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25 Awful Things that Still Beat Shopping on Black Friday

Last updated by on January 11, 2014

Black Friday is a marketing gimmick to get consumers out to the store to spend their hard-earned cash on a bunch of shit that they and their loved ones don’t need. It’s evil. And it’s incredibly effective.

This past Friday a number of major retailers – including Kohl’s, Best Buy, Target, and Macy’s – all decided that they were going to push their open times to midnight. A few retailers – Toys R Us and Sears – took it a step further and decided to open at 9 PM on Thanksgiving night. WalMart opened at 10 PM. An entire mall by my in-laws opened at 9 PM on Thanksgiving. Madness!!

The masses liked it though, apparently. Black Friday sales rose 6.6% to the highest mark EVER – with a reported $11.4 billion being spent in one day.

The Race to the Bottom

Yes, the precedent has now been set for all retailers to open their doors at 9 PM or midnight on Thanksgiving (now there’s even Black Thanksgiving!) – ironically, the national holiday that is supposed to be about getting together with loved ones and giving thanks for what you have in life.

As if recent Black Friday mob tramplings, lootings, and pepper sprayings weren’t enough of a race to the bottom for consumers, retailers have now raised the bar even higher. Who cares that they may be separating their employees from their families on a holiday? We can all benefit by getting 30% off a pair of shoes that were overpriced by 25%!

I’ve never been a fan of Black Friday and have not participated in years. I find shopping to be flat out exhausting on its own. Add in thousands of zombie-like shoppers to the mix, no parking spots, gimmicky sales on artificially marked-up items, and depleted inventories, and it’s downright hell to me.

The ethics behind this move by big box retailers has sealed the deal that you will never find me shopping on Black Friday again.

Consumers Feed the Corporate Greed Machine

In taking the bait to go shopping at 9 PM in Thanksgiving, you support the cultural race to the bottom that prioritizes shopping over family. And in doing so, you take those workers away from their families on a holiday. What’s next, a 9 AM Thanksgiving morning open? Why not just replace Thanksgiving with Black Thursday?

black friday

Nope. Not doing it. And to send a big “Screw you!” message to the retailers who subscribe to this madness, I decided to put together a list of miserable, yet common evils that we would all rather put off but could be doing that would be better than shopping at your store on Black Friday (or any time).

25 Awful Things that are Still Better than Shopping at a Big Box Retailer Store on Black Friday

  1. I’d rather clean out that gunk that gathers underneath and behind a refrigerator than shop at your store.
  2. I’d rather give my fully clawed psychotic cat who hates water a bath than shop at your store.
  3. I’d rather go to an awkward holiday party and make small talk with people I don’t know and will never talk to again than shop at your store.
  4. I’d rather listen to a Justin Bieber album than shop at your store.
  5. I’d rather watch a romantic movie with my wife than shop at your store.
  6. I’d rather de-frost a freezer than shop at your store.
  7. I’d rather pull 36 beer bottles that weren’t properly rinsed from a plastic garbage bag to recycle than shop at your store.
  8. I’d rather get a planter’s wart burned off than shop at your store.
  9. I’d rather ask my neighbor for salt than shop at your store.
  10. I’d rather go to the DMV and wait in line for an hour than shop at your store.
  11. I’d rather get solicited by a Jehovah’s Witness than shop at your store.
  12. I’d rather clean out the mucky leaf piles that have gathered in my gutters than shop at your store.
  13. I’d rather get a cavity filled than shop at your store.
  14. I’d rather get a flu shot than shop at your store.
  15. I’d rather eat two pounds of meatloaf and suffer the after-effects than shop at your store. (I’m vegetarian)
  16. I’d rather have my annual performance review than shop at your store.
  17. I’d rather given a co-worker feedback for their performance review than shop at your store.
  18. I’d rather scrape off that unidentified, burned-to-hell lump of food at the bottom of my oven than shop at your store.
  19. I’d rather collect my dog’s poop from the backyard after 2 months of neglecting to do so than shop at your store.
  20. I’d rather watch Friend’s re-runs than shop at your store.
  21. I’d rather read a newspaper that has been soaking in the rain for hours than shop at your store.
  22. I’d rather unclog a toilet than shop at your store.
  23. I’d rather fill out a medical history form for the 20th time while waiting in a doctor office waiting room than shop at your store.
  24. I’d rather have a flat tire than shop at your store.
  25. I’d rather negotiate with Comcast than shop at your store.

OK…. maybe not the last one…

The point being… if you’d rather do these miserable things, then imagine the thousands of fun or enjoyable things you could be doing than supporting these big box retailers.

Why let the fun stop here? What awful things would you rather do than shop on Black Friday? Share your list in the comments and forward to your friends so they can share theirs! Let’s send the message to retail execs that we won’t participate in feeding the consumer disease that plagues our country.

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About the Author
I am G.E. Miller, & this is my story. My goal is financial independence ASAP. If you share that goal, join me & 10,000+ others by getting FREE email updates. You can also explore every post I have written, in order.

  • stevie says:

    I’d rather floss my teeth and get it stuck until I have to cut the edges off and hope the rest comes out on its own than shop at your store.

  • BG says:

    I agree with the list, because I hate shopping in general. However, my wife loves to shop and she would rather be shopping than do the things on your list.

  • Ben says:

    To be fair, some stores offer good deals on things you might actually need. For instance, I needed tools for my job this year. The boss gave us a $500 allowance for tools a couple weeks ago and I had been shopping around prices recently. Sears had some great deals on socket sets and ratcheting wrenches which I did not own. I picked these up and am VERY glad that I got a great deal on quality craftsman products. Now that being said…I understand what you’re trying to say. The “doorbusters” are always things that nobody needs. I went late on Friday evening and there were only a few people in the store…but my trusty tools were still waiting for me.

  • Kolton says:

    It is absolutely absurd that retailers are opening earlier and earlier every year, it is highly disappointing. I have never been a fan of black Friday either, simply for the fact of how unethical it really is and it keeps getting worse. For instance, I believe in California this year, a lady pepper sprayed others to get a XBox360. Now that is madness!

    How about: I would rather watch paint dry than shop at your store.

  • Brian says:

    As I read this post (on a Tuesday), I noticed an advertisement along the right of the screen informing me that Black Friday was still in effect at Sleepy’s Mattress. Sorry, Sleepy’s Mattress, I’d rather iron my dress clothes than be sold a mattress with a price inflated by 50% (but also 50% off!).

  • You made me laugh on thing #2! Yes, I agree. There are tons of more relevant things that can be done on a Black Friday than shopping.

  • Stephanie says:

    For the sake of insulting a religion, at least spell it correctly: it’s Jehovah’s Witnesses.

  • jeffrey@moneybuilders says:

    While I agree that Black Friday may be one of the most overdone and distasteful displays of American consumerism ever instituted, I don’t feel that its inherently bad. Apart from the occasional tramplings or mob outbreaks, Black Friday only intensifies the natural tendencies of buyers- it doesn’t bring out new ones. Spendthrifts will always find ways to spend too much on junk with or without any extra excuse, and the scrupulous will remain scrupulous no matter the occasion. Spending, stripped of its extravagancies, is a good thing for the economy and its growth. I only wish it were better distributed among the population.


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