Buy Nothing Day Is This Friday

Some wily retailers would have you think the day after Thanksgiving is some sort of “Black Friday” where you’re supposed to get up before the roosters and claw with other shoppers over “amazing” deals. Actually, it’s really “Buy Nothing Day,” where, in solidarity with anti-consumers around the globe, you don’t spend any money at all. Some might argue you’re swapping one mob mentality for another, but at least one costs less.

Buy Nothing Day [Adbusters]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mills says:

    And if the anti-consumer aspect doesn’t appeal to you, do it for the employees who have to open the store at 4 am and the ones who were in on Thanksgiving stocking the store with all those door-busters.

  2. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    Yes, because supporting the local and global economies is a bad idea. Joblessness and poverty is better apparently.

  3. MyCokesBiggerThanYours says:

    @Mills: What are you saying? Youu want the employees NOT to get paid!?

  4. MercuryPDX says:

    Is it ok to lump this in with the “Don’t buy gas on XX/XX/XXXX!” emails? The both have the same end result, no?

  5. MercuryPDX says:

    In a startling coincidence, I just got this in my email:

    Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping

  6. mexifelio says:

    My checking account balance already sent me this memo…

  7. zuvembi says:

    Meh, I intend to spend Friday at home mucking about with the family. I’ll probably work on my Mom’s bicycle – upgrading it to aluminum rims (650A) and seven speed trigger shifters.

    I’ll probably intersperse it with some Guitar Hero 3 (when I can pry it away from my wife). Maybe I’ll take a trip to the library or take a perambulation around the neighborhood.

    Really though, anything other than dealing with the masses of shopping crazed consumers sounds good to me.

  8. @MercuryPDX: “What Would Jesus Buy?” looks like it’s going to be hysterical.

    It doesn’t have to have the same result as “Don’t buy gas on XX/XX/XXXX!” as long as everyone who doesn’t go out on Black Friday stagger out when they do go shopping. I think the point is not to participate in the general insanity that goes on that day, not to avoid buying anything at all.

  9. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    Is it ok to do some shoping online? Because that’s what I’ll be doing between playing PC games & eating leftovers. :D

  10. UpsetPanda says:

    Whether you decide to go shopping or not, those same employees still have to go in and stock the shelves Thanksgiving night, and they still have to open the doors at 4 am. Not participating in the frenzy isn’t going to change the fact that they’ve still got to get up. Even if only 5 people were to show up, they still have to open the doors, because they’re expecting shoppers.

  11. humphrmi says:

    @Mills: So, what, we make all the employees who get up at 4:00 AM and spend Thanksgiving stocking happier by making all their efforts pointless?

  12. Saboth says:

    “Some might argue you’re swapping one mob mentality for another, but at least one costs less.”

    The post is in error. It costs less to not shop when sales are in place? Therefore I should buy my gifts when items are full price? Since: “hey, I didn’t get you anything for xmas this year” won’t fly, you have to assume you are buying something.


    Buying gifts on sale costs less than buying gifts when they are not on sale.

  13. coan_net says:

    I support this 100%. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not go out and buy anything on the so called “Black Friday”!!!

    (this way there is less of a crowd for when I’m out shopping)

  14. noquarter says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint: “Whether you decide to go shopping or not, those same employees still have to go in and stock the shelves Thanksgiving night, and they still have to open the doors at 4 am.

    Yes, but at least you’re no longer part of the reason why. It’s a movement in its infancy, and it will only be pointless (over time) if a majority of people dismiss it as you just have.

  15. vanilla-fro says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: thank you. I don’t think this is some plan to bring the stores to their knees.

  16. noquarter says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: “Yes, because supporting the local and global economies is a bad idea. Joblessness and poverty is better apparently.

    You’re not exactly an economist, are you?

    Increasing your ecological footprint by buying crap that nobody needs is bad for the planet, and it’s short-sighted to claim that the economy needs you to do so.

  17. @CaffeinatedSquint, @humphrmi: Maybe next year they won’t have to go in at the butt crack of dawn if it stops being profitable for the company to make them.

  18. vanilla-fro says:

    @vanilla-fro: also, are the deals really that sweet and if they are…..don’t they have more sales later anyway?

    Chances are the prices are all jacked up a month before black friday so that when they lower the prices on the door busters, they still make a killing and may in fact still be selling the crap for full price.***

    *** may not be true, but it wouldn’t surprise anybody on here I bet.

  19. UpsetPanda says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: I kind of doubt that it’ll ever stop being profitable. Call my cynical, but I just don’t think consumers will ever be able to ignore a good sale.

  20. hn333 says:

    Count me in, I never shop on black Friday. I’m cheap and I don’t need anything right now.

  21. hn333 says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: Oh boo hoo. Still not shopping.

  22. humphrmi says:

    @noquarter: Good luck with that.

  23. humphrmi says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation: Have you seen the turnover rates at retail stores that do Black Friday? “Maybe next year” … sorry I can’t see how that could make any employees happy this year.

  24. Jeff_McAwesome says:

    @vanilla-fro: Most of the deals are crap, but if you look hard you can find some good ones. Best Buy is selling a pretty slick TV for $1200 that normally runs $1900-$2000 and has been at that price for months. Unless they conspired to raise the prices for 4 straight months, that is a pretty good deal.

  25. KJones says:

    What are you, a shill for the Resident, George Putz? “The way to defeat terrorism is to buy things!” That’s how you sound.

    In case you couldn’t grasp the concept, the buycott that is “Buy Nothing Day” is voluntary, it’s not a law. You sound like buttheads (a/k/a smokers) who freak out at any mention of “Cold Turkey Day”.

  26. MaliBoo Radley says:

    I’m not going to shop on Friday because I bloody well hate the crowds. Besides, Friday is the day me and my DH drive up to see a friend. We’ll be on the road and rockin’ out.

  27. mk says:

    The Friday after Thanksgiving is a normal day for me, except that the train less crowded, the office is practicaly empty and I can actually get stuff done because I’m not being bugged annoying coworkers. So it’s like a vacation day at work. I won’t be buying anything other than train fare.

  28. frankadelic says:


    Haahaa, you said it better than I ever could.

    I can’t handle the crowds on Black Friday.

  29. Gev says:

    The only thing more annoying than insanity that’s Black Friday are the sanctimonious anti-consumers who equate the whole thing to evil.

    I think I’ll buy something I don’t need on Friday out of spite.

  30. Mills says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: It would be nice if part-time employees received holiday pay, and if working retail meant that you got the same holidays off as office-workers.

    But I’ve also worked retail for several holiday seasons, and I have a different perspective on the extended holiday hours, horrible scheduling, and overconsumption in America.

  31. UpsetPanda says:

    @KJones: I don’t think it’s that people don’t get the voluntary aspect of the whole thing, it’s just that a bunch of us are probably sick of getting crap from people who tell us that we’d be saving the environment if we’d only not shop on Black Friday. Whatever.

  32. theblackdog says:

    @coan_net: I agree, if only to save the children the displeasure of standing in the long lines. Won’t someone think of the children?!?!

  33. forgeten says:

    @Mills: No offense but I would think that a large portion of people on this site have worked retail during the holidays. And when working retail you should realize that ‘hey , I am gonna have to work alot near holidays’. Just a heads up cpas have to work alot during tax time.

    “buy nothing day” is rather silly and proves nothing. If you’re gonna buy a tv it doesn’t matter when you buy it. If you honestly think you consume to much you should reduce it though out the year not on some magical day

  34. girlontheqm1a says:

    I hate shopping at Christmas time because crowds make me extremely anxious, but my sister-in-law talked me into going out last year on Black Friday. It was way less crowded than I expected, there WERE a lot of bargains, and I got lots of early shopping done, which I hardly ever do.

    That said, I STILL think it’s a good idea to join a little movement to not go shopping on Black Friday, and this is MY main reason: The ads keep telling us to buy, buy, buy. Women especially are supposed to LOVE shopping. I sometimes like finding a bargain, but I hate shopping. Even worse, I hate being told what to do by advertisers and random socialital rules.

  35. liquisoft says:

    What if instead of participating in black friday and this buy nothing nonsense, we all just donate whatever money we would’ve spent that day to charity? That way we still part with our hard-earned cash, but instead of going into the pockets of wealthy CEO’s it goes into the mouths of poor children. HOORAY!

  36. workingonyourinvoice says:

    @forgeten: There’s a difference between “I’m going to have to work a lot near holidays” and “I have to be up a 3am the day after Thanksgiving, deal with 10,000 cheap bastards, and work 18 hours before cleaning up the massive mess at the end”. Trust me. I worked Apple Retail’s highest volume store (in our region) last black friday.

    Working black friday SUCKS.

  37. Notsewfast says:

    I have never worked retail, but I have to agree with Forgeten, as a part-time employee, you work when you are needed and, in retail that is during the holidays. It comes with the territory. I only get true days off when the markets are closed, whether I’m on vacation or not, but that’s what I choose to do and I don’t complain about it or ask for extra compensation.

    Those of us who work in offices don’t have “shifts” and we don’t get to request days off with no penalty. There are trade-offs and if you want a better job, go to school, work hard and get one. At very least, try to climb up to management where you might have a more normal schedule.

  38. MsClear says:

    We live in a massive global economy. The particular economy of the US is based almost completely on consumption. This is unsustainable. See the issues with the credit markets for evidence.

    In the face of this consumerist machine, what can one do? One can choose to opt out and conserve one’s resources for necessary things, rather than more empty possessions.

    I plan to participate.

  39. Lin-Z [linguist on duty] says:

    This is my second black friday in retail. I would appreciate it if most of you bought nothing but if some of you bought things so i can earn some commission, you know since I’ve got to be there anyway.

  40. djhopscotch says:


    Thats why some people decided to go to college, you kow since retail jobs aren’t as glamorous as people say they are, no wait, no one thinks retail is glamorous.

    Whaa i have a crap job. Whaa i don’t wanna go o work early. Go get your shine box.

  41. EvilSquirrel says:

    I think stores are already killing the black Friday concept with internet sales and efforts to get people to shop earlier in the year. The important thing to remember is that Christmas Eve or the last Saturday before Christmas always work out to be the biggest shopping days of the year. Consumer laziness is still the biggest driving force on when people will shop.

    I await some retailer to offer a Black Friday in June sale to go with my Christmas in July celebration.

  42. forgeten says:

    @WorkingOnYourInvoice: I am quite aware how much working during the holidays sucks. Personally Christmas eve to me is worse since thats when I always had the really special killjoys. But I realized that this was part of the job and when I decided it was to much I moved on.

  43. joewhyit says:

    From the point of view of someone who works in retail, and has to be in early as hell on Friday, I implore you, please, obey this. I can’t speak for everyone in retail, but I’d be willing to bet there are others who think as I do.

    See, if you don’t come in, we don’t have to help you. We’re already on edge thanks to our douchebag managers flipping out over it; we’d prefer to get through the ordeal as painlessly as possible. Thus, fewer customers are a good thing. So, yeah, you really don’t need that (insert item here) that’s on sale. Trust me on this. It’s not essential. Don’t bother us with this shit, please.

  44. royal72 says:

    are you people crazy?! don’t you know that if you don’t go shopping, the economy will collapse, and that means the terrorists are gonna win!

  45. Electroqueen says:

    The last time I actually bought anything worthwhile on a non-BF basis from any of these stores was in January.
    “Buy Nothing Day” is pretty irrelevant to me, sometimes I can spend up to months without buying anything except food and other necessities. If I REALLY want something, I’ll either buy it off a friend, eBay, or a discount store.

  46. veronykah says:

    I have been trying to figure out what posesses ANYONE to want to go anywhere near a retail store the day after Thanksgiving?
    Can someone explain it to me?
    There is no deal that I “might” get that would be worth it to me.
    Same goes for Century 21 in Manhattan…NEVER.

  47. Voyou_Charmant says:

    @mexifelio: comedy gold.

    As much as i WANT to like AdBusters, i hate them. The only people who read it are of a like mindset, and i hate their readers because most of their readers are probably the same jerks who are blocking my afternoon commute with their impossibly pointless “critical mass” protests.

    The fact of the matter is (as has been pointed out), this will accomplish NOTHING, just like the “dont buy gas” spam.

    So you didn’t buy the presents you plan to buy on Friday (when they are cheaper), now you’re going to go spend more on them on a different day? Who is AdBusters looking out for?

    This sort of passive-aggressive form of direct action makes my head hurt just thinking about how ultimately futile it is.

  48. BigNutty says:

    I don’t need anybody telling me what to do on Black Friday. I’ll do what I want, which is to stay home.

  49. hn333 says:



  50. yahonza says:


    boy are you right.

    “in solidarity with anti-consumers”

    Yeah, well this site is the Consumerist, why would it be promoting anti-consumerism?

    Yet another case of the occasionally mind boggling hypocrisy sometimes demonstrated here. Most of the commentators are a lot more pro-consumer than the editors of the site.

  51. MsClear says:


    At least I’m not a tool of massive corporations. And I’m a tool with most of her paycheck still in the bank.

  52. zolielo says:

    Aww the classic market power economic thought model. Does one have the market power to change the market as a whole? How many people are needed to change the market as a whole? What is the lag time? And so on. Just classic analysis…

  53. meeroom says:

    I’m with MSCLEAR, I’m not shopping on Black Friday (or much in general this year) for the following reasons:
    1. Everyone I know has enough crap to last them a lifetime, including me.
    2. I refuse to jostle in line with a bunch of people who are usually trashy sheep types (in my town anyway).
    3. Last Thanksgiving, I spoke with my aunt who NEVER misses a black Friday, she’s out at 3AM for the good sales. She’s $100,000.00 in credit card debt right now because she just loves to shop so much. Her marriage is in ruins and she’s probably going to lose her house. It really turned me off the whole Black Friday concept.

  54. morganlh85 says:

    Yeah, it costs less till you need a digital camera in January.

  55. hn333 says:


    Oh wow I’m really sorry. That messaged was meant for you. I clicked on the wrong post. I agree with you 100$.

    Again I’m sorry about that.

  56. Xkeeper says:

    I think the idea most of you are missing here is to curb the mentality that “Black Friday” is the magical day you MUST BUY EVERYTHING!!!!!!1111.

    Nobody wants you to stop buying things. But they do want the insanity and the “Everybody should be out buying on this day of the year” mentality to end.

    But hey, if you want to be the next idiot on TV getting arrested for fighting during some mad sale rush, be my guest. I’ll be sitting around and waiting for another day to do my shopping, thanks.

  57. KJones says:

    When the religious reich called for a boycott of Disney because of their gay-friendly policy, did the gay community get uppity and whine that it was unfair?

    No. They laughed and went to Disneyworld in droves and spent $2 bills to show they had been there. Disney reported thousands of such bills being spent.

    My point is, save the gripes and whines about boycotts and buycotts until _after_ the event happens. If the boycott or buycott works, you haven’t said anything to regret, and if it doesn’t, you have a chance to laugh about it.

    Complaining about people planning a boycott just looks like pussiness.

  58. crashman2600 says:

    My checkbook is saying, if you want to pay rent stay out of Bestbuy on Friday. Besdides, why would I want to get up EARLY on a day when I can sleep in and be lazy. Being lazy appeals to me much more then spending money on useless crap.

    But hey, if anyone wants to buy me a new plasma TV on Friday I would happily accept it.

  59. crypticgeek says:

    “Nobody wants you to stop buying things.”

    Actually they do. The whole point of organizations such as adbusters is that they are anti-corporate and anti-consumption oriented. It’s the same silly “fight the big bad evil corporation” bullshit.

  60. Rusted says:

    I’ll be sleeping in. I really don’t like crowds.

    @crypticgeek: And like all boycotts, it doesn’t work too well. People will be buying on Saturday, Sunday, and so on. Also some stores will even be open on Thanksgiving.

  61. @noquarter: THANK YOU; it’s nice to see that someone can think past the propaganda that led an entire country to accept the injunction to shop more as a valid answer to the question “What do we do about this impending war?”

    Of course the Consumption Behemoth wants you to shop all the time. But you’d think that anyone with the brains to even *read* a news site would realize that that can’t possibly be a good idea. Gee, you think they might just be saying that because it makes them rich? ::the boggleness!::

    Do people even realize that what they’re reacting so negatively to here is the suggestion that they NOT BUY ANYTHING FOR ONE STINKING DAY? OH NO! I WOULD EXPLODE! THE WHOLE WORLD WOULD DIE IF I BOUGHT NOTHING FOR AN ENTIRE FREAKING DAY! Man, when you get to the point where the thought of a “Buy Nothing Day” freaks you out, you need help.

    I do wish they hadn’t made BND the same as Black Friday; it is good symbolism (since Black Friday is literally Shopping Orgy Day), but it confuses the issue. This isn’t about not having a Shopping Orgy Day; it’s about not having the kind of life, and society, where you shop every SINGLE day. Try having a personal “buy nothing day” every month, and then die of embarrassment because it’s so damn hard to do that in America.

  62. csdiego says:

    I’ll be out in the wilds, hiking with my brother and his wife. I might buy gas or dinner, but that will be it.

    The point of avoiding Black Friday is lost on all the perfectly rational beings who have their entire list in place and are merely lining up at the crack of dawn to save money on what they were already going to buy. Congratulations, you win. It’s for the knuckleheads, some of my favorite people included, who think a $60 DVD player is such a deal, they can’t afford NOT to buy it, forgetting the fact that they don’t even need a new DVD player.

    I’ve never shopped on Black Friday. I’d rather stick bamboo under my fingernails.

  63. Saboth says:


    Girlfriend: “Hey, I got you Mass Effect, some new pants, and a gaming mouse.
    Me: “Hey, I gave your gift money away! But it was for charity!

    Mmmmm no sex for 3 months….

  64. dirtymoney says:

    I was planning on not partaking in black friday anyway….like I do every year.

    Is it REALLY worth all the bullsh!t & hassle to save a few bucks? I think not.

    If I am going to go through BS & hassle to save a few bucks… it will be at on my own terms…. not some magical “trick consumers into coming in & buying” day that stores decide.

  65. Consumer-X says:

    This is exactly like that “don’t buy gasoline on Tuesday” scheme a few months back. Unfortunately it will have NO effect whatsoever. Any goods you need but do not purchase on Black Friday will simply be purchased by you a few days later.

  66. ancientsociety says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries: “Man, when you get to the point where the thought of a “Buy Nothing Day” freaks you out, you need help.”

    Soooo true. That and the snotty holier-than-thou armchair “intellectuals” who keep asking “do you think you, as one person, can stop the global economy”? First of all, it’s not about stopping the economy, it’s about stopping conspicuous consumption and the “BUYBUYBUYBUY” mentality. I’m sure no one who follows this wants to stop spending completely or for employees to lose jobs or for the economy to tank, etc. It’s about thinking about what you buy, rather than obeying the will of advertisers who insist we consume on this day OR ELSE. It’s about not waking up the day after you had a nice feast with your family and gave thanks for your blessings and then going out and mauling another shopper because you MUST have that $30 DVD player. Second, yes, one person CAN make a difference. If you don’t think so, you need to read some history about social change movements. They all started with one person.

    Personally, I’ve never set foot in any retail establishment on Black Friday. I’ve heard some horror stories about how crazed shoppers get and it just personally doesn’t appeal to me. I my buy a few things online but I’ll be enjoying my day off from work, painting and building, while nursing a pleasant hangover.

  67. Covaluxx says:

    the people who started this campaign have never shopped on this day to start with. They just dont want to feel alone in their dark corner.

  68. nidolke says:

    @MyCokesBiggerThanYours: If the only way to support out economy is by buying a bunch of useless shit, then we’ve got some problems.

  69. MrEvil says:

    I’m sleeping in Friday….the only way I’m leaving the house is if a cash register goes down. There’s quite a few stores that use Dell Point of Sale hardware and I am the lucky chap that gets to fix them.

  70. Youthier says:

    I don’t understand the “Black Friday = Devil” mentality. I make my list the night before, get up at 4, hit the stores I have decided are worth the effort (usually BB, Target, and Kohl’s), get my stuff, and leave. Sometimes it’s a line but who cares? If I’ve planned correctly, 85% of my Christmas shopping is done by 9am the Friday after Thanksgiving.

  71. LuluR says:

    Is anyone talking about the connection b/w global warming and excessive consumption? Alot of the crap people are clamoring to buy is made in China. I walk down the aisle at Target and observe that half of the items are made in China. China uses coal to fuel its factories, and coal emissions are big contributors to global warming. If people see the connection b/w consuming and this weather change that seems to be happening faster than expected, won’t they be less inclined to shop, shop, shop?

  72. therealhomerjaysimpson says:

    I shudder at the memories of Black Fridays in retailing, which I endured through my college years and the first year out of school searching for full time employment. My first day of retail, at one of the big discounters, actually was Black Friday. Talk about trial by fire.

    The back and forth about boycotting and the impact it would or wouldn’t have is interesting, though moot. Our chain was the first to open on Thanksgiving (mercifully my last holiday season there), and it was an experiment. Had people stayed home, perhaps they wouldn’t have done it every year since. That said, the horse is out of the barn, and there’s no going back. (At least the first year of Thanksgiving hours were only 7-2, allowing time to go home and eat with the family, not endure Thanksgiving dinner out of the break room fridge.)

    Black Friday shoppers were insane. For all but the first year, I was on the opening shift, arriving at 4 or 5 in the morning, and was actually cursed at on more than one occasion when the wackadoos lined up around the block thought I was cutting the line, until they saw me go in. Trust me folks, the last place I’d ever be at that unholy hour is in line at a store.

    I don’t know how it is for all stores or in today’s environment since I’ve been out of it for a decade plus, but we worked to ensure that we had the advertised items in stock when we opened-no bait and switch for us. Many times we would hold items in the stockroom if they were scheduled to be on sale so we wouldn’t be caught without them (until the crowds got to them anyway). One year, I spent the Wednesday night overnight shift getting merchandise set up-and was back again Black Friday morning.

    Christmas Eve shoppers were far worse than Black Friday’s crowds, but that’s like saying lethal injection is a nicer way to die than the gallows.

    Having survived that, I’ve never minded being the one in the office on the day after Thanksgiving. Anything to be away from the stores.

  73. Rusted says:

    @Mary Marsala with Fries: Really, so what? It’s a free country. If someone wants to rub elbows with a thousand other shoppers today, so be it. I despise large groups of people, so I won’t.