Next week, UAA students will be given the reprieve of a Thanksgiving Break. Worries about tests, papers and projects can be briefly forgotten in a deluge of food and family. After consuming thousands of calories and being asked prying questions about their life, students will loosen their belts and lay their heads to rest.
Even as they lay in a blissful food coma, a looming spectre lurks over their alarm clock and waits to wake them up at 4:00 in the morning, Black Friday. This day of deals and door busters will drag Americans out their beds to purchase things they don’t need at a discount.
“I remember being hauled, around in the middle of the night by my parents, trying to get deals on Christmas,” UAA anthropology major, Derek Abrams said. “I didn’t even get to feel like cattle. I felt like a stuffed animal being drug across the ground behind a small child. ‘Come on Teddy, let’s go to Walmart next.'”
Some try to avoid the hubbub all together.
“I don’t go out on Black Friday. I think that maybe if I was at the point in my life where I really really really needed a TV, I could get it on sale,” UAA nursing major, Joy Wannamaker said. “I don’t need an excuse to spend more money, and it’s dangerous, and people are crazy.”
Retailers often mark up prices in the months preceding Black Friday, to fool consumers into thinking they are getting a deal. Nerdwallet, a financial advising site, found in a study they conducted in 2013, that 92 percent of electronics were selling at the same price as the 2012 Black Friday, and that for many products, Black Friday wasn’t even the cheapest day of the year to purchase them.
“It’s not a sale, it’s a promotional gimmick that became a national holiday,” Computer Science major David Rathbun said.
Black Friday is the day that most retailers go from operating at a loss to making an annual profit. The term came from old accounting/book keeping standards of using black ink to mark profits and red ink to mark losses.