Black Friday

I can remember my neighbors going Black Friday shopping when I was kid.  They’d get up around 7 a.m. and head out to K-Mart to see what the deals were.  At the time, I can remember thinking they were nuts to get up that early.  But given today’s standards, it seems like we were tame back in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Is it me or do the shoppers seem to get crazier every year around Black Friday?  A few years ago, you’d hear about stores opening at 5 a.m. and people starting to line up around 3 a.m.  Then we progressed to the stores opening at 4 a.m. and people starting to line up around midnight.

But this year, things took an entirely different turn.  It marked the first time that some stores opened at midnight on Thanksgiving night.  So, I have to admit, I wondered how early people would start getting in line.  But I didn’t expect for it to be so ridiculous.  So out of pure morbid curiosity, I drove to our local Best Buy at 9 p.m. on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  And below is what I saw.

black-friday-1

Yup, that’s right, idiots already camped out.  Now, this is on Tuesday!  Probably 40 hours before most of us were getting ready to eat Thanksgiving dinner and 51 hours before the Best Buy even opened.

According to this news story, the lady in the first tent was Desiree Laurenzi, 30.  She was planning on buying a lap top, iPod Touch, GPS, Xbox 360 Kinect and a PlayStation 3.  Laurenzi was quoted as saying, “My funds are limited because I’m in college.”  Laurenzi had been camped out since the Sunday before Thanksgiving, to ensure that she was first in line.

So the question that begs to be asked here is, “What the hell are people doing lining up so early?”  I mean; is a deal truly worth sitting in a tent for 51 hours, having your family bring you Thanksgiving dinner, fighting the crowds and not even having a guarantee that you’ll even get the items you want?  I still give my brother-in-law a hard time for the year he got in line at Best Buy around 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night for its opening the next morning at 5 a.m. (he was 75th in line and ended up leaving disgusted in the middle of the night).

I think the hardcore shoppers are just getting silly.  The next thing you know, people will be camping out several weeks in advance.  And of course, at it is, the violence is only getting worse.  Just in the example of Wal-Mart this year…the retail chain reported the following Black Friday incidents: one shooting, one robbery at gunpoint, four customer fights, one claim police brutality, one stun gun attack and three bomb threats.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather shop early, maybe pay few bucks more and most of all, sit at home and enjoy Thanksgiving with my family.

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10 comments to Black Friday

  • TallElf

    I can’t say that I ever got up “Early” to do the black friday thing. As a matter of fact, I am so oblivious to the consumer market sometimes that I probably miss some good opportunities to save some cash, or overshop online to try to save a few pennies. Any way. Black Friday has morphed and this year as you pointed out, it has gotten out of control. It is almost as insane as the competitive 5k races out there. You have warrior dash which we participated in which is a healthy (and I use the term loosely) opportunity to get out and run, climb, etc. Then you get “ToughMudder” involved which takes it to the next level (electrocution?) Much like waiting out in tents at best buy 2 days in advance. Is it really necessary. Perhaps if you were working for that 48 hour stint as a part time help at one of the retail stores, instead of sitting in line playing with your phone to pass the time you might have more cash. Just my opinion.

  • Jane

    For someone that doesn’t have a lot of money, it seems like she plans to buy a lot. Her funds “are limited,” remember. So TallElf is correct. She could have been working and earning extra money during that time. I think it is absolutely ridiculous to camp out a week (or even several days) in advance just for a deal. Like CC said, I’d rather pay more and stay indoors.

  • It’s not something I’m interested in doing. I have better things to do with my time. I don’t think I understand why people would want to line-up to buy anything that isn’t a necessity. I’m tired of the “buy, buy, buy” attitude of Christmas. The best I can do is not support it as much as I reasonably can.

    Gee, in some countries, you have to line-up to buy food.

  • I like your ending to this post. Well said.

  • Jen

    I only went out once around 5 am and it was a mad house! You can get most of the same deals online with free shipping - it seems so dumb to me to actually camp out to save 10 bucks on an ipod.

  • Timmy

    Black Friday?!?……I can’t wait until Feb 8th so I can read your Christmas post.

  • Jake

    I drove by my local Target on Thanksgiving afternoon and there was a line around two of the four sides. Just seems like a waste. I mean, come on! They aren’t saving that much. The whole thing is just stupid if you ask me. All retail stores should use a lottery system. It’s fair and avoids the stupid camping out BS.

  • I don’t have a lot of money and I’m in college and — oh yeah, I had classes all the way up until Thursday. Now, I know she had to be going to the same school as I am because we both “don’t have a lot of money.” Shenanigans!

  • Oh, also, happy new year TCC :)

  • The Constant Complainer

    Happy New Year!