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. 

Discussion

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Intermediate: B1
Some people buy a service as a compliment from a shop staff instead of purchasing a product. ;)
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
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.
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.
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.
Actually buy nothing day is a good day for u , if u dont have enugh money to buy something.Thats me for sure :)
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.
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 :)
Hello everyone I’m TR7GAMING and I agree BlackFriday because it allows me to buy fortnite skins.
Black Friday is cool, I enjoy to buy what I like at special discounts, but is true that We can go, quite easily, out of control. What I do is to define a list of desired objects and then I stay on that list, it’s a good way to have a responsible behavior and a great fun at the same time.
Usually I take advantage of the Black Friday for buying a few items really essential for me, but I avoid the shops and I buy on line. However, I think society's rapidly spreading consumerism is about to run out, especially in this period right now, because the Covid 19 is pushing everyone to change our minds and our habits.
I personally don't like black Friday although I have never tired to buy items on black friday But I think it's quite problematic especially for the environment because people are already consuming tonnes of clothes on regular basis which is already harming the environment and if people go and buy tonnes of items that's they don't really need they will wind up throwing it away which is would cause problem for the environment
Buying what a person really needs with a realistic discount is acceptable, but overcrowded and purchasing just to get the offer will result in chaos and negative environmental impacts.
My opinion is that many people buy by compulcion the day of black friday and Buy Nothing Day because at this time several companies They carry out promotions on their products for sale in order to attract these excessive buyers. I think some businesses use this to trick people into spending their money faster.
I think black Friday is a great chance to get clothes for a cheaper Price. Additionally we in Austria have the opportunity to shop online and the advantage is that we are able to compare the prices and the products easily. Moreover we have the possibility to visit the shops and try the clothes immediately on, so we can make sure the clothes suits and fits ourselves.
I avoid going shopping since the shops and the streets are super crowded which is annoying. And I´ll probably just pay through the nose and buy stuff that I don’t actually use or need which will probably make my parents really mad.
I also think that this Black Friday shopping is out of control. In 2019 I made a big mistake and went shopping to a mall on Black Friday. Well, the outcome was that I had to wait one hour at the cash desk just to buy one jacket and the store was completely messed up because there were so many people. Otherwise, it is a great opportunity to buy something you saved up for a long time.
I don't really like Black Friday because it is too stressful. Many people are willing to buy expensive stuff and don't realize the price changed only for a few pounds. Sometimes I even think that the price didn't change at all. Also, people don't realize that they bought too many things and spend too much money on stuff they didn't need.
It's understandable that peope are attracted to buy something on black friday and I think you can shop without fighting for a product. You hurt other people and thats not how grown ups should act.
I hate to go to stores on black Friday because there are always so many people. I prefer online shopping on Black Friday because it is not that stressful as go to a store. I really like shopping and usually I prefer go to stores but on black Friday there are definitely to many people for me.
I hate black fridays, because there are so many people that I just get a bad feeling. There often getting aggressive here in austria and furthermore I think you shouldn´t copy things of other states. Every country has it´s own unique traditions for example austria has the narzissenfest... etc. before the 1990s there wasn´t anything of black fridays, halloween and other american traditions.
I agree that people tend to buy things they don’t need, but at the same time, it's a good chance for some consumers to get things they wanted. But I also like the idea of the "Buy Nothing Day". To buy nothing for 24 hours is a good idea to raise awarness of how to be a more ethical consumer. (^_^)
I do agree to the articl because on black friday people tend to buy to much what the don`t need it`s just a day to waste money. But I think the buy nothing day is a good Idea.If you go there you should just buy things what you would by with out the discount.
Black Friday is not in my country culture and unfortunately it been fashion for several years. I think Black Friday can be good if you really need things and this fights between people is very disgusting in this day. if the malls are quiet,I prefer to buy things. I do not like overcrowded places.
Because of it, I agree that people tend to buy things they don’t need, but at the same time, it's a good chance for smart consumers to get things they wanted. By the way, I like the idea of "Buy Nothing Coat Exchange". I'm thinking to donate coats next November to protest Buy Nothing Day. ((꜆꜄•௰•)꜆꜄꜆»♡
I can't agree more. Almost every products have special discount at special holiday. The price is really attractive. Also, buy them with credit card can own extra reward. If you can't control yourself on such this kind of holiday, you might lost a lot of money.
I don't wait Black Friday and I don't buy things which I needn't. But I can buy the item which I need if it's cheaper in this day.
I have heard of “Black Monday” but never heard of “Black Friday”. So I would probably spend the day as normal = bare essence of life!
Black Friday has been implanted in my country recently but there is no many real discounts anyway, just a ton of illusory propagandas.
Actually I do nothing special on Black Friday, because there is no relevant event in my country. I just know Black Friday from movies . I watched it in movies or on instagram people who run to shop and fight over something to buy. Black Friday seems interesting, It is tempting to buy cheaper. By the way this kind of shopping is not my type. I hate to go to an overcrowded shop to buy something I'd rather spend more money to buy in quiet and empty shop.
In my country we don't have Black Friday. Retailer sale some item with discount price at end of year or after new year.It is biggest shopping day in Japan.Retailer don't rest during end of year to new year.Even though online shopping is getting common. New year day is busiest day for fashion store.I don't want to go there.because I can get item on the internet easily.I don't agree to buy unneccesary item on a bargains.I'm minimalist. I would store money .
Living in a minimalist as well as shopping is also recently fashioned. I tried to live as a minimalist woman who likes to shop, but unfortunately I failed. even though I promised myself more times, I still shopped on black friday. I know it's completely psychological. In fact, I don't think there is a discount on the products in my country that day. then I regret. but then again I get. it's hard to be a woman.
Hi Everybody, First of all; Good evening everybody also I like this webpages. thank for everything. We have to talk and ask questions about shopping. We see more different new world order than compared to the past. İn the old times, People couldn't find even a sliece of bread. They had worn clothes long times but today everthing is very different. You don't wear one more time if you wore new clothes first time. Really I don't understand anything the system İn that the prices can be very low price.Why they sell products low prices every time.That make no sense. My friends, The system deceive to us. Why just one day I can't stand this situation. We must say stop. We musn't buy much clothes, shoes, foods, phones... We should buy just as needed. We shouldn't buy new mobile phone İf it don't break down but We should
In China, we have a similar day on the Single's Day,11 November. It's held by some e-commerce giants like Taobao. Many people buy a lot of things online and off-line because there are usually huge discounts! I also enjoy this day because I can buy something I really need like glasses, winter coats and snacks at a premium. BUT I do not agree buying unneccessary items.
I didn't buy anything on Black Friday because in my country Greece, the discount is not good at all...
I won't buy anything, because I needn't nothing. I need to save money for my next vacation. Yes, I agree that people buy things they don’t need and can’t afford, because most of them in my country are consumerists.
I have sometimes bought things on line on Black Friday and I agree that the risk to buy useless goods is very high. My suggestion is to be prepared with a list of what you need and look only for that. Better if you have checked the prices the days before.
There is no Black Friday in southeast asia. But, most shopkeeper offers a good deals for Cristmast and New Year. In my point of view, Black Friday is the day we should waiting for. We can save money through the year, and spend it for Black Friday. We could get extra discount, cashback etc at that day, and that means we can save money for buy other thing we need. The decision to buy is based from our need. I prefer going to shopping centre during The Black Friday instead of celebrates Buy Nothing Day
Let me tell something about me..most of the days in month are buy nothing for me its funny but true becoz i dont have a job and unemploy.i dont know how people find it difficult to not buy anything..however its a good idea to celeberate this day as it raise awareness in the people who spent alot and buy things they don't..
Hello, Kirk, Regarding the preparation task, there are 8 items but only 3 group of words. And it cannot be more then one answer per group. Also, I think that the answer from the first question of task 1 does not appear in the text. Best regards,

Hi Cris2

In the Preparation task, you have to click or press on the small hand (in the top right corner of each word or phrase) to move it. When there is already a word or phrase inside a group, you have to click or press on top of the small hand to move a second word or phrase into the group.

I think the second sentence of the task makes it fairly clear that the answer to question 1 is the second answer.

I'm sorry you've had trouble with the exercises and I hope what I've explained helps.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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