Black Friday: Consumerism or Smart Shopping?

Black Friday, a day to celebrate consumerism or a big opportunity to save money? Here’s how web entrepreneurs and other professionals can benefit from Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

I

nstead of sitting home and overthinking I thought of going around the city of Thessaloniki this morning. This is not such a cold November’s morning in Thessaloniki. It may be a rainy day but for the time being it isn’t raining. Let’s hope it stays that way, although I do have an umbrella but you never know.

I think I’ve shot a lot of b-roll for this video but you never know if it’s enough before it’s time to edit. See how thoughtful my dad is of me? I’m considering including him more and more in these videos, in the episodes and have a segment dedicated to his funny quotes…

So, is today’s one a vlog? I dunno, I’m just documenting things such as the pigeons, or my dad’s message or everything else I’ve shot till now.

I tried doing an episode on Black Friday, sort of a documentary but I needed tons of b-roll, for which I would have to go downtown inside the stores which isn’t one of my strengths, my favorite thing…

And in the end that episode was left unfinished and I’d rather do something like this.

Usually on Monday mornings I’m at home preparing my little one for school but she’s sick today and stayed with her mother so it was one of the few chances I have to go out very early in the morning. And since every video that respects itself has drone shots let’s show some of those!

In fact I cheated a bit since these were shot yesterday over here at a location I am visiting often to test out my gear which leads though to footage that I never publish. Thus, today’s video was a good reason to show what I shot yesterday.

Because in that Black Friday’s episode I said a few things that I think it’d be nice to be heard and because today isn’t a regular Monday but it’s Cyber Monday I suggest we listen to some parts of that episode. I’ll insert some B-roll to with them so that we don’t get bored which I believe won’t be too relevant to the story but I’ll try filling the gaps somehow.

Black Friday is the Friday right after Thanksgiving in USA and the past few years it has been a trend in Europe and inevitably, in Greece. For many it’s the celebration of consumerism, since, with the excuse of the big deals that shopping malls offer on the majority of their products they end up buying things they don’t need and would never think of buying. For other it’s just another day, some snob it while for some unfortunate folks it may be their worst day:for the people working in the malls.

For people like me though, it’s the day, or should I say the week given the deals are available before and after that Friday going past Cyber Monday, that is the Monday right after that weekend when we renew annual subscriptions of software and buy products, services and other gear that we have singled out all the previous months! For example:

For editing my photos I use Lightroom, for video editing and for producing these videos, I use Premiere Pro, and for filling and signing official documents of my company, I use Acrobat. All these are pieces of software by Adobe for which I pay an annual subscription, the so-called Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

This week, like every year I’ll renew my subscription since I know for a fact that I’ll keep using all that software in the next year saving me a big chunk of money.

For running and developing websites one of the many services that help me is MyThemeShop’s themes and plugins. Here also, by paying a reasonable amount of money in my opinion I get many tools that will save me time during the launch of a new website.

In 600 meters, turn left.

Of course, there are also one-time deals that we can benefit from only once. In that fashion, WPEngine, where I host my websites although they offer great deals these days for new customers we, the old ones, cannot take advantage of. Obviously, by doing so companies try to win over new customers on Black Friday who will be “forced” to stay customers in the future by paying the full price. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing for me when the service justifies it and is truly worth it, like WPEngine in this instance.

Obviously, I would love to pay 8 instead of 12 months for hosting my websites for a year especially when I’m paying for their most expensive plan. Yet, I haven’t found a better solution I’m hugely satisfied by their services and customer support while moving websites to new servers (after the first year) is never an easy task. In addition, by paying up in front, I am charged for 10 instead of 12 months. It’s something after all.

Thus, Black Friday is a good day to cut down operating costs of a business especially when it’s a web business. Since internet services are the core of their costs I believe it’s no-brainer for a web entrepreneur to take advantage of Black Friday’s deals.

Quickly… Quickly, I’m goin… In a hurry, before the Service store closes for the day I’m going to pick up the lens which I had dropped in Skyros during the summer and the glass was damaged and in general, photos were coming out not that sharp. So, I hope they have fixed that.

On the other hand, it’s easy to be carried away and make unreasonable purchases. We all feel we need a new camera, a new TV a new keyboard, a bigger hard drive, or even a drone. Usually though, deals are offered on older products luring us to visit the stores for that reason and ending up buying more stuff, quite often in non-affordable prices especially, on newly released products.

Matt talked of that phenomenon in a recent video which was the spark for me to shoot mine today. Yet, since Matt is a passionate minimalist obviously Black Friday wouldn’t have been his favorite day.

In my opinion we don’t have to go to the extremes and usually the middle ground is the best option. In simple words, like it’s not appropriate to run over other people on stores’ Friday opening and to charge our credit cards up to their maximum buying useless stuff just because it’s Black Friday, in the same way I think it’s irrational to buy things impatiently two weeks earlier or during Christmas season just to say we haven’t been victims of the Black Friday’s frenzy.

More often than not I recommend not doing what the crowd does. In this occasion as well, I’ll suggest doing what only a few do: to make a plan of our future purchases quite a long time before and to keep an eye for deals only on items and services we have previously singled out that we really have a need for. As always, our goal is to make more money and not save money since there’s that much you can save while in making money, sky’s the limit.

Thus, if a device or service helps you save time or make more money so that you improve your way of living you don’t have to think about it. Buy it! If now, you save some money on the purchase due to Black Friday, that’s even better! Patience is a virtue, they say!

One of the tests I did back then to check out how faulty the lens had been was to take a picture of Bitcoin’s chart and noticed that the fonts were a bit blurry. So, here, in a bit of a hurry I took this picture.

I think things look ok and I expect it to have been fixed completely. I’ll run more tests over the next couple of days.

In the end, I am Jim Makos a nickname I’m using online since the first time I logged in back in 1995 and here in my YouTube channel we discuss various topics that are more of an excuse for me to get out and use my cameras more, it’s just that today it’s raining and…

You may learn more about me and the things I’ve dealt with over the past 15 years on my personal website, at JimMakos.com. Until the next episode, spend wisely! Goodbye!