I feel we are quite similar, you and I, and therefore I assume you probably run like hell from any mention of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Cyber Week and the whole bloody fandango.
You probably don’t even really know what it is. Okay, let’s have a quick lesson (I might learn a few things myself).
WHAT IS CYBER WEEK?
Cyber week is an American import where stores across the board slash their prices around Thanksgiving (this year 22nd November) order to encourage a pre-Christmas spendathon. Stores will start offering discounts from tomorrow. YES TOMORROW. But the major windfalls will happen between this Wednesday and Friday. And then bottom out on Monday the 26th – but leave your shopping until then and you might find that everything has gone.
WHAT IS BLACK FRIDAY?
Black Friday is the Friday closest to Thanksgiving, which is always on a Thursday. Discounts! Discounts! Spend, spend, spend.
WHAT IS CYBER MONDAY?
Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving. SPEND! SPEND SPENNNNNNDDDD!
It’s all, outwardly, pretty hateful isn’t it.
Like, I would so much rather pay full price for something and shop with dignity, at my leisure, than scramble at “deals” like some slack-jawed consumer-zombie in this small window of buy-buy-buy that makes you realise that we’re all kind of like these money hamsters on money wheels, just feeding the big shopping mall machine.
BUT, ladies. But, but, but.
The other year my husband and I were sitting around on Black Friday and Giles said “Hang on, we do actually need a new telly. It’s Black Friday, should we get one?” And I went “OMG yeah,” and I went online and bought a nice new telly to replace the one that was totally bust with a zig-zaggy picture on 3 out of 5 channels and it only cost about a third of what it should have. And I changed my attitude there and then.
And as we all know, changing your mind about stuff is the best way to stave off old age.
So I propose that the way to approach Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Digital Saturday – (and “RAM Sunday” and “Bit.ly Tuesday”) – is the way you ought to approach any sale: make a list of the things that you want and if they come up, then great! And if not, don’t buy any old thing just because it’s the sale.
I know it’s a bit stressful, though – especially if you are on Instagram a lot; it’s very much in the Instagrammar/publisher’s interest for their followers to go bananas during “Cyber Week” because we all get commission on sales. And in the past that’s all felt a bit dirty to me – it’s probably part of my shame/secretive behaviour cycle thing and I must remember to bring it up with my shrink on Friday.
But there really is no good reason not to take advantage of this seasonal blow-out. This is all a roundabout way of me saying I will be covering Cyber Week a bit because I do, genuinely, think it’s a good time to get a few (or maybe all?) your Christmas presents – if want you’re looking for has money off – then why not get it now?
I say all this airily, but I may well have a nervous breakdown after ten minutes and post a Jerry Maguire-type apocalyptic self-destructive message about The Man, encouraging everyone to go and live up a tree.
But the plan right now goes like this: I receive hot-off-the-press notification when stores start their Cyber Week sales from the affiliate companies I work with. So they email me as soon as, for example, The White Company releases its (cross fingers) 50% off everything code, and I email you, you get your ass online and buy all your Christmas presents for £25.
I haven’t got terribly much to do next week so I’m free to sit at my desk and watch the offers coming in and pass them onto you as soon as they are released.
In some places, you go online and the discounts are there already, in others you have to have a code – either way I will let you know.
Your homework, (because this isn’t supposed to be fun, you know), is have a browse now at all the major players – Selfridges, Net a Porter, The White Company, John Lewis or Hush or wherever else you might do your Christmas shopping – (they will ALL be taking part in this unholy frenzy) – and earmark the things you want. For example the Hush Sissy draped blouse, which has been very popular has a lot of sizes still in stock, (I think Hush have sorted out their historical running-out-of-everything problem), and if you’re on it, you will get your own at a discount and feel very smart.
If you need some inspiration for gifts for other people, there is a new Shop page on The Spike which might help – I will keep updating it.
Anyway have in your mind what you want, do not get something just for the sake of it, and I think you will clean up.
If the whole thing brings you out in hives, just delete my emails as they come in, close your eyes and avoid the internet until a week on Tuesday and you’ll be fine.