Cheating on Black Friday

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Lines wrap around for blocks, people start waiting days before, sometimes temperatures drop below freezing, storms bring snow and, once inside, most stores can only be described as madhouses.

Black Friday shopping has become notorious for only being for the lion-hearted, but some companies and students, are figuring out ways to get the best price-drops without entering a store. Online shopping has exploded over the past 10 years, and most retailers offer a full store on their websites. Black Friday has opened up a whole new door of discounts, deals and price-drops for online shoppers.

Rachel Bowe, a junior, rarely goes out to the stores on Black Friday, though her family likes to snag the good discounts stores usually offer.

“On Black Friday, there are really good deals, and it’s a good time to get holiday shopping out of the way,” Bowe said. “The lines are crazy, there is no way I am going to get up at 1 a.m. to go stand in line, so getting those same deals online really appeals to me. I was actually looking yesterday at places like Target, who is already offering deals. Like, right now they have really good movies for $1.99. If you can get quality stuff like that for super cheap, then I would be down with online Black Friday shopping.”

Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer, is offering major Black Friday deals online the day after Thanksgiving. In addition to those online deals, Amazon is also offering deals every week leading up to Thanksgiving. Those deals are available right now, and users can submit their email address to get more exclusive discounts on their holiday shopping.

Other online sites, like Bestbuy.com, Disneystore.com, Cabelas.com and Sportsauthority
.com, are all offering Black Friday deals as well as discounts in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Walmart has already released all of its Black Friday deals, so consumers can begin making their shopping lists. But some students don’t shop on Black Friday just for the deals. Kirsten Lemmon, a senior from Idaho studying music, usually goes shopping for social reasons.

“I usually go shopping on Black Friday with friends, because it can be really fun,” Lemmon said. “However, if you could get the same deals online that you could in the store, then I would shop online because it is so much easier and I wouldn’t have to fight the crowds.”

There are a few downsides to online shopping on Black Friday. The most obvious is the potential to miss doorbuster sales or products, and stores are also cautioning consumers to make sure that the deals that are released are actually from the original store. Jayne O’Donnell of USAToday, reported that several retailers, like Macy’s, have not authorized deals to be released yet and have become aware of several fraudulent reports that have been released to consumers, but don’t contain actual discounts authorized by the store. Another downside to online shopping is the possibility that a company could run out of inventory, buying in the store guarantees that you have purchased the product.

Some students who don’t usually buy into Black Friday are being tempted by the appeal of online shopping. Brad McKeen, thinks that normally, Black Friday shopping is just a waste of money.

“I don’t really care, I guess I just don’t shop enough anyway,” Mckeen, a junior studying mathematics said. “If I go shopping, I’m going because I’m shopping for something specific, I’m not really going to just shop. I guess if I saw something I really wanted, I would rather sleep in and spend time with my family and buy it online.”

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