By Melissa Lopez
The holidays have officially arrived, meaning streets will be lined with different colorful decorations, many of us will be forced to make small talk with distant relatives and money will leave bank accounts faster than it was earned.
Black Friday, the consumerist cultural event that has become a sport to shoppers and the unofficial beginning of the holiday shopping season, is just another day where many are deceived into participating year after year.
We should see right through the flashing sale signs and realize that although economist may encourage us to buy in order to help the economy, we are the ones who have to pay the price.
Shoppers have come to believe that Black Friday is a must if they want to stay on a budget, but they are wrong.
The reason several retailers decide to participate in the shopping event is not to ensure that customers save money but to lure them into their stores to purchase products they did not have intentions of purchasing in the first place.
For example, a consumer may go into a store with the idea of buying a heavily desired laptop for school and quickly realize that all of them are gone, therefore deciding to settle by purchasing a completely different laptop for a higher price instead.
Retailers expect and aim for these unplanned purchases to occur, which is why they set aside a limited amount of the in demand products.
Consumers fall for this marketing strategy yearly, allowing companies to make money, and leaving shoppers with several items but empty pockets.
If being left moneyless was not a problem enough, safety has become a high concern as well.
In the pursuit to obtain the best deal possible, animalistic characteristics form in even the calmest of individuals.
Numerous Black Friday shoppers eager to secure in demand items will do whatever it takes to guarantee they receive those products.
Injures are guaranteed to happen each year. Deaths are no longer being considered a surprising report.
Frequent injures include something as simple as bruises to something more serious like those of concussions or broken bones, which may require immediate medical help.
In the past years, there have been confirmed reports of individuals shooting firearms while the shopping extravaganza took place.
Customers are not the only group whose safety is at stake.
Employees are put into dangerous situations as well.
A few years ago, a Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death as a chaotic crowd of shoppers shattered through the front doors of the store.
Other employees at the store saw the man being killed before their eyes, while some of them tried to escape the crowd themselves.
Many employees have deemed Black Friday the most feared shift to work.
Temporary seasonal workers, many of which are made up of students, face some of the poorest working conditions during the shopping event.
They have to deal with unruly customers, long hours and now more than ever made to work on days that were once considered days off.
Shoppers should be the first to change what Black Friday has become.
Since we live in a consumer driven economy, sales will continue to occur during the holiday season regardless.
Alternatives such as Cyber Monday and shopping on days that are not Black Friday will help the economy just as much.
We have the power to save money, insure safety and treat employees with respect if we all just decide to shop differently this holiday season.
Valerie Mancia / The Poly Post
Shoppers have come to believe that Black Friday is a must if they want to stay on a budget, but they are wrong
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