Getting tattoos, traveling and getting married are some of the most discounted events
The only reason to freak out on Friday the 13th is the killer sales.
The number 13 often gets a bad rap: Buildings tend to skip the 13th floor, and airlines avoid having a 13th row. For some superstitious people, Friday the 13th looms so ominously that the most terrified hide under their covers when the day rolls around. (There’s even a word for it: triskaidekaphobia, fear of the number 13.) And for this reason, it’s estimated that the U.S. loses $700 to $800 million in business on these perceived “unlucky” days, according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute.
These losses, according to the Institute, are due to people who refuse to travel, purchase items or conduct business on Friday the 13th.
“Superstition is a culturally (or personally) supported fear of a negative outcome being tied to an arbitrary event. Much like any fear, acknowledging the likelihood of the event actually happening can ease anxiety and reframe it in the context of objective truths,” Dr. Kirsten Thompson, a Los Angeles-based psychiatrist, told Moneyish. “Are car accidents possible? Yes. But they’re not likely to happen every time you drive. Is it possible that you will have an accident on Friday the 13th? Yes, but the likelihood is low.” Thompson indicates that one’s own history of negative experiences on this day can help in overcoming the anticipatory fear.
In an effort to drum up business and accrue profit, retailers have taken to creating deals and sales to entice shoppers on Friday the 13th. One of the best places you’ll find a deal: tattoo parlors. “It’s a movement that started small, but in recent years more and more shops in a various locations across the country have jumped on board,” Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews, told Moneyish.
Many shops offer specially designed $20 body art that includes a $13 tattoo and a $7 mandatory tip, according to DealNews. Black Heart Gallery and Tattoo in Louisville, Ky., touts its first-come, first-serve, cash-only special on Facebook with a link to some designs available that day. “But be warned: this is not the day for extravagant pieces or odd placements. If you want to partake in the event, arrive as early as you can and follow the rules,” Ramhold said.
Travel is another industry offering major savings. In a study conducted by Kayak’s U.K. site, airfares for flights on Friday the 13th saw as much as a 44% decrease, compared to other days in the same month. And according to Aviation Safety Network, flying on Friday the 13th isn’t any more dangerous than flying any other day of the year — in fact, it’s the opposite. Based on data between the years 1945 and 2013, the accident rate on any given day is 0.091, and with just eight fatal accidents occurring over the 118 Friday the 13ths during those years, the accident rate on those days was 0.067.
And saying “I do” on Friday the 13th can cut costs on otherwise expensive nuptials: Tying the knot on a Friday means lower vendor costs and more flexibility in terms of venue, timing and other planning details, according to The Knot. Because seven in 10 weddings take place on Saturday, according to the wedding site’s 2016 Real Weddings Study, lining up an officiant, caterer and entertainment on an off-night can yield savings.
If none of these deals is calling your name, don’t worry. “Retailers have been known to offer specials for the day; sites will offer codes to save 13% or take $13 off certain purchases; and some will offer even bigger savings to celebrate the day,” Ramhold said. Last year, outdoor retailer The House took 70% off ski and snowboard jackets on Friday the 13th.
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