This past weekend, for the first time, I participated in the madness that was Black Friday. I had my heart set on getting a certain gift (which shall remain nameless so they don’t find out ahead of time and spoil the surprise) for my cousin’s boys, but it was going to be expensive. Luckily, on this, the craziest shopping day of the year, they were over half off!
First, I went to Sears. Mom graciously offered to accompany me, as the item I wanted was one per person and I needed two of them, so she would have to buy one for me. Sears opened at 8pm on Thanksgiving night, so I didn’t have to stay up super late or get up ridiculously early. Bonus! We got into line at around 7:20pm. The line was long, and they were handing out vouchers for the doorbuster items (of which, my quarry was one). Most people were there for super cheap TVs. Then, they ran out of vouchers for the TVs. They told this to the people in line and some of them left. No one could tell me if they had run out of vouchers on the item I wanted though, or if there were any vouchers for it at all. So once they opened the door, there was a very calm rush to the escalators to get up to the 2nd floor where the electronics are kept. The items were in a cage, and the sales associate manning the cage told us that we had to go to the register, buy it, then show him the receipt and he would hand us our purchase. Sounds reasonable. So we get in line. Mom is in front of me. She buys one, and goes on her merry way. I’m next, but then the guy at the register stops to think that maybe you need a voucher for these. I asked him (very politely) if he could double check. He did, and I was out of luck, as I had no voucher.
But all was not lost! On to Target! Target opened at 9pm, so we waited in line there for about half an hour there. We also lucked out in that this was probably one of the warmest Thanksgivings on record in our area, so we weren’t completely freezing while waiting. Target did not have tickets or vouchers. Just a line. But they also handed out maps that showed you where the cheap items everyone was after were being kept. Since it seems that most people head out for electronics, it would completely swarm that little department to have everyone go there. So the deals were spread around the store, and they handed you a map so you could go right to where you needed to go. It was actually a pretty awesome little system. Except that my item wasn’t on the map. I asked one of the people they had outside for crowd control, and I was told to go to electronics. This proved slightly difficult, because once we got in, they had sort of corralled off some of the aisles to force you to go one particular way, and that particular way was jam-packed with people buying TVs. Which rather defeated the purpose of spreading things out. But once I fought my way through, feeling like a salmon swimming upstream, I got to the electronics department and was able to get my item. They had a large stack of them behind a register. I had a Target gift card from work that I received for my birthday, and a $20 pre-paid visa card that was from one of the rebates from when I built Ninja, which helped knock down the price enough that I decided to splurge and get two. One is an upgrade for me, and then my old one will be handed down to my dad (can’t buy him anything new, cause he’ll complain it’s too much and just return it anyway. This way, he’s forced to keep it. *plotsy*)
And that was that. People were rushing, but not stampeding, and mostly they were polite and calm. It’s really not an experience I’d care to repeat, although it’s somewhat interesting in the people-watching sense. You just have to stay cool and not take things so seriously. But now I can at least say I’ve tried it once, and cross that one off the Bucket List. Achievement Unlocked!
Did you brave the Black Friday crowds? What items were you after? Did you manage to emerge from the fray victorious?