

On the news over the year, I’d heard horror stories about shopping experiences.  People lined up in the dark, cold, snow, rain, and not just Thanksgiving Eve, but for days.  I’ve literally seen tents full of families with small children lined up in front of stores.  That means missing Thanksgiving was worth being the first in the store on Black Friday morn.  I’ve watched the news expecting to see important stories of the day just to see stories of people lined up in sleet and hail being interviewed about their burning desire to be able to buy a Tickle Me Elmo doll.  (Okay that was years ago, but you get the idea.)

Last year, the news reported that people had graduated to pushing and shoving to pepper spraying those that competed with them for their item of choice.  Pepper spray, as in mace, was used to be able to purchase a gift?!  I even heard there was such violence last year that this year it was suggested that Black Friday be cancelled.  I suppose that was tantamount to cancelling Christmas since Black Friday went on just as scheduled.  I hope the Grinch, wherever he is, isn’t disappointed.  “Jingle All the Way,” a movie about toy buying at Christmas, was about this topic.  That was fiction.  This was real life!

 

Cyber Saturday and Cyber Monday

I was listening to the news on the morning of Cyber Monday.  I heard that every second Amazon.com was selling 426 items.  “426 items per  second?”  That didn’t sound like very many, considering it was Amazon and all.  Then the announcer added the word “thousand”.  426,000 items per second?  per second??  No wonder I had heard they were hiring a few months ago.

During Cyber Monday last year I was so excited.   I would get out with the virtual crowd.   I had a very busy Monday the first day back at school after a week of hiatus.  I was determined not to let life deter me.  I would participate in this annual event with the rest of the Internet community.  Finally, instead of  getting ready for bed, I slipped downstairs to my computer and went to Amazon.com.  Cyberspace at long last!  However, when I typed in the electronic items I so desired, again I was met with disappointed.  No price drop on Cyber Monday.  I refused to let the metaphorical stars align against me.  I would make a purchase!  I ended up buying  plaid scarves for myself and my friends. I felt so defeated.  I really love electronics.

In closing, I don’t care if it’s Black Friday, Black Monday, Cyber Saturday or whatever they want to call these shopping days.  They are gimmicks to get people to do what I like to do –get out with the crowd, virtual or otherwise.

Sure, I like Amazon.com; I won’t kid you.  However, this year instead of participating in another disappointing Cyber Monday, I was watching the “Voice” with my husband.  Adam Levine and Taylor Swift sang, and I had a blast.  Am I being contradictory?  No.  I have a Prime Membership to Amazon.com.  I am a huge fan, just not on Cyber Saturday or Cyber Monday.

Readers, what do you think?  Do you participate in Black Friday, Cyber Saturday, and Cyber Monday?  In contrast to my experience, any great deals you’d like to share?  I look forward to your views.

 

 

  1. Carolyn West

    I went shopping on Black Friday once… last year… and we actually found some good deals, but I wouldn’t do it again. It’s not worth the hassle. On Cyber Monday, I was geared up to find some great online bargains… and I ended up not purchasing one thing. There was absolutely nothing I liked enough to spend my hard-earned money on. Very disappointing.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Carolyn,
      My husband Wayne said the same thing. He also tried but couldn’t find anything. Thanks again for all the support.
      Janice

  2. Jen Miyagishima (

    I shop Black Friday every year at a shopping mall in Arizona because we spend our Thanksgiving holiday with family in the Phoenix area. I found great deals on children’s clothes & women’s accessories for Christmas gifts this year! I hate to say it but I don’t think I would venture out on Black Friday if we were home in LA/San Fernando Valley. It’s too crowded & people can be aggressive. However as long as I’m in Chandler around Turkey Day, then I don’t mind shopping the Black Friday sales. 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      I’m from there. I work in the SFV area. Great weather I bet in Arizona. I was there once or twice.

  3. Erika Grediaga

    I don’t participate in any of those “sale” deals. I’ve found over the years that it is best to shop the fall sales in September-October… then wait till December, as the supply-demand thing makes every store drop their prices and offer deals — sometimes with free shipping included. As for electronics, I’d recommend following the item you’re interested in through newegg.com or B&H in NY… those are the best deals I’ve always found for electronics 😉

    • Janice Wald

      I heard August is the best time of year to shop, summer clearance, fall preview. Thanks for the electronics tip.

      • Erika Grediaga

        Thank you for the tip! I guess I’ll have to do Christmas shopping in August 🙂

        • Janice Wald

          I do! Stores have what’s called Christmas in July! I guess they need the business mid-year. Thanks for writing me.

  4. kleebanks

    The only time I sorta participated in Black Friday was when I worked at a Jo-Ann Fabrics store – and then it was only because I *HAD* to be there! People were lined up before I even arrived at work – and some were rude to me, thinking I was trying to cut in line!

    I much prefer Cyber “anyday” and in fact have done most of my Christmas shopping online already!

    • Janice Wald

      We have a Joanne’s near us. So sorry you had a bad experience. They should have been grateful you were letting them in and out of the cold! Thanks for writing.

  5. AJ Rogers

    I don’t participate in Black Friday. My sleep and relaxation time is much more important to me. I do feel like a party pooper and left out sometimes when others want to and I don’t, but your blog made me feel much better and proved I’m not missing much – Thanks a bunch! Have a great day!

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you so much for the validation. Your words made me feel so validated; as a new blogger, I can’t tell you how important that is. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. Joan Harrington

    Hi Janice,

    Awesome and easy ways to avoid holiday shopping frustration! Great tips! Holiday shopping should not have to cause frustration 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Joan,
      I feel like I’m getting to know you through social media. Thank you for the kind words.

    • Janice Wald

      So fun seeing you here! Thanks so much for getting me traffic. I had another triple digit day today! I really appreciate it.

  7. queenmommyjen

    We did a ton of Black Friday shopping, but all online in our house. It was fabulous! We also love Cyber Monday and scored some much needed computer items for my husband’s business. You have to be smart though and not just buy it crazily. We do a ton of research and buy only the items we know are a good price and deal!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Jen!
      Thank you for reading what I wrote and writing to me. I’m glad you did well on Cyber Monday. As I said in my post, the one year I tried, all I could find was a few scarves because electronics were fair market items. I wonder how you were able to find computer items. I would think those would be fair market too. You did get lucky. If you have the time to do research, that is definitely the way to go. Was it Amazon.com?

  8. Celeste (Leapfrogandlipgloss.com)

    I went shopping for Black Friday this year just for the fun of it… I didn’t end up with much, but I never do this sort of thing and just wanted to see what the big deal was. Usually I like to buy gifts throughout the year to spread out my finances.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi,
      I like to start shopping in July. Great “Christmas in July” sales and gives me lots of time to gift wrap. Thanks for reading what I wrote and writing me.
      Janice

  9. lysamebee

    This year I didn’t leave the house or go online for Black Friday but Cyber Monday was a great day to be me online as I found some steals! Although I still have some presents to buy I’m thankful that I have Amazon Prime…lol I don’t deal well with the holiday crowds so the rest of my shopping will also be done online unless my husband forces me out of the house!

    Wishing you a wonderful week!
    xx
    Lysa @ Welcome to My Circus

    • Janice Wald

      Hi,
      Thank you for writing me! I am so excited about your Wednesday Linky! Thanks for Emailing me about it. Is it every Wednesday? I love Amazon Prime as well. My husband sees the yearly membership fee pays for itself. Thanks again for inviting me to your Linky. What does holding a Linky entail? I am interested in doing it. Thanks for writing me.
      Janice

      • lysamebee

        Yes it is every Wednesday but we usually go live on Tuesday… So you can get in on the top of the list. I’m just co-hosting the Linky but I can find out exactly what it entails for you and let you know. Oh and you are very welcome!
        xx
        Lysa

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