Friday, November 29, 2013

The BIG Shopping Weekend

When we first moved to the United States I found it a bit bizarre that right after the day everybody said how grateful they were for what they had, the very same people would get up at the crack of dawn and rush to the stores to get the best deals EVER. Some even camped outside stores like Best Buy to be the first in line and not miss out.

Looking back, I just sigh - ah, those were the good old times. The Geek belonged to those people who got up early on Black Friday and stood in line while Kaefer and I briefly groaned, turned around and went back to sleep. When the Geek came back for a late breakfast he usually had some hilarious stories to tell. The rest of Friday was spent in quiet bliss.

After a few years the temptation had died even for the Geek and we spent Black Friday in our home, blissfully unaware of the craziness going on in the malls and big stores.

And today? The shopping frenzy starts already on Thanksgiving itself. Some stores are open all day Thanksgiving, some open right at the time when you would sit down for the meal with your family and/or friends. Some stores stay open until 2:00 am or even the entire night. Other stores open at midnight. The "reasonable" stores open at 6:00 on Black Friday morning.

Are we really that greedy? Is it really more important to get a super deal than spend some time with family? Is it necessary to drag retail employees away from their families to serve the customers who obviously can't wait to be dragged away from family and friends?

I don't have the answer to that. However, I refuse to go shopping on Thanksgiving. Somehow I hope that so many others think like me, stay at home and the Thanksgiving shopping will be only a short-lived "event". Well, I am not that naive.... I know it will stay like this, perhaps even get worse. Who knows, one day we might stop celebrating Thanksgiving altogether. A huge loss for saving a few bucks.

After Black Friday and before Cyber Monday there is another shopping day - Small Business Saturday. Being a small business owner myself, I hardly can ignore that. I just wish it was on a different weekend - does it really make a difference? Do people who spend their money on Thanksgiving and Black Friday have the time (and the energy) to go and support the local businesses in their neighborhood? Or small businesses online - where their neighbors, friends, teachers, colleagues sell their items? And - can small businesses even compete?

All of these thoughts were going through my mind when I was contemplating what to do with my Etsy shop over this sales weekend. Should I participate? Should I ignore it and just go on as usual? Would that even be sound business practice?

In the end, I have decided to offer 25% off the entire purchase in my store. After all, I have my shop and I want to sell my handmade items. Handmade is not cheap, and I am not planning on selling anything below its value. But I can say thanks to my customers by lowering my prices for a few days and thus giving them the opportunity to buy something that is real handmade (and heart-made for that matter) in a very affordable way. These images here show a few of the items that are currently available in my shop - it is pretty well stocked right now. By using coupon code THANKS2013 (all capitals) during checkout you will automatically get 25% off your entire purchase - whether you buy one handmade card or three journals. The sale expires at the end of Cyber Monday, December 2, 2013.


Kay L. Davies said...

You have asked some very good questions here, Carola. I wish I knew the answers, but I think your answer (it will just get worse) is probably right.
Here in Canada they've suddenly started advertising Black Friday (today, I guess that is) when Canadian Thanksgiving is actually in October. Talk about greed: advertising sales on the day after another country has a holiday!
I don't know what will happen. I do know the big sales in Canada were always on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas, taken from an English tradition of taking food to the poor) and people like my husband lined up before dawn.
Last year, we actually went to the Boxing Day sales together because I had seen the fridge I wanted advertised at a good price. But we went at a civilized hour, then came home.
I'm going to look at your Etsy shop now, because it isn't a holiday in Canada.

Elephant's Child said...

Conspicuous consumerism does my head in. I try very hard not to get caught up in it.
Good luck with your shop - I hope you do well.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

There is no way I would get near a store this weekend...not even if they were giving it away! There is nothing I would begin to want that badly.

Our photos said...

Nice are the Christmas items!

Magic Love Crow said...

I'm glad our Thanksgiving is in October. Canada is now having black friday too. I don't understand why? I don't go out! Not worth it! People are crazy!! Good luck on your sale! Very kind of you!!

Maria Ontiveros said...

What interesting thoughts today. I haven't even started to think about shopping yet. Maybe this weekend.
I hope your sale went well!