Josh fact #127: I love Black Friday. It’s the people-watching event of the year. If you’ve never shopped on Black Friday, I encourage you to embrace the chaos. It’s awesome.
“Josh, is it really worth hours out of your life to save 10%-30% (that’s how much you save on average over normal sale prices)?” Good news, America! I’ve devised a formula to help you figure this out.
1. What is the value of your time? I would argue that your time away from work is more valuable than your time at work; but, for the sake of argument, let’s say that they that the value of your time away from work = the value of your time at work. Multiply your annual income by .0005. This is your approximate pay per hour of work; and, for the purpose of this post, is the approximate value of your shopping time per hour. Keep that number in mind.
2. Now, you need to guestimate how much longer it takes you to shop on Black Friday than it would take you to shop on a normal day. For me, this number has been anywhere from 8 hours (I camped out several years ago) to 2 hours. Multiply this number of hours by the number you came up with in step one.
So, let’s say you make $44,000/year (the national average household income); and, it takes you 6 hours longer to shop on Black Friday than a normal day. You would need to save an extra $132 (on top of normal sales prices) to justify waiting in lines: $44,000 X .0005 X 6.
So, let’s apply the formula to my situation.
What great buys did I make, you ask? Well, after traditionally destroying the newspaper looking for deals, the following items made my “to buy” list: automatic muffin maker, iPod touch, dress socks, belt, toy car, and food processor. In my 2.5 hour adventure, I ended up buying one pair of earrings for my wife (not on my list). Yep, I failed.
I bought one pair of earrings for $44.17. I saved about $20 over what I normally could have purchased them for. I’m not divulging my income; but, lets say that I’m average Joe American. $44k X .0005 = $22/hour I need to save. Since I bought nothing on my list, it actually cost me $17.67/hour to shop in the madness. Black Friday-1, Josh-0. Still worth it. Black Friday is awesome.
A couple other random observations from my 2011 adventure:.
Despite all the grumbling about “recession” and such, our economy seems to be just fine. I am, however, a little concerned about our national IQ.
Although I heard rumors of a “Lord of the Flies” situation at Walmart, I saw no angry mobs this year. Bummer. I enjoy a good angry mob.
Bring on Black Friday 2012.