Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Why Do People Buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

There are a couple of obvious explanations for why people buy more stuff on Black Friday and Cyber Monday:

1. Retailers offer better prices enticing people who have been thinking about buying to finally pull the trigger.

2. People are helpless victims of mass advertising and are deluded into thinking that they are acting along with their many friends.

I have one more possible reason to add to this list: people look for excuses to follow their desires rather than use restraint. We see a similar effect with people who try to eat healthily. Even people with good salaries who can afford to eat anything they want will get overly excited about free donuts or pizza. They can afford to buy junk food, but they usually show restraint and eat healthy food. The free junk food is an excuse to indulge.

So, for people who have a desire to shop, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a great excuse for going off their "diets".


  1. Makes me think of that joke about two old ladies eating lunch at a new restaurant. #1: "The food is awful here. #2: "Yes, awful! And such small portions!"

    I guess it's a mixture of the loosening of spending with the Christmas season setting in, the most attractive sales of the year, and the social/media reinforcement that it's the right thing to do. Ha! I just restated what you said!

    The food's not that great, but it's cheap, and we want as much as we can get. By the way, have you met my brand new tablet computer? I don't need it, but I got a great deal on it! Your post has my personality figured out perfectly.

  2. @Gene: I have a tablet now. It's almost completely useless except for Youtube and resolving arguments in front of the television using IMDB.

  3. lol. I think I may have the same one. I spent a long time trying to figure out how to rent a movie on it so I could take advantage of its excellent screen (seems it's still impossible). Ended up watching a bunch of youtube videos instead. Thanks for the laugh.