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 izidio on Tue, 05/12/2023 - 22:42


I think that Black Friday is the day to buy things that we need for a lower price but don't have money to buy them for the normal price, without gifts or discounts. Buy Nothing Day is a good idea to make us think about our decisions concerning our money and if we really need the things that we are buying.

Submitted by LuisFrancisco on Sun, 26/11/2023 - 21:59


I definitely do not agree with spending money on unnecessary items, and "buying nothing day" is not a bad idea after all. My advice is we can invest our money in education, we can help organizations for charity, and the rest of our money we can save it.
Actually, I do not agree with "buying nothing day" due to we always can do something better with our money as long as we are conscious.

Submitted by HadeelKR99 on Wed, 22/11/2023 - 07:16


In my opinion, I see that Black Friday is a great opportunity to buy things that you need it but you can't afford there actual price , so black friday is the solution.
I agree that some people haven't control on there self to buy everything maybe they really don't need it .

Submitted by ANMG on Sun, 19/11/2023 - 23:58


Actually, I think the black friday's day is a great opportunity to buy things that you need. People have to understand that it isn't necessary buy things that they don´t need or can't afford. For example, these year I need a support for my computer, I need that and nothing else, That's why I will buy it.

Submitted by hong yuan on Sun, 19/11/2023 - 02:42


Yes,I agree .In fact, in order to satisfy my desire to shop, sometimes I buy things I don't really need. for example, I bought some clothes on Black Friday last year ,because the retailers gave good discounts, but I found that the clothes are out of fashion again this year. So I decided not to buy anything this Black Friday, I wanted to give me a challenge to see if I could control my desire to shop.

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Submitted by s'aws'an on Tue, 27/12/2022 - 22:19


I don't I need a day to splurge on buying things or a ristrected day that i don't buy anything in . we are rewarded for our self countibility and for controling out desires ,wasting is a sin ,charity is one of the most good deeds in islam ,we have the obligatory charity that rich people must give , and the volontering charity that we are so encouraged to give , generousity is a hight moral that we try to embed in our soules as much as we can ,allah told us to control our desieres , controting your desires and temptation is a strength that you'll never get to purchase if you manage to get ridof your over buying in just one day , it's accually easy to do that ,they say it's easy to get an A but it's hard to keep it . So we depend on daily small deeds to build that strength ,this is how our brain works to build a hobit ,repetetion for a long time!

Actually, I have never heard of both Black day and Buy nothing day before. It is my time to hear it and I feel not only cheerful but also wonderful at the same time. The Black day is really great as we have something aimed to give our beloved persons which are at steed prices. But, in that day, we are able to get these things with discounts or bargains from the companies. And, giving is a great merit to express love among the families members. But, as you mentioned, we need to manage and control to get rid of over buying everything you need at one sitting in that day.

Submitted by Alvin Chau on Mon, 19/12/2022 - 08:00


I'm from Vietnam. My country doesn't have the holiday of Thanksgiving like USA but we still have the Black Friday day. At that period of time, there are a lot of special offers or discounts or bargains from retailers. As as a customer, I enjoyed shopping to buy new clothes, new shoes, new fashion accessories at a good price.
I haven't ever heard about the Buy nothing day previously, but I think that its aim is pretty good as this encourages everyone to buy things that they really need only as well as saving their money.

Submitted by PPB on Wed, 30/11/2022 - 13:27


Hello everyone! I would like to share my opinon too. I agree that "Buying nothing day" it's a great idea but if everyone do that it will not be good for economy so just do a plan and buy just what you can afford, its a better option.