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Senior Shopping: Should I Go Shopping on Black Friday?

Not so long ago, part of the Black Friday thrill was to rise early, brave the icy air, and warm up your car outside for 20 minutes before heading out to snag all the best sales at your local mall.

This may still be ritual for many. Nowadays, however, it’s possible to do a lot (if not all) of your holiday shopping online, especially since holiday weekend events like Black Friday can get pretty hectic with overly eager folks. As a senior, here are a few tips to help get you through all the holiday madness.

The Best Time to Shop In-Store

Though much of your holiday shopping list can be ordered online for similar deals that you’ll find in stores, there are certain products that are only accessible in stores, which means dealing with the headache of pushing your way through overcrowded stores and waiting in terribly long lines to get out. A senior-specific solution is knowing what time of the day is best to go.

Anonymized data was collected by Google from smartphone users who had their location history turned on. Google was able to calculate the foot traffic on Black Friday to quantify what time of the day most people shopped. Specifically, on Black Friday, the data shows that more consumers are shopping in the afternoon than in the morning—with the lowest foot traffic between 2am–6am and picking up around 8am. Foot traffic was found to peak between 2pm–4pm. And although Black Friday is a popular day to go shopping, Google found that there is even more foot traffic around stores as it gets closer to Christmas.

The Ethical Aspect

Black Friday has gained a reputation as a shameless excuse for violent, sleep-deprived shoppers to stampede over each other to save on everyday products like toasters and TVs. It is a bit ironic this holiday happens the day after Thanksgiving, the one holiday where you’re supposed to be thankful for what you already have.

There are quite a few stores closed on Black Friday. Many of them, like Guitar Center, Barnes and Noble, and REI don’t support the madness that Black Friday brings every year, regardless of the profits they may reap from the influx of shoppers. On the other, less pessimistic side of the spectrum, Black Friday can be a ton of fun. If anything, it’s like its own holiday that brings people together.

Before shopping do some research and discover what deals might specifically be accessible to you as a senior. You are privy to deals ranging from arts and crafts at Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s, Wednesday savings at Kohl’s, deals on Kindles, and more. You don’t even need to brave Black Friday crowds for these savings. Smart shoppers get things that they know they will need in the coming months, like getting the heaters in their house tuned up, and prepping for frozen pipes before the deep winter months come. Many companies that offer these services may also be having a Black Friday sale of their own.

Survival Guide

Anything that requires a survival guide might be the deciding factor for many seniors whether they will participate or not. Because as a senior, the world is intensified. The crowds make you more claustrophobic, the noise is louder, shoppers are more aggressive both in stores and on the roads. For those who find these conditions unbearable or don’t have family or friends within reach to help, using home care companion senior shopping services can help with your holiday shopping. If you’re willing to brave the storm, go prepared by being sure you have developed a budget, researching the products you plan on buying beforehand, identifying who the gifts are for and what purpose they will serve, and, finally, creating a master plan to get you in and out of Black Friday feeling at ease and bruise-free.

On the topic of safety, be sure that your shopping list isn’t the only thing receiving a thorough examination. If you live in an area where snow is common around the holidays, check the tread on your tires and your shoes. One patch of unseen black ice can ruin the holidays.

Though some of the largest savings of the year land on Black Friday, it still isn’t for everyone. Besides, if Black Friday isn’t something you’re interested in, you can still get all the saving you want from the comfort of your home during Cyber Monday. Or, if nothing else, crack open a cold one and sit back and enjoy the frantic Black Friday madness unfolding on last year’s TV. Happy Holidays!