Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday: The Bargain Shopper’s Conundrum

Black Friday Cyber MondayEvery year after the Thanksgiving turkey has been stored and the last few pieces of pie have been consumed, a new time for celebration approaches. Before the Christmas bells start to ring, the bargain shopping season arrives just as quickly as it ends. Many shoppers face the difficult decision – a Sophie’s choice if you will – of whether to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.  4E has compared the two, and here are the results!

Cyber Monday vs. Black Friday:

Cyber Monday Wins with…

1. Safety Let’s say you spend your Thanksgiving with family, and perhaps do not feel inclined to wake up early the next day only to be attacked in a giant clothing outlet. If this sounds like you, then Cyber Monday wins with the opportunity for shoppers to wait til the holiday ends and still enjoy the sales.

2. Comparison When you are online, you can easily compare prices and not get too overwhelmed (or overspend) in the midst of a buying frenzy.

3. Comfort Perhaps one of the most important advantages: Cyber Monday allows shoppers to remain in the comfort of their homes, beds and even pajamas.

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Black Friday Wins with…

1. Trying it on! If you have not experienced waiting for an order to arrive to the mailbox, opening it and – to your dismay – realizing that the small online picture lied to you, then you are very lucky (perhaps buy a lotto ticket at some point?). With Black Friday shopping, you can see what you are buying, recognize the quality and possibly even try it on. Plus, there’s no need to wait for shipping (or pay the shipping fees).

2. First come, first serve Black Friday starts off the bargain season, which means shoppers get first dibs when they arrive. Because of this, Cyber Monday doesn’t always include the same number of Black Friday deals or items.

3. Thrills Some people actually enjoy the rush of running around, scouting for a particular item and feeling the sweet satisfaction of getting that prized item … especially in comparison to simply clicking “add to bag.”

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So, in the end, who wins? Lucky for us, we do not have to decide and can partake in both! Speaking of which, only a few hours are left til midnight and the end of all those Cyber Monday sales. To make shopping a little easier, check out the official Cyber Monday website.

Happy shopping, Hoyas!

 
Photo:itclips, Tumblr

It’s Black Friday Fixat10ns! Let’s Get Ready to Rumble!

Black Friday Fixations

[8tracks url=”https://8tracks.com/thehoya/let-s-get-ready-to-rumble” ]

 

So you’ve just finished your fourth helping of pumpkin pie and you’re wondering where your life took a wrong turn. How do you solve the enigma that is your life? Shopping. Black. Friday. Shopping.

Black Friday has begun and you must be among your fellow Walmart warriors getting all the steals you can. But with all that tryptophan in your veins, you may be ready to cuddle up next to your pile of pie tins and rest your eyes. Not to fear, 4E is here with a pump-up playlist to get you rearing to go bust down some doors.

1. Let’s Get it Started – Black Eyed Peas Let Fergie pull you out of your turkey-induced slumber with this song.

2.  Eye of the Tiger – Survivor Now that you’re awake, it’s time find the competitor inside of you that has lain dormant since your glory days as the captain of your high school football team.

3. Gucci Gucci – Kreayshawn Georgetown students sometimes have a reputation for restricting themselves to designer clothing (see Chime’s Georgetown Girl), but Kreayshawn reminds us we can be fly without going for the big buys.

4. ESPN Presents Jock Jams Megamix The most important line to remember while vying for a Tickle-Me-Elmo is to “be aggressive, be-ee aggressive.”

5. Fashion Killa – A$AP Rocky So maybe we don’t need to wear all designer labels to be fly … but it wouldn’t hurt, right?

6. TIll I Collapse – Eminem When Eminem was writing this song, he was thinking of calling it Shop Till You Drop but someone told him that wasn’t wise. I would’ve listened to it Eminem, I would’ve listened.

7. Sail – AWOLNATION A lot of head banging is required to listen to this song properly. Give yourself some time to re-establish equillibrium before you start rushing through any revolving doors. Also it’s a pun. Get it, sail/sale? Ha.

8. All I Do is Win – DJ Khaled Stop at nothing to win today. That means get every deal you see and don’t let anyone stand in your way. That won’t be difficult for any Hoyas – we will do anything to win.

9. $100 Bill – Jay-Z So it’s time to acknowledge that you’ll be dropping some big bills tonight. Own it, love it, live it. Be who you want to be, Barbie Girl. And if that person is a mass consumer of Barbies, then girl, that is just fine.

10. Greyhound – Swedish House Mafia Now run, Forest, run! Get those bargains!

Photo: VisitMiNot

How to Survive Black Friday Shopping

Black FridaySo, you’ve decided to shop on Black Friday. You’re doing one of those activities, something that will be miserable during the event itself but will give you mad bragging rights later, like a presidential inauguration or being awake for a sunrise. Unless of course, you are of those people who loves the thrill of chasing after the perfect dress with the added challenge of overwhelming crowds. This may be the only time you are at risk for “death by trampling,” so watch out.

All of that being said, if you are going in, you better do it right. Here are a few tips to help you survive a dark – but hopefully fruitful – Black Friday.

Plan ahead – Think Dora the Explorer’s Map. It would be ideal if this map could speak, preferably in some variation of entertaining banter, and help guide you from store to store, section to section, steal to steal. Hitting the streets without a game plan is like walking into a wall-to-wall crowded Steve Madden store blindfolded. It may seem thrilling, but once you are tripping in your must-have 20% off shoes and rubbing elbows with the nearby elderly woman, you will be asking yourself why this ever seemed like a funny idea.

Be aggressive – For those of you who haven’t seen the Friends scene where Monica shops for her wedding dress, watch it. For those of you who have, channel Monica’s aggressive, stop-for-nothing “baditude.” Remember, other shoppers are only as scared of you as you are of them. Just kidding, that only applies to rats on Georgetown’s campus. If you want to be the shopper on top, you have to act like the shopper on top. See the store as your very own Hunger Games arena. Stop at nothing. This is not a friendly team exercise.

Use the buddy system – Black Friday shopping may not be a friendly team exercise, but that doesn’t mean you have to fly solo. Create a buddy system and stick to it. Have check-in points, hold hands, whisper sweet nothings to each other: whatever it takes to provide each other moral support and willpower to get through the day. When selecting a buddy, make sure you choose someone who isn’t afraid to take a swing at a fellow BFS (Black Friday Shopper) for you.

Snack, snack, snack – Shopping is work. Just ask anybody who has spent more than 10 minutes shopping ever. Not only are snacks necessary for fuel, but they also help fill your emotional needs when crying over a missed deal and/or feeling overwhelmed by all the aggressiveness around you. Why can’t we all just be friends? Because there is only one dress in your size left. Instead of breaking down, stuff your face with cookies, bubble tea or whatever helps you connect with your inner shopper. But be warned, if you overdo this, trying on tight clothing may be a bit of a struggle.

If you follow these tips, you are sure to have the best possible Black Friday experience. Before you know it, you will be rocking those sick new threads back on the Hilltop. Happy Thanksgiving Hoyas, and best of luck!

Photo: Al Fresco

I Want to Go to There (in a Zipcar)

The arrival of a small fleet of Zipcars to campus will make it easier for students (well, students over 21) to explore more of D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. While we talk about breaking the Georgetown Bubble a lot, getting around via public transportation isn’t the easiest thing in the world, and it can only take you so far.

While Zipcars can be useful for picking up groceries and running other errands, they can also carry you to great hiking, music, shopping and more. So grab a friend, buckle up, and see what the greater DMV area has to offer!

Hiking and Camping
Now that it’s finally cooling down and safe to go outside without immediately sweating through your shirt, the thought of spending long periods of time outside is less terrifying. Great Falls Park in McLean is where the Potomac leaves the Appalachians and descends a series of rapids onto the coastal plain. It’s great for a picnic or short hike to see the majestic rapids along the Potomac. If you’re in for something a little more removed, the

If camping and hiking aren’t your thing but you want to get outside, the time is ripe for apple picking. Places like Homestead Farm in Maryland and Stribling Orchard in Virginia offer pick-your-own specials on apples, pumpkins and other fall staples.

Shopping
While Georgetown is home to many shops and boutiques, we lean towards the high-end – not always compatible with a college student’s budget. Luckily for us, there’s some great shopping to be found just outside the District.

A 20-minute drive from campus, Tyson’s Corner Center in Northern Virginia is one of the largest malls in America. It’s home to department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s that don’t quite fit in our cramped quarters in Georgetown. You can also find stores like L.L. Bean, Forever 21 and Old Navy in addition to restaurants and an enormous movie theater. It’s also great for people-watching (especially if you’re amused by tweens) while munching on an Auntie Anne’s pretzel.

If you’re looking for deeply discounted designer clothes though, you might want to head a little further into Virginia to check out the Leesburg Outlets. It’ll be about a 45-minute drive to reach the outlets of Ralph Lauren, DKNY, Vineyard Vines, J. Crew and more, but it’s not hard to find great deals. Bonus points if you’re a member of AAA – you can stop at the front desk and pick up a huge book of coupons to use around the outlets.

The ultimate deal though, can be found in thrift stores. While Georgetown is home to vintage stores like Annie Creamcheese and Secondhand Rose, we’re lacking in the type of thrift stores where you can stumble upon the leather jacket of your dreams wedged between wool blazers on the 50-cent rack. There are Goodwill and Salvation Army stores scattered throughout the greater D.C. area, plus independent thrift stores like American Rescue Workers Thrift and Finders Keepers.

Concerts
D.C. has a diverse music scene, with clubs like 9:30, the Black Cat, the Rock n Roll Hotel and more catering to all sorts of genres. But beyond Verizon Center, there aren’t many large venues that are easily accessible within the city. But Maryland and Virginia are different stories.

Merriweather Post Pavilion has played host to the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Tom Jones. It was originally planned as the home of the National Symphony Orchestra, but now features a mosh pit (care of Green Day) and solar panels (inspired by Jack Johnson). Located about half an hour away in Columbia, MD, hosts acts from Bon Iver to Gotye to music festivals like Virgin Mobile Freefest in the fall and Sweet Life in the spring. The lawn seats usually aren’t too expensive and offer a great view – as long as it’s not raining.

If you’re looking for something a little more classical, Wolf Trap, the National Park for the Performing Arts, is about 30 minutes in the other direction in Vienna, VA. Wolf Trap features musical theater and a lot of classic rock acts.

So those are our ideas. Where will the new Zipcars take you?

Martin Hussey and Shakti Nochur contributed to this article.
Photo: Rebecca Goldberg for The Hoya

D.C. Fashion’s Night Out

It’s no secret that Georgetown is full of stylish people (preppy and hip alike), so we’re expecting tomorrow’s Fashion’s Night Out to be an exciting event.

Hosted by the Georgetown Business Improvement District, FNO is heralded as an opportunity to “celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the industry’s economy, and put the fun back in shopping.”  This will be the third year that D.C. has hosted this event, in which stores  and restaurants around Georgetown will have special deals, lots of goodies and, most importantly, free food.

Some of the featured events include personal stylists at Anthropologie, free mini-facials at Blue Mercury, and a braiding bar at Madewell. Restaurants like Clyde’s, the Daily Grill, Bangkok Joe’s and more have specialty cocktails and deals on food for the night. Many of the participating locations will be serving refreshments while you shop – because shopping is always better when you’re tipsy. You can check out a full schedule and details over at DC PR Girl.

Want to learn more about FNO? Check them out here. Happy shopping!