11 Emotional Stages of Black Friday Shopping

by Arielle Dachille

While the convenience of the online Holiday sale is far preferable to the clusterf*ck of Black Friday door busters, Cyber Monday shopping is still an emotional roller coaster of epic proportions. The highs are very high, the lows are very low, and the struggle is real.

Despite its erratic nature, shopping the post-Thanksgiving online sales is an experience of unparalleled shopping glory. You needn’t leave your house, change your pajamas, or interrupt your Holiday movie marathon, so it's beyond easy. You can shop multiple sales at once and compare deals with ease, flipping from tab to tab. The thrill of the clothing land grab is still there, because you know millions of people are vying for the same deeply discounted purse that you’re about to enter your credit card info to purchase. Not to mention, if you’re doing it at work, the potential of getting caught gives you some extra jollies.

However, as you add item after item to your many carts, it becomes evident that your eyes get way too big for your bank account balance. Before you know it, you have 740 dollars worth of clothing in your Madewell cart, which snaps you back to reality. Cyber Monday/ E-Black Friday is right around the corner, so let’s have a quick powwow regarding this psychological ordea.

When preparing, your excitement knows no bounds

You're ready for this. This year, you'll re-stock your entire wardrobe with practical things. You have a comprehensive plan of attack, and nothing can stop you from owning the sale shuffle.

When the sale kicks off, you're suffused in glee

The moment you've been waiting for has arrived, and it's a cause for celebration! Time to stare at your computer for 7 hours straight.


High on the markdowns, you add every little thing that looks remotely good to you to your shopping cart. You pay no attention to the total, just the itemized prices, which are relatively pretty good.

Whole new wardrobe, here you come

All of these things are perfect for the new, Winter you. Make it rain.

The element of competition makes you into a clicking machine

It's a race against the clock to make those Loeffler Randall boots your's and nobody else's.

Meanwhile, more newsletters/deals/coupon codes are flooding your inbox by the minute


Wait, how did your Nasty Gal total get to $450

If everything is 30-40 dollars, how did my subtotal get so high? Oh yeah, there are ten items in my cart.

Then, comes the bargaining

Maybe if I open a J Crew credit card, and split these purchases over 3 accounts I can make this all work.

Ultimately, you need to start editing

As difficult as it is to kill your darlings, o you really need 4 winter coats and 3 new handbags?

By the end of your edits, you've cut it down from 24 items to 4

You're a champion of responsible decision-making.

Ultimately, you end up returning most of these purchases

In person, nothing ever looks as good as the e-commerce photo. Plus, you were shopping under the influence of sale psychosis. But at least you got one thing you'll wear. You commit to this being the final Cyber Monday shopping jaunt, but next year, you're ready to start the cycle all over again.

Visit our Cyber Monday Explore page for more on online shopping's biggest day of the year.

Image: Giphy (8); Reality TV Gifs (3)