Black Friday and Buy Nothing Day

Black Friday and Buy Nothing Day

Every year in November, people look for bargains on Black Friday. But did you know that the same day is also Buy Nothing Day?


Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the day after the American holiday of Thanksgiving, which is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Because it is a holiday in the United States, it has long been a popular day for consumers to start shopping for Christmas. Over the last 20 years big retailers have started to offer discounts and bargains on this day, and it has become more and more popular. Last year, people in the USA spent an estimated $54.7 billion between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving, when people often buy more online). The idea of Black Friday has also spread around the world. For example, in 2017, people in the UK spent the equivalent of $10.3 billion, in Germany $7.6 billion and in France $6.2 billion.

Is Black Friday out of control?

Many of us love to get a bargain, but some feel that events like Black Friday encourage people to buy things that they don’t really need and can’t afford. Many people seem to completely lose control of both their spending and their tempers. It is easy to find video online of customers physically fighting each other over bargains. It is also argued that Black Friday is bad for small shopkeepers, who cannot afford to offer the kinds of price cuts that the big companies can. 

What’s the alternative to Black Friday? 

Instead of taking the opportunity to buy as much as possible on Black Friday, you could do the opposite and buy absolutely nothing. Since 1997, Buy Nothing Day has been held on the same day as Black Friday. The rules are simple. Just don’t buy anything at all for 24 hours. Many people are surprised how difficult this actually is. The aim is to make people think more about their spending and to make better decisions about what they buy and where they buy it from.

Ethical spending

As well as spending less and not buying unnecessary items, Buy Nothing Day aims to raise awareness of how to be a more ethical consumer. For example, you can avoid buying ‘fast fashion’, that is, very cheap clothes that are worn a few times before being thrown away. Or you could decide not to automatically upgrade your mobile at the end of a contract. These kinds of decisions can help to protect the environment as well as saving you money. 

What else can you do on Buy Nothing Day? 

Some people carry out protests at shopping centres. Others avoid the shops completely and go for a walk in nature instead. Another alternative, the Buy Nothing Coat Exchange, is an idea which is spreading. People donate winter coats throughout November and anyone who needs one can come and take one on Buy Nothing Day. 


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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Mon, 28/12/2020 - 13:31

Some people buy a service as a compliment from a shop staff instead of purchasing a product. ;)

Submitted by Murat on Sun, 27/12/2020 - 21:28

Hello i am Murat. i think that both this special days Black Friday and Buy Nothing Day should not be in same day. İ support Buy Nothing Day but if this day maintain to celebrate in this day it wouldn't be taken notice by people. Many people cannot afford themself to buy everthing they need owing to they could wait this day to buy what they nees necessary items while knowing Black Friday is encouraged spending a lot of money. I hope Buy Nothing Day,'s date will change and will be a lot of events across the world to pay attention to spend money that we have many choose such as organization which help poor peole, who cannot take a good education etc. i hope

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Fri, 25/12/2020 - 10:51

I would like to buy some necessary things for me on Black Friday.I'm going to shopping without any money not to buy at all but I would like to see beautiful and wonderful displays on Buy Nothing Day this year. Yeah, l agree.Most people used to do so.
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Submitted by danisep on Wed, 09/12/2020 - 01:38

No, I’m not agree with spending in an unnecessary way but there is a social pressure to do it. It is like a competition, my neighbor buys a new tv and I feel like I need a new tv, I cannot stay behind my neighbor. I feel the necessity to show that I can also afford and spend money. rich people buy 5 cars and just drive one or have a mansion with 10 rooms and mostly use a part of the house, I think that it is just because they want to show that they can afford it and show their economic power. it is like if you want to have a quality life you must live in a big house and go to an expensive and selective club, wear expensive clothes and all those things. It is something that we can watch in American movies, unconsciously we get trapped in that idea.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Mon, 30/11/2020 - 13:15

Does anyone know about White Friday Day?? ;)

Submitted by Dmytro on Sun, 29/11/2020 - 20:50

This question is not simple just to whether agree or not on it. It depends on the particular country, on the financial situation of its residents, on local markets. There are a lot of talks about big bargains when it comes to Black Friday. In fact, all that hype often is overrated. Discounts are not significant to attract crowds to buy tons of unnecessary stuff. Very often purchases were planned out for Black Friday in order to get the best price.

Submitted by Thomas Alva on Sat, 28/11/2020 - 08:01

Actually buy nothing day is a good day for u , if u dont have enugh money to buy something.Thats me for sure :)

Submitted by SORAIDA on Fri, 27/11/2020 - 15:43

In my opinion, some people buy a lot of things they do not need because of the sales. I never buy thing on black days, because I do not like shopping when the stores are crowded. I prefer to buy items when the shopping centers are with few shoppers.

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Tue, 24/11/2020 - 16:55

Ooo, that year in UK is easier for me, because I love to spend money about nothing... Really, I know that`s wrong... I awarness... but I can`t stop... I need new shoes, new dress.... bag, face cream, new furniture.. That is wrong passion... But that year I still didn`t buy something... I hope I will celebrate Buy Nothing Day and I will save money :) O, yes! I`m agree with that we buy stupid things when we see bargain,discount... Things which we will use 1 or 2 times... We don`t need to waste our money, that year I will try :)