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The Hawkeye

Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

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Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

© HAWKEYE Salman Ghous

© HAWKEYE Salman Ghous

© HAWKEYE Salman Ghous

By Theresa Van, Hawkeye Staff

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The holiday season is coming around the corner and everyone knows what that means: holiday shopping, and the perfect opportunity to get presents for your loved ones for Christmas. And what better time to do that than on Black Friday?

But how should you shop on Black Friday? The traditional answer would be in-store shopping. But is there a different way to get what you want without using such uncivilized tactics? Yes there is; and I think the obvious answer is…

With the great power of online shopping.

Black Friday is a holiday celebrated on the Friday after Thanksgiving to kick off the holiday shopping season. A day of discounts and great deals, the holiday was started on Sept. 24, 1869, and made an official holiday by Congress in 1941. The reason why Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, as stated by The Balance, is because after Thanksgiving, so many people went out to shop that it caused disruption and violence. Thus, the fitting name, Black Friday.

A good way to avoid this violence is with online shopping from companies like Amazon and Ebay. Online shopping is a great way to do your shopping from the comfort of your humble abode. When someone looks at the facts, it can be seen that online shopping is clearly superior.

According to The Balance, retailers often price items on their online stores cheaper than their physical stores because the cost of running a physical store is much higher than selling items online. Retailers have found that they can satisfy the needs of their customers perfectly fine without having to pay the expenses of operating a physical store. Additionally,  online stores often have more items that customers would want than physical stores.

It’s not just the price of a building or unit, but also the prices of actual items. Depending on the store you choose to shop at, prices can vary wildly. But according to Business Insider, prices only drop on items of the previous model.

Sometimes, a business may try to scam you. But how do they? It might slip past you, but they may make the “discount” seem greater to make it look like you’re saving money when you’re not. The Wall Street Journal reported that in the days leading up to Black Friday, stores will ramp up the prices of various items, only to drop them to their pre-sale price on the day of the sale itself to create the illusion of a “discount”.

“I think it’s more convenient and efficient to shop online because I don’t have to deal with crowds, traffic jams and long lines of people around malls and department stores,” freshman Thien An said.

Shopping for great deals the day after Thanksgiving is a great idea, but some take it too far. According to US News & World Report, 10 people have been killed and 98 have been injured on Black Friday since 2006.

Despite Black Friday’s incredible popularity—celebrated in the majority of America—the great crowds can be overwhelming and even dangerous, especially in smaller stores.

Although large department stores are usually spacious, smaller stores don’t have such a luxury.

What are people supposed to do in a small, clustered space while trying to get good deals and save money as fast as possible? Trample each other. That’s why now during Black Friday shopping, local law enforcement are sometimes present in case a situation occurs.

The solution to this crowding problem would be to shop online.

“Online shopping,” freshman Gwyneth Camacho says, “lets people avoid the in-store traffic jams associated with Black Friday.”

Now, although online shopping is easy, some argue the benefits of in-store shopping. One of these benefits is in-store-exclusive deals known as doorbusters. Other discounts and deals can be applied exclusively in-store as well.

“With in-store shopping you can try things out but … while shopping online … they could possibly give you the wrong size,” sophomore Anna Nguyen said. “And if you were to try to return it then, it might be too late and the sale might end. But with in-store shopping you can try things out and if you don’t like it then returning it is easier.”

A recent study by fashion-tech entrepreneurs Kelly Slessor and Emma Sharley found that up to 50 percent of online fashion purchases are returned. According to BigCommerce, an e-commerce hosting service, 29 percent of shoppers reported they were concerned about privacy while shopping online and 49 percent of shoppers reported they would prefer to see an item in person before buying.

Whether you plan on spending your Thanksgiving weekend at home relaxing or in a tent outside a store waiting for it to open at dawn, the answer is clear, and agreed on by many; online shopping is definitely better than in-store shopping; online shopping is safer, easier and offers more products than a physical store. However, you should be careful when purchasing clothing online.

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About the Writer
Theresa Van, Hawkeye Staff

Theresa Van is a passionate freshman who is very much into writing of any sort, which was why she joined Hawkeye in the first place. Her favorite kind of writing is story writing, and she hopes to entrigue her audiences with her creative and long writing style.

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Black Friday or Cyber Monday?