Everything you need to know about Black Friday 2023

4 min read

Everything you need to know about Black Friday 2023
Ever wondered about how Black Friday came to be? Your burning questions are answered here with the added bonus of some essential shopping tips
As the days grow shorter and the air gets crisper, the excitement surrounding the biggest shopping event of the year starts to build. That's right, folks, it's that time again—Black Friday is just around the corner, and we're here to ensure you're well-prepared for the shopping extravaganza of 2023.
While pumpkin spice lattes are in full swing, retailers are already gearing up for the grand retail circus that is Black Friday. So, grab your shopping carts, charge up your credit cards, and let's dive into everything you need to know about this year's Black Friday bonanza!

The origins of Black Friday 

Before we get caught up in the frenzy of Black Friday deals and discounts, it's worth taking a step back to explore the roots of this beloved shopping holiday. While the name "Black Friday" conjures images of packed stores and bustling websites, its origins are less chaotic.
The term "Black Friday" originally referred to a different event entirely: the financial crisis the day the US gold market crashed in September 1869. However, the name we associate with shopping madness was adopted later and, rather fittingly, in the realm of retail. It first gained popularity in Philadelphia in the early 1960s, where the day after Thanksgiving became synonymous with the Army-Navy college football game and, subsequently, the arrival of holiday shoppers in the city. The influx of tourists and shoppers transformed the city into a bustling hub, creating traffic gridlock, thus coining the term "Black Friday."
"The term "Black Friday" originally referred to the financial crisis the day the US gold market crashed in September 1869"
Over the years, retailers in Philadelphia began to push the narrative that "Black Friday" referred to the point in the year when their books went from being "in the red" (representing losses) to "in the black" (representing profits) due to the substantial holiday sales. The concept caught on and gradually spread nationwide. By the 1980s, Black Friday had firmly established itself as the unofficial kick-off to the holiday shopping season, with major retailers offering eye-popping discounts to lure in eager shoppers. 

Evolution of Black Friday 

It's crucial to recognise the transformation that this shopping holiday has undergone. What began as a one-day extravaganza of in-store shopping has morphed into a multi-faceted event that encompasses online shopping and spans several days. With the advent of the internet, the concept of Cyber Monday emerged, offering a digital counterpart to the in-store sales frenzy of Black Friday. This transition allowed consumers to enjoy massive discounts from the comfort of their homes, emphasising the shift in the way we engage with this iconic shopping event. 
Black Friday sales
Additionally, there has been a growing emphasis on sustainable and ethical shopping during Black Friday, with consumers seeking eco-friendly and ethically sourced products. Some retailers have adapted to this trend by promoting their commitment to environmental and social responsibility. As we move forward, these changes remind us that Black Friday is not just about snagging the best deals but a reflection of our evolving consumer preferences and the retail industry's adaptability. 

Insider tips for Black Friday success 

Now that we have covered the history and evolution of Black Friday, it's time to get down to the nitty gritty. Here’s how you can snag the best deals without losing your cool, and become a Black Friday shopping savant.
Do your homework
Preparation is key to a successful Black Friday shopping experience. Before the big day, research the deals and discounts available from your favourite retailers. Many stores release their Black Friday ads ahead of time, so you can plan your shopping strategy accordingly. Additionally, sign up for newsletters and follow retailers on social media for exclusive early access deals or notifications about flash sales.
Set a budget
While the allure of incredible deals can be tempting, it is crucial to establish a budget for your Black Friday shopping. Decide how much you are willing to spend and stick to your limits to avoid overspending and post-shopping regrets. This way, you'll make the most of the discounts without causing financial strain.
Prioritise your shopping list
Create a shopping list that outlines the specific items you want to purchase. Prioritise these items based on their importance, ensuring you tackle the most critical purchases first. This approach can help you stay focused and organised amidst the chaos of Black Friday. 
Early bird gets the worm
Black Friday shopping often involves long lines and crowded stores. To maximise your chances of snagging the best deals, consider waking up early and getting to the stores before they open. Alternatively, shop online during the early hours when retailers release their deals. The best discounts tend to sell out quickly, so being among the first to shop gives you an advantage. 
Shop safely and securely
Whether you're shopping in physical stores or online, prioritise your safety and security. In crowded stores, keep an eye on your belongings, and if you're shopping online, stick to reputable retailers. Beware of phishing scams or fraudulent websites that attempt to lure in unsuspecting shoppers with too-good-to-be-true offers.

Balancing bargains and values  

In the age of consumerism culture, where the temptation to acquire more is relentless, it's vital to remember that Black Friday, although renowned for its spectacular deals, should be approached with thoughtfulness. While there's no harm in capitalising on discounts to fulfil genuine needs or secure meaningful gifts, it's equally important to resist the allure of excess consumption for the sake of it.
" It's important to resist the allure of excess consumption for the sake of it"
Feeding into the frenzy of Black Friday just for the sake of a bargain can lead to overconsumption, unnecessary clutter, and even financial strain in the long run. It's crucial to question whether our purchases truly add value to our lives and to reflect on the environmental and ethical implications of our buying habits. So, as we engage in the excitement of Black Friday, let's do so mindfully, ensuring that our purchases align with our genuine needs and values, rather than succumbing to the relentless drumbeat of consumerism culture.
Keep up with the top stories from Reader's Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter
Loading up next...