Monday, November 26, 2007

A Tale of Black Friday Madness

Most people are probably familiar with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that heralds in the Christmas shopping season. Ever since I have been able to drive, waiting in line with hundreds of fellow shivering shoppers in the early morning hours of Friday has been something that has brought me great pleasure. (I like chaos remember?) For those wondering why hundreds of crazy people line up outside stores hours before they open, let me explain.

On Black Friday, most stores open several hours before their regular hours and in order to entice buyers they have these "doorbuster" deals. Things like 42" LCD televisions $700 off, $800 laptops for $350, 75% off all regular priced clothes...You get the idea ;) Because these deals are so good, people start lining up to get in the stores most of the time before the employees have even arrived. Never one to pass up a deal, for several years I have braved the cold and lost sleep in my warm bed to snag great deals on electronics which I then turn around and resell. :p

Sadly in recent years Black Friday deals have not been all that great and it has gotten a bit out of control in terms of lines. Several years back Sarah and I arrived at Best Buy for laptops and lined up around 2AM. For the bigger items, rather than have an all out war in the store for said "doorbustesr" The employees will come around about an hour before the store opens and give tickets out for the "doorbusters" When Sarah and I lined up at 2AM we were #21 and 22 in line. They ran out of tickets for the laptop two people ahead of us! :( By the time store opened at 5AM there were over 500 people in line! Some poor guy showed up at 4:50 thinking he would be able to just grab a laptop! Because of this people keep lining up earlier and earlier. Not wanting to be left behind in progress, I started lining up earlier! Forget a few hours of sleep and then heading to the store in the early morning hours, it is better just to camp out outside the store Thanksgiving night! That is exactly what my friend Daniel, my brother Nick and I decided to do last year. We stocked up on Thanksgiving leftovers, put lawn chairs in the car and headed to town about 6:30 for a night of camping on the sidewalk. Or that was the plan.....

It did not quite go the way we had envisioned it :( Best Buy is at a mall and around 8 pm mall security shows up. Here we are sitting in our lawn chairs eating turkey and stuffing and some cookies Daniel had brought along with about 20 other brave souls. The security dude had no idea what was going on. Since I was pretty much at the head of the line. I explained everything to him, how people lined up in droves for the great deals and how we were just getting there early. He would have none of it. Mall rules dictated no one was allowed to line up before 12am. With his assurance that no one would be lining up until then. Daniel, Nick and I having nothing else to do for four hours headed to a nearby theater.

Several hours later about 10:50 we roll back to Best Buy. As we drove around the corner into the parking lot, I started to get rather hot under the collar. Lined up in front of the store were no less than 60 people!!!!! Let just say I was not a happy camper! Out of the corner of my eye I spot the security dude's car. As soon as we pull up to him he recognizes us and rolls down his window. Much discussion ensued! It seemed someone had called the head of security and complained and an exception to the 12am rule was made. So we had lost our spots in line and there was no way to get them back, I tried to make the security guy vouch for us and help us get back in line but alas he thought the crowd would kill him which indeed they might have, if we were allowed to put ourselves back at the head of the line. Since the items we had wanted were in limited quantities and the line was so long already. We dejectedly returned home.

This year I was prepared! I got mall security's number several weeks in advance and called them several times talking with both the security people as well as the mall manager. After repeated assurances that no one was going to be allowed to line up until 12AM and that actual police could be called upon to enforce, I made plans to start lining up at 12AM. At 11 when I was getting ready to leave I decided maybe I should call security's number and make sure they were sticking to their word....They hadn't :p around 80 people were already lined up. So for the first time in years I did not even line up at a store for Black Friday. I am not sure what I will do next year, though I so enjoyed sleeping in this year rather than sitting out in the cold for 10 hours that I just might do it again. :)

12 comments :

  1. sleepy joy said...

    I can absolutely not BELIEVE you actually do that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    That sounds totally cold.....but I just have problems with coldness :) If I even think it might be cold outside I start shivering :).

  2. Will said...

    Yup I have even done it while it was cold and drizzling little ice needles :p I know to most people it sounds boring/borderline insane but it really is pretty cool. In years past there have people with a table and cards and everyone around will play games and such...It is a bit like a camp out...on cement :p

  3. abigail said...

    I can see how that could be cool, (no pun intended ;), seeing how it is insane and I have a hidden streak of insaneness, but I need my beauty sleep!!!!

  4. abigail said...

    Umm, this has nothing to do with this post, but I was looking at some old posts that I've never read, and I really want to see that shootout movie you and Sarah did. But when the page finishes loading, the movie is just a white square with that funky little "I'm too lazy to do this, Love, Computor" design in the top lefthand corner. Is this computor just not fast enough to load it you reckon?

  5. abigail said...

    Ha, sorry, "computER" ;p

  6. Will said...

    Abigail, you have to have flash installed for the video to work. It is also on youtube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=et8JuEnVT5k
    Let me know if you still can't get the youtube version to work.

  7. abigail said...

    What is it called on youtube? (what do I put in the search)

  8. Will said...

    copy this: http://youtube.com/watch?v=et8JuEnVT5k

    into your address bar in your browser

  9. abigail said...

    it just takes me to youtube website

  10. Will said...

    Hmm you are right... Sorry I had made it private... the link should work now ;)

  11. abigail said...

    Goodness gracious Sarah!!!! I would hate to meet you on the street!!!! :D hilarious

  12. Neil said...

    Will...i have a plan...i'll grab a few sandwiches and a fizzible drink and we will head out there next year and mug that security guy tie him to the light post and hop calmly in line...who knows..maybe well get something afore the police show up!...or you could hide behind something until you see somebody else coming up and then jump in front of them. :evil laugh:...just a thought...