“Black Friday Madness” Or “When to Avoid Shopping in New York By All Means”

In case you haven’t noticed yet, last Friday was a very special Friday. It was the day after Thanksgiving (hope you had a great Turkeyday, y’all) and therefore a day called “Black Friday.” Black Friday is pretty much the epitome of shopping madness and insaness coupled with ridiculous people who want to find even more ridiculous bargains. New York cannot be amiss amongst those cities real shoppers want to be in. Now I am definitely not a shopping-crazy person. I earn way to less to care about these things. I do love the bargains you can find in New York, though, and I thought it might be a good idea to check out what this city is about on the day after Thanksgiving.

I wouldn’t particularly say this is a bad idea. Had I laughed at my German friends last year for trying to find their way through the frustrated mass of people just to grab a T-shirt for 50 per cent off … well, I now found myself in named mass – the only difference being me, not my friends, who was more frustrated than ever could imagine. Now I wouldn’t say crowds make me feel at unease. But when I get pushed over to the side into a dangerous-looking pot of make-up or if I can barely stand on the steps leading upstairs, then I think it’s about time to get the heck out of that store. Macy’s shopping madness is a popular thing on Black Friday as well as the day after Christmas (another day you desperately want to avoid to shop on if you are in New York). And this time I found myself in the middle of this bloody crowd that was thirsty for bargains. Just to give you an idea of what exactly I am talking about:

Is this an exaggeration of facts? I think not! I think the picture is quite awful! And it was pretty much the same scene in every store I passed, except for a few, American Eagle being one of them. For a simple reason: They had lines forming in front of their store so that people would not overcrowd the shop. Very wise, indeed. I only stood in aforementioned line for about five minutes, and then I snatched a pullover for 40 per cent off until I disappeared with the goal to get away from Herald Square as fast as possible. I didn’t bother to check out the electronic stores such as Best Buy or other goodies but instead bought a chocolate chip cookie from my favorite bakery. Target wasn’t swamped with people anymore but when I got there it was already 7PM, not a typical Black Friday hour.

The frustration about Black Friday and other happy-bargain-days is not so much in finding something among the huge amount of trash the stores sell at a bargain price. It is moreover the fact that you have to deal with so many people around you, on top of you, underneath of you. I do have to give the salespersons good credit: They were pretty much up-to-date when I needed to look at shoes or check out the right size. It took them half the time it usually does, so I can just imagine how their superiors must have pressured them beforehand. Most were really nice, too, even though they were having the worst days of their life (or else I can’t imagine). Oh, and I will forget about this one rudo at Macy’s, who simply had the worst day of her life or otherwise I cannot explain her backwards attitude!

This year, I have noticed that a good amount of stores must have been equally frustrated from the onrush of people experienced in the previous years. I saw a handful of shops who have initiated a “sales” week: American Eagle had their 40 percent off all week long from Monday to Saturday. Indeed, I had purchased a different pullover and some accessories beforehand, that’s how I knew which size to get and which color when retreating to their store on Friday. In hindsight it makes perfect sense that shops would also like to protect themselves from the ridiculous masses in New York by warding off the hype of one day and dispense it over multiple days.

And to fight a myth: NOT EVERYTHING is on sale on Black Friday. Most things at Macy’s which were reduced were reduced on other days, too, and then a good amount was average priced. Some stores gave you 50 per cent off on selected items only and then zero percent off on others. Others again had 20 per cent off, which I am unsure if it is truly worth fighting the masses for. If you’ve missed Black Friday in New York, you haven’t missed out on too much.

The deals are year-round, you just have to be at the right spot at the right time:
Four days after Christmas I bought a cute vest for 70 per cent off! It had originally been $70 but I got a hold of it for a mere 17 Dollars! So there is surely hope for bargains if you are in NY on simple days of the year.

12 thoughts on ““Black Friday Madness” Or “When to Avoid Shopping in New York By All Means”

  1. I bought a huge bag load of stuff from Urban outfitters when I was in New York last. It must have been about 30th Dec and the sales were thinning out but still great bargains!
    I got a short fake fur jacket for 15 dollars or something equally stupidly cheap! It was incredible!

    • Believe it or not, I just went shopping yesterday, almost a week after Black Friday, and got the best deal ever in terms of dresses. Filene’s basement at union square is closing down, so they were 40 per cent off! I really never have any reason to go to Urban Outiftters, but good for you! Do you still wear that jacket?

      • Yeah I do – now it’s cold again I’m falling back in love with it! I am a HUGE U O fan and it’s just so god damn expensive here! You are very lucky in the states… Don’t even get me started on the difference in price in cosmetics.

      • Hah, really? I like to still have my make-up shipped from Germany, especially the foundation. But yes, in general it is cheaper, I’ve noticed this when visiting London.
        I do like other stores here, and I find the bargains are insane at times! It’s not even necessarily a certain place, it’s just what you walk past at the right time… 😉

  2. I worked a black friday when I worked at a store once. It is crazy how people will line up at all hours to get in and get things. We had tickets for the ‘door busters’ so people had to pick which one they were after and then go wait in line and they were all in different parts of the store. Other than being paid to be out, I would not be out at the rush hours. Plus these days most of the stores have the same sales online.

    • Which store did you work at? Sounds crazy enough, I guess you have it all over the States. New York is kinda insane with all the tourists in betweent, too. Cybermonday might be the better option. I agree.

      • I worked at a Meijer. Yeah I think Black Friday madness is pretty much all over the States. Yep. I didn’t do any of it this year although I probably could have. I bet even being online it would have been afternoon here before the sales started lol. It’s still a little weird to me that my day is about over and it’s only mid-day back home.

  3. Thank you for this post! It totally inspired me to write one about why I think it can be GREAT to Black Friday shop in the city…I would love to hear your reaction if you read it 🙂

  4. […] A few years ago today I actually had the stamina to throw myself into the Black Friday shopping madness. There are a few things I learned in the process of it: 1) Not all deals are good deals. 2) I didn’t feel super-fulfilled and happier after the few purchases I managed to make. 3) I’ll most likely never to do it ever again. In memory of this one iconic day, I am therefore reposting my impressions from 2011. Find the original post here. […]

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