Students not convinced about Black Friday benefits

Masses of shoppers will lineup Thursday evening waiting for Black Friday sales, but some students plan on spending their post-Thanksgiving holiday avoiding the crowds.

“Since I don’t have a lot of money, I’m not going to waste it on Black Friday shopping,” said Jenna Gannon, a junior from El Dorado. Instead of spending money on Christmas gifts, Gannon plans to make baked goods as her presents.

And while buyers think they are getting large discounts, businesses tend to raise retail prices, making sales not as significant as they are advertised to be, said Greg Gao, a junior finance major from Shaanxi, China.

“Even though people are getting sales, they’ll end up spending more money overall,” Gao said.

Shoppers tend to overspend when they buy products on impulse simply because they think getting good deals, said William Lewis, personal finance professor.

“Black Friday is a good deal if you have self control and buy something you were going to buy anyway,” Lewis said.

When shoppers put discounted items on their credit card, the interest charged on it can negate any savings incurred and sometimes cost more, Lewis added.

Despite the perceived economic boost, increasing inventory and hiring additional staff puts a strain on retailers on Black Friday, said George Bittlingmayer, finance professor. Though businesses will likely turn a profit from Black Friday sales, the benefits to the overall economy are unclear, Bittlingmayer said.

“When you think of economic growth, this is more of a curious tribal custom and doesn’t get at the heart of whether you and I are going to be better off five or ten years from now,” Bittlingmayer said.

Although Michael Luchen, a senior from Overland Park, plans to take advantage of Apple’s App Store sales offered Friday, he’s not sold on the hype of Black Friday.

“Psychologically speaking, you think you’re getting a good deal, but really businesses are getting the better deal,” Luchen said.

Gina Galanou, a junior from Athens, Greece, plans to go shopping with her family. She will likely wait until after the crowds have subsided in the afternoon, even if it means missing the early bird sales. To avoid overspending, Galanou intends to stick within her predetermined budget.

“I’m a very careful shopper,” Galanou said. “I go out with what I want in mind, and if I find it at a good price, I will buy it.”

Marshall Schmidt is a graduate student majoring in biomedical engineering from Mount Hope. Read more from .

  • Updated Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:55 am
  • Edited by Laken Rapier