My Black Friday Adventure: 7.5 Hours in Line at Best Buy

Yesterday I experienced something I never have before and never planned on doing in my life: I "camped out" in line at Best Buy from 4:30 p.m. until Midnight. Why, you ask? Well, not because I'm crazy. My brother wanted to try and snag the 42 inch HDTV for $199 and somehow he convinced my cousin and I to join him for the adventure. I personally wasn't planning on buying anything from Best Buy, however as the night went on, I decided the Toshiba Blu-Ray Smart Player for $39 looked pretty appealing since it would play Netflix on my TV.

We got in line at 4:30 p.m. while the sun was still out and were about 25th in line at that point. We brought lawn chairs, blankets, books, a handheld video game, and some drinks. Pretty soon, the line behind us grew longer and longer until eventually it was all the way around the side of the building; We figure there were about 200 people behind us by the time the big ticket item vouchers were handed out. And if you thought WE were nuts for getting in line so early, consider the people at the very front of the line who had set up ice houses and had been camping out for days already!

During the 7.5 hour wait, we got some snacks and coffee from the gas station, met some fun people in line (shout-out to Alex, Cole, and Isaac!), and saw some interesting sights, like the guy selling homemade veggie wraps for $3 to people in line and a camera-man with a helmet camera on his head - we're still not sure if he was making his own documentary or what! We enjoyed the experience for the most part, although at one point, my cousin said "I feel like I'm tailgating for a team I don't even like." - Lol. That was a bit how it felt considering he and I weren't really planning on buying anything.

And so the night waned on until finally the vouchers were handed out for the big items. There were only 10 TVs available so we didn't get a chance at those, but my cousin did decide to get a voucher for the Asus Tablet so it ended up being worth it to be at the front of the line. Closer to midnight, things got a little less organized but when the doors opened, we got inside with the first group of people and were able to grab what we wanted. I was actually quite surprised at how civil the crowd was - well, until the doors opened, that is! Once the doors were opened, people were knocking down displays, hurdling over fallen products and running through the aisles. It was like the Retail Olympics!

In the end, we all got what we wanted and were out of the store by 12:30 a.m. We stopped at Walmart down the road which was like a disaster area by the time we got there. We had heard rumors that there were fights breaking out at Target before the doors opened. I was thankful we didn't have that issue at Best Buy. It's one thing to be a little fanatic and wait in line for hours or even set up your ice house days early to get a good deal, but it's another to be uncivilized, rude or violent just for material possessions, so I'm glad we didn't experience anything like that! All in all, it was definitely an adventure and a fun night.

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2 comments:

Jessica Gauger said...

We tried the same thing....but we didnt get anywhere near the 42" LCD TV for $199. Ppl here got in line about midnight on friday and had tents up and everything. We had cops and everything during our wait.Then before the doors opened the ppl that just go there rushed the doors. So ppl that got there 5 mn before got in the same time as us, that had waited 7 hrs. It sucked...and I personally would never do it again...(and I didnt actually go in the store...I hate crowds...the tension and everything was enough I had no interest in any discount.)

Slade said...

For me, the most fun was the rush of opening. It was brutal and everyone was knocking things over and running. It was an adrenaline rush that I haven't had in a long time. I had more fun shopping than caring about what I actually bought! (which wasn't very much)