Black Friday is here and our team at SKL is ready to help you make the BEST conscious consumer decisions this year. We have compiled 7 of the most helpful questions to ask before making a Black Friday purchase (any any purchase thereafter!). Cheers to a sustainable, green, and small-business friendly Holiday Season.
These questions are great for any time of year – but are specifically geared towards the endless sales of Black Friday that can trigger us into overconsuming on a seriously terrifying scale.
What Questions Should I Ask Before Making a Black Friday Purchase?
1. Would I still want this if it wasn’t on sale?
Sales have a way of triggering consumers into purchasing on impulse without truly thinking about if they need it or not. Add the hype up of sales with the holiday season and we are in for a serious consumer trap. Studies show that the “end-of-year” consumer is far more impulsive as a buyer than at other times of the year. They apply emotional judgment rather than logical judgment to their purchase decisions. Big brands love to use various marketing manipulations or “dark patterns” – which are design choices that benefit an online service by “coercing, steering, or deceiving users into making unintended and potentially harmful decisions.”
These well-designed manipulations performed by websites during this period aim to directly affect the cognitive decision-making process, leading to impulsive, emotional-based purchasing. Scary, huh?!
2. Where will this item be in a few months? Still in Use? In the Landfill?
There are some pretty scary statistics running rampant on the internet about where our Black Friday purchases really end up at the end of the year – usually the landfill. A new report says that up to 80 percent of items—and any plastic packaging they are wrapped in—will end up either in landfill, incineration or—at best—low quality recycling, often after a very short life.
Asking yourself honestly and openly “Where will this item *REALLY* be in a few months or a year?” is a great question to avoid unwanted waste.
3. Am I being manipulated into shopping?
We all know that we are being *manipulated* by colors, flashing sales signs, and gorgeous models, but it truly does go deeper than that. We are being manipulated into shopping by thousands of variables nowadays – especially online. Email marketing, social media, influencers, green washing….the list is never ending. Keep asking yourself this question over and over – and gain true wisdom on consumerism in the process.
4. Is my anxiety taking control of my shopping habits?
Did you know that individuals who engage in compulsive shopping are usually those who have co-occuring disorders such as anxiety eating disorders, substance disorders, depression, and personality disorders? Compulsive shopping may be confused for shopping sprees during a manic episode or bipolar disorder. Shopping addictions are serious and we need to keep ourselves safe. Ask the questions and seek help. There is absolutely ZERO shame in having a shopping addiction. Seek help and heal from the anchors that hold you down.
5. How many times will I actually use this purchase?
A key question to use before making any conscious purchase decision on Black Friday and thereafter. How many times will you actually use this item in the next few months? in one year? in five years?
This question is one of the most important questions I personally ask before making a fashion or home appliance purchasing decision. If the answer is over 30 in the next few months, I know it is a sound purchase. If not, I will look for rental options or just move on.
6. Will this item serve me in the long run?
Does this item have a warranty? Repair service? How about a long life cycle? These are questions we want to ask about our purchase to ensure they serve us in the long run.
7. Am I supporting a company that aligns with my ethics? Is this company taking part in business practices that align with how I wish the world to be?
Some of our all time favourite consumer questions here at Sustainably Kind Living: Who made this item? Is this from a small and sustainable business or from a large and unsustainable business? Can I find something similar to this item from a secondhand website? Do the business practices of this company align with my ethics?
We hope these 7 conscious consumer questions to ask on Black Friday help you make the best decisions this Holiday Season! Cheers to a susty way of life.