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Black Friday is a Scam

Black Friday is a Scam

I’m not participating in Black Friday this year (maybe never?) – both as a merchant and as a consumer. Here’s why.

I don’t know about you, but this seems to be the time of year that emails come flooding (literally hundreds! of! emails!) into my inbox about Black Friday sales.

I open a lot of them – out of perverse curiosity, or maybe because I enjoy self-inflicted torture and skim through them.

It honestly makes me feel quite gross.

Why is a computer that’s *usually* $1,500 suddenly a fraction of the cost?

Why does getting my legs waxed suddenly only cost $5?

One month of social media management services are only $200 instead of $2000?

Are you kidding me?

Is every single business owner suddenly feeling particularly charitable?

Or have we all merely been sold the lie that this is the biggest sales weekend of the year and we NEED to jump in on this to avoid “losing out”?

Something about all of this (and the inevitable reports of people getting stampeded and injured in wild rushes to buy things they don’t really need with money that probably could be better spent elsewhere makes me feel quite ick.

It also seems to me a way for megacorporations to fuel uncontrolled spending and unintentional consumption for the sake of “good deals” which manipulate people into thinking they need things when they really don’t… which is really the last thing the planet needs right now.

AND I see no good reason why small biz owners should suddenly have to discount all their products and services for this day/week/month. The value you offer with you services and digital products hasn’t changed, so why should the price change (so drastically!) for this “special weekend”?

It all doesn’t make any sense to me.

Singaporeans have these concepts of kiasu (fear of losing) and kiasi (fear of dying) and really a lot of what I see on Black Friday is this  – fear.

That’s we’re going to miss the best deal we’ve ever encountered. That we’re not going to be able to afford this person’s services unless there’s a discount. That this is the only way we’re ever going to be able to hit our revenue goals for the year.

I’m going to come out and say it – this is a LIE.

All of this uncontrolled spending and wild rush for deals and stuff is premised on the idea of scarcity.

In marketing, it’s even a technique that is taught – create false scarcity to drive sales. Put a time limit, or limit the number of product available and drive up demand.

But this whole idea that there is not enough to go around and the benefit of someone necessarily comes at the detriment to someone else is FALSE.

There is enough. For all of us. And in fact, There is more than enough for all of us and we need to ensure that there is enough for all of us by not hoarding the resources we do have.

All flourishing is mutual. – Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

This is something I’ve been coming back to again and again and I am trying to be mindful of this in how I show up in the world.

How can I support the flourishing of others around me so that I can myself flourish? Our flourishing is inextricably tied together – and on the flip side, so is our suffering.

We cannot all be well when some of us are ill.

And that’s about as far as I’ve gotten with my musings around Black Friday.

It feels scammy and unaligned with my values so I will not be offering steep discounts and big bonuses for my work.

However, I do want to support other business owners in any small way that I can – maybe as a f*ck you to the system?

Which is why I’m giving away things for FREE.

Yup. 100% free, no strings attached. No countdown timer for when the offer expires.

Get one year’s worth of content ideas for free. Download it when you want, when you’re ready, if and when you need it. This link will take you to the download page.

And that’s it. That’s my tiny way of rebelling against this rubbish capitalist system that promotes overconsumption and mindless consumerism that we live under.

It sucks. As my colleague Lauren Kay Roberts says: It’s not you, it’s the system.

Well friend, navigating life in this world is complicated and there aren’t any easy answers (or at least, I don’t have them). I’m just along for the ride.

What are your thoughts on Black Friday? Are you participating as a merchant or a consumer?

I’d love to know.

Love ya, hate the system we live under,

P.S. If you find a great deal for a product you would have bought at full price or that you really want/need, then I say go for it.