It’d be fine if the unbridled enthusiasm for Black Friday and Cyber Monday remained safely on its side of the mall—along with Spencer’s Gifts, Orange Julius, and the hordes of red-and-green-sweater-clad holiday-sale worshipers. But noooo. What we have instead is a world in which everyone keeps asking everyone else, “What are you buying, where are you going, and who’s got the best deals?” This year, don’t be at a loss for words: We’ve assembled eight reasons to avoid Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Green Tuesday. Feel free to bust out these logic bombs any time a crazed mall shopper pesters you about your holiday-spending plans.
1. Black Friday isn’t the biggest shopping day of the year—it’s just the most crowded.
Traditionally, the biggest retail shopping day of the year is the weekend before Christmas. What Black Friday may actually be is the busiest retail day for window shopping. “People just want to get out and do something on that day,” a director of U.S. retail and consumer products for Ernst & Young admits. So go ahead and battle demophobia (fear of crowds) while tussling for subpar sales. We’ll be elsewhere, not getting elbows thrown in our face.
2. Savings occur only in specific product categories
Whether or not Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best days for sales depends on what you’re buying. The Wall Street Journal tracked several popular gift items over the year and found that Black Friday is only the best bet if you’re buying certain Apple products, Xboxes, and items that retailers overestimated demand for and now have a surplus of. If Santa isn’t putting iPads or gaming consoles in people’s stockings this year, Black Friday may not be the sales day for you—er, Santa.
3. Buying gifts earlier in the year may actually save you more money.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are bad bets if you want your loved ones to find Ugg boots, watches, or jewelry under the tree, as these items went up in price as the year wore on. In one case last year, the average price of a 46-inch Samsung flat-screen TV went up a whopping $200 between October and Black Friday.