Each year since the advent of e-commerce, online sales have slowly grown and begun to outpace in-store purchases at the holidays. Some people prefer the hectic nature of buying at a store on Black Friday. I've known people who actually enjoy getting up at 4 a.m. and standing in line.
There is also the question of the digital divide that still exists in America. For the many who have bank accounts, credit cards and electronic devices for purchasing gifts for our families, there are just as many without those things, who need the store experience to pay with cash.
However, now with mobile devices so readily available and a variety of payment options opening up to everyone, it's no wonder Black Friday is starting to lose some of its luster. For me, it's never had any and here's why.
You can get anything you want.
Want a pair of Dr. Who tardis slippers? No problem. Want to encourage someone to drink more healthy milk with the gift of...organic milk? You got it. Of course there are also TVs, phones, tablets, toys and all the other assorted goods you and yours might desire for the holidays. You think Target is going to have this kind of selection? Think again.
They bring it to your door...or better yet, send it wrapped to the recipient.
This has, for me, been one of the best arguments for buying online since it began. Not only is it more convenient and just a generally better option for buying, but the stuff shows up on your porch like magic. When I recently got married, almost every day there were boxes on my front porch, purchases from our wedding registry. It was like Christmas every damn day!
You might have to get up, but you don't have to leave your house...or get dressed.
No doubt some Cyber Monday sales begin at the crack of dawn and being in the right place online is an important part of getting what you want. But you can do it in bed on your laptop or tablet or phone. You never have to get up, and when you are done, you're still in bed. Back to sleep with you, son!
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The deals are just as good.
That's the real magic of buying online. Despite all the sales flyers and TV ads, you can find as many cheap flat-screens and "doorbuster" deals online as you can in the store. In some cases, they are even better. Sure, there isn't the instant gratification of ripping the last Xbox One from the hands of a crying child, but you get to keep your humanity.
Your chances of getting trampled are nearly zero.
Maybe your cat might run across your feet or something, but hundreds of people desperate for a cheap electronic device won't drive their shoes into your skull in a frenzied panic. And, you know, you'll live to see the next Cyber Monday.