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Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:34 PM

How do all these people afford to shop Black Friday?

From what I see in the news, many of the most frantic Black Friday shoppers are not well off.

I'd like to know how they are shopping those sales, at the near end of November. A good portion of the 47 percent don't have much money left toward the end of the month.

Please tell me they aren't using credit cards to try to get a bargain, and then making minimum monthly payments to get out of the hole?

I think the whole Black Friday scheme is a real POX on America. Just the latest ruse run by retailers and the media (and the media makes a wad on the advertising!) The ads portray aggressive people who are all hepped up with frenzy. It's ugly stuff.

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply How do all these people afford to shop Black Friday? (Original post)
grasswire Nov 2012 OP
Laurian Nov 2012 #1
NRaleighLiberal Nov 2012 #2
4_TN_TITANS Nov 2012 #5
Worried senior Nov 2012 #12
Raine Nov 2012 #23
sammytko Nov 2012 #3
NRaleighLiberal Nov 2012 #6
knitter4democracy Nov 2012 #10
dipsydoodle Nov 2012 #4
SheilaT Nov 2012 #7
onenote Nov 2012 #8
vankuria Nov 2012 #9
marions ghost Nov 2012 #11
grasswire Nov 2012 #14
marions ghost Nov 2012 #16
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #18
grasswire Nov 2012 #22
AlexSatan Nov 2012 #24
hollysmom Nov 2012 #13
liberal_at_heart Nov 2012 #15
eugene jones Nov 2012 #17
JI7 Nov 2012 #19
SoCalDem Nov 2012 #20
smirkymonkey Nov 2012 #21

Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:48 PM

1. I wonder about that, too. I tend to wait and get the sales closer to

Christmas. Of course, this is easier for me than it might be for younger folks. My family is grown and none of them (even the grandchildren) are ever explicit about the gifts they wish to receive so I have lots of latitude in making "late" purchases.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:55 PM

2. We learned about some of this with respect to my wife's mom....

She was essentially addicted to shopping - took advantage of all of those credit card deals that appeared in the mail. when my wife went back to visit her once, her house/closets were full of merchandise she ordered that was never even opened. Ended up declaring bankruptcy. Then started running up the cards again - she is not at all well right now, it was all very sad to observe - we are quite distant from her and did what we could to help, but to no avail.

So this is just one of many factors - being seduced by all of the ads, the thrill of the hunt, the 'expectations' to buy and give, addiction to shopping - and in some cases, lots of money/wealth with which to do it.

Thankfully (to me, anyway), we don't watch much TV, shun ads, really don't need much, so no shopping - in fact, my wife and I both pretty much hate going shopping or spending money needlessly.....but to each their own.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:02 PM

5. Sounds just like my mother in law

who lives with us now, thanks to spending herself into bankruptcy. She has storage buildings and my basement packed full of stuff but has no clue where anything specific is. We'll toss most of it when she's dead, if my health holds up long enough to go thru it all.

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Response to 4_TN_TITANS (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:21 PM

12. Maybe

you could have a giant rummage sale and make some money off of the situation.

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 09:15 PM

23. My mother was a shopaholic, she used credit cards and would

hide the bills from my father. We were always in debt, fighting between my parents when he eventually found out, promises to never do it again but still did. I loved my mother but she had problems because of childhood abuse from her mother. I guess the shopping and all the stuff she bought made her feel like she was worth something.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:58 PM

3. not everyone is buying stuff they don't need

I went to one store on thursday night. Overheard a young girl counting out her money to make sure she had enough for a new pair of shoes for herself and a pair of jeans for her little brother.

It was a great sale. She only had twenty dollars.

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Response to sammytko (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:03 PM

6. exactly - there is no single answer to the question. far more complex. n/t

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Response to sammytko (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:16 PM

10. That's what I did, too.

I got my kids some things they need, and I did get a couple of Christmas presents, too. I'd saved up.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 02:58 PM

4. Maybe some

use the event to buy Christmas presents for their kids at prices they may otherwise be unable to afford.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:04 PM

7. I often wonder the same thing.

And it often seems to me that people who I am pretty certain have less money than I have, spend a lot more at Christmas time than I ever do.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:05 PM

8. "Black Friday" sales represent only around 10 percent of all holiday sales

So a lot of people are buying a lot of stuff without the "frenzy" of Black Friday driving those sales.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:14 PM

9. I can't answer for everyone

but i do know alot of people, myself included who have Christmas club or credit union accounts. They put away money out of every paycheck and save up for Christmas. Not everyone is out loading up their credit cards with junk buying.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:21 PM

11. I see it literally as

scrambling for a piece of the pie...

A lot of people ARE TRYING to save money--that is the goal. So they feel they have to grab fast when the corporates allow some of the more desirable stuff to be discounted. People want things they see others have, especially for their kids. If you can buy some thing or other that confers status, you can believe things will get better. It takes a lot of discipline, inner strength, and self-esteem to be extremely frugal.

People always think the poor should be more frugal. Having been there as a child, I know this line of reasoning. My parents would typically at Xmas, buy us something they could ill afford. These became objects of hope, normalcy, even an illusion of Abundance.
I think these tokens did help our self-esteem. I'd even say they were worth it psychologically, as having nothing would have been even more damaging. Too bad it has to be this way, but what do you do in a competitive, consumer society? You try to fit in.

Not to criticize you too heavily grasswire, & I agree with you that the consumerism is bad in this country--there is obvious excess--but whenever I see this idea expressed this way, I know the writer has never been really, truly, poor.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #11)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:36 PM

14. then I must tell you that you are wrong in your "knowing"

I live very very modestly on a small fixed income and support and care for a handicapped family member. And I have been poor, and my childhood was bare-bones.

I'm certainly not judging poor here. Just hoping that those who are most fragile economically are not bamboozled by the Black Friday hype, and are not using credit in a way that jeopardizes them the rest of the year. Most of the people I see every day on the city bus do not have the wherewithal to participate and I wish that America could stop battering them with aspirational messages about class/materialism.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 04:15 PM

16. Of course many who are fragile economically are bamboozled

and probably will be using credit that puts them in the hole. And unfortunately they will continue to be battered with class/materialist messages because that is sure to get them into stores. Which is for some their only recreation outside of work.
You sum up the vicious cycle very well.

So you know what it's like to be on a tight budget, but see others around you who are not so frugal. You are more disciplined and perhaps more creative in getting by. Others are weaker and more susceptible to the pitches. I don't know how to make weak people stronger-- in the face of the materialist consumer society we live in.

When inequality is so great like it is now, there tends to be a sense of "lack" that feeds spending. And this just lines the pockets of the corporates. The greed is at the top. In a society where everyone has enough, the urge to consume recedes.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:36 PM

18. I'm uncomfortable with your use

 

of the word "bamboozled". To bamboozle implies deceit. Unfortunately, many of the people who buy more than they can afford do so with no deceit involved.

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Response to AlexSatan (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 08:12 PM

22. no deceit involved in deceptive marketing? no deceit in credit card lending?

Heck, the retail industry and media have been bamboozling whole generations of people.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 10:08 PM

24. If you consider photoshopping models wearing clothes being advertised

 

or kids looking like they are having a great time with a game (I fell for that with Hungry Hungry Hippos as a kid) then I guess you have an argument.

But anyone who doesn't think products are going to be advertised in the best light possible probably shouldn't be on their own to spend money.

As for deceit in credit lending, I have never run across it. They have to state the terms of the contract. If not, you go after them for fraud.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:23 PM

13. Some stores have layaways that encourage people to go into debt.

I have heard about some secret santas who have gone into the stores and paid off some layaways for strangers.

I did not go out this year (bad cold) but when I shop, I don't dress up, I have no interest in being mugged in a mall, so I drive a conservative inexpensive car and don't wear my best clothes. i know when I used to shop after work, I had someone try and rob my purse and another guy jumped out of a van and came towards me, but luckily the police came down the parking lot at that time and they got back in the van and drove away. Years ago a co-worker said taught me that, she wore a ratty coat and started yelling to herself when she felt someone was following her down the street, so no one bothered her. She said better to be thought poor and crazy than to be dead.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 03:57 PM

15. I put off school shopping

My kids get half their wardrobe in September, but I can't afford to get them all of their clothes all at once anyway. Since I can't afford to get all of their clothes all at once anyway and I know Black Friday is only a couple months away from the beginning of the school year I wait. Then I buy the rest of their school clothes on Black Friday and save a ton of money.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)


Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 05:56 PM

19. They Save up money, put off buying things they need until black friday etc

i'm sure some are using credit cards also.

but a lot of people actually plan this out. i saw one lady who went thanksgiving day at night and her cart was full of stuff and she said how that was all planned for 2 months.

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 06:02 PM

20. Credit cards for many of them

with balances they keep paying on, but will never pay off..

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Response to grasswire (Original post)

Mon Nov 26, 2012, 07:57 PM

21. I think these excesses are unecessary.

Everyone in my family is quite well off. I am the poor one, but I do ok. We each pick one family for Christmas and set a limit of $100 per family. There are no excesses. The entire family, no matter their size, gets a gift totalling $100. None of us care. We don't really need much or want that much.

The children have more toys than they need and the adults are not at all acquisitive. We get creative and thoughtful and nobody goes into debt for the holiday. I like it that way.

The best part of our holiday is just getting together with each other, having some great food and relaxing. Nobody really cares about "stuff". I am so glad that we are all on the same page.

The holiday should be about so much more than consuming and shopping. I could really care less if I got anything. I actually enjoy giving than I do receiving. If I want something, and I rarely do, I can buy it for myself.

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