After days of heavy shopping during time of yearly holidays across the world such as Christmas for North America and Europe and Diwali/Dusssera for India and other pre-dominantly Hindu religion observing countries, there comes widely heard and publicized campaigns about Buy Nothing Day. What is this battle about? Let’s find out…

According to Wikipedia…

Buy Nothing Day (BND) is an international day of protest against consumerism observed by social activists, it is also one of the busiest shopping days in the entire year. Typically celebrated the Friday after American Thanksgiving in North America and the following day internationally, in 2009 the dates are November 27 and 28 respectively.

BND is an ongoing battle getting fierce every year due to increasing influence of advertising resulting in mindless consumerism among consumers of all age (previously prominent among those had access to a disposable income). All forms of media are vying aggressively for the attention span of their potential consumer base by making adverting and marketing strategies more relevant to the common man. This relevancy translates to a psuedo need that in turns means a “purchase”.

BND fails to understand consumerism at it’s core and also people. Nobody will stop buying things, that are composed to essentials like medicines, food and other domestic requirements. Certain industries will continue to grow or at the very least be steady for posterity. If there’s anything we should be holding placards against then it’s the unaware consumer. These are the bulk of the consuming population that are not aware of their rights as a consumer neither do they know how to judge their decision of buy.

Being able to differentiate between a luxury and a necessity is the first step in educating a consumer. Next comes popularizing the concept of “saving”. Now, “saving” is an elusive term, if we think we “saved up” when we bought that mink coat at a discount sale, think again – discounts often are inflated prices brought down to their original prices giving you an image of a heavy bargain. The real savings is from doing small things like borrowing an item when it can be done so then purchasing a new unit for one time use or holding /buying from second-hand (garage) sales or best of all sharing when you can. These acts are often seen as a sign of miserliness and are termed “not cool” by media moghuls, thus repeating the loop all over again.

In order to break free of this vicious cycle, we need to encourage consumers to start small, mass boycotting on one particular day is not the answer. Fighting against the urge to splurge must be an every day affair, rather difficult when we are pressed for time and seek instant gratification but in purview of the greater good, all is possible.

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I have been ardent shopper all my life and with my birthday coming up I decided to go clothes shopping! and the moment I look up Google for “discounts”, I come across strange terms like “black friday” and “Cyber Monday”, curiosity got better of me and I set to find out what really are these days anyway.

According to Wikipedia, “Black Friday” is…

“the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, which is the beginning of the traditional Christmas shopping season…According to Reuters, in 2007 135 million people participated in the Black Friday shopping rush.In many cities it is not uncommon to see shoppers lined up for hours before stores with big sales open. Once inside the stores, shoppers often rush and grab, as many stores have only a few of the big-draw items.”

and “Cyber Monday” refers to

“to the Monday immediately following Black Friday being the busiest day of the year for retail electronic commerce.”

These are two of the most prominent days during the US holiday season (towards the year end) when consumers can grab coveted items for dirt cheap prices and striking off those from their wishlists faster than they every could in the rest of the year. Heavy discounts off branded electronic goods, Coupon redemption and Freebie giveaways take place.

Such kind of practices are rarely seen outside the US, they have their disadvantages. Reports say that deaths have occurred due to human stampeded when long queues of shoppers who started waiting early on in the day rushed to get into the store. Here comes the benefit of shopping online, no more hectic lines to wait, no more coupons to hunt, no more logging in to a ton of different stores only to check upon the offers you have missed! (Aww) Best part, we have SavingsMela.com - your one stop guide in scouring the Internets for some great deals, enough said on get on the website already!

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