Friday, November 23, 2007

Crazy Black Friday

It's the day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday. Did any of you dare to go out? I can't believe I did, and I'm not sure I will again next year! I didn't go out at 5:00 AM. I waited until 8:00 AM. I don't know if it was any better. I took the back roads there. Not much traffic. I pulled in Target. Found a parking spot right away. Walked in the store and an employee handed me a cart. "Not bad", I thought. I did notice the lines were a little long. As I headed to the back of the store I wondered why all these people were standing around back here. Then I realized, these were the lines! Every line stretched to the back of the store and down the aisle! How long would it take me to even stand in the line IF I even found what I was looking for?

I decided I may as well look to see if they had any of the digital cameras left that were on sale. I headed to electronics. What are these people standing for in the middle of the store? They were in line at the pharmacy! I found electronics. More long lines. I could barely even get around the people to find where the cameras were. I searched the shelves for the camera and couldn't figure out which one it was! I couldn't find it! Then I noticed one camera on the bottom of the shelf. It didn't seem to have a place it fit, so I didn't know the price. I hoped it was the one and got in the long line.

When I got up to the register (about 1/2 hour later), I asked the clerk if this was the camera that was on sale. He rang it up. "Yep, it's the one. You found one?" He thought they were sold out. I guess another customer changed their mind and just left it on the bottom of the shelves, FOR ME!

I got out of Target, no problem. Next, the mall. I figured luck was on my side today and I had to try Bon Ton to use my $10 gift cards. I got the only parking spot around (lucky again). Then I headed to The Bon. I searched around for the best deals. I got two sweaters, a pair of boots, and a shirt. Then I waited in another long line. When I got up to the counter the clerk informed me my gift cards were not good on any of my purchases. "You've got to be kidding! After I stood in this line!" Everyone around me was saying the same thing. The coupons were not good on: door busters, clearance sales, certain name brand items, basically everything that would have been a good deal. They would be better off listing the items the coupons were good for. Anyone else have this problem today?

So, here's what I learned about how to have a stress free Black Friday.

1. Plan on going to only one store for the items you really want, and get there early enough before they sell out.

2. Take a friend with you. One person gets in the line as soon as you get inside while the other picks up the items.

3. Take a deep breath and realize that even though it's a very long line, at least you'll only be standing in one line if you listen to me and only go to one store.

4. While in line, start up a conversation with the people in line in front of you and behind you. It makes the time go by faster and it's interesting to hear the other shoppers experience. It was funny. We all felt like we were friends! We discussed other stores we were at, what deals we were getting. A few people were even offering their extra coupons to the other people in line.

5. If you're not looking for the doorbuster sales, shop at 6:00 PM. It's amazing how the traffic dies down when the tummies start to rumble.

6. Last, but not least, don't shop at Bon Ton. The sales are not as good as they seem!

Was anyone else brave enough to go out today? If you did, what was your experience like?


Irene said...

You know, I had this same conversation about Bon Ton with my MIL yesterday! Their coupons/gift cards are the worst.

I can't believe you got the camera, or stood in the lines. Eric got a TV, at 5 AM! and now we are thinking of returning it because we didn't do any research beforehand, and the research we did afterwards, is SO SCARY. I have never seen so many horrible reviews. How dumb are we?

Kitty said...

Hi Maria - thanks for dropping by. I've enjoyed reading your blog.

We don't have Thanksgiving here in the UK, neither do we have the post-Thanksgiving sales! It sounds like they're like our 'New Year Sales' - which can be very dramatic and people queue for hours!

Keep up the good work :-)

Tina said...

Whew! I didn't venture out for any sales. You can read what we did on my blog.

Thanks for stopping by!

Becky said...

You are a brave, brave soul venturing into those crowded stores...but good job on finding the digital camera! Sometimes that persistence does pay off!

I was all excited that I had my Michaels 50% off one item coupon, and got there late this afternoon (hoping to avoid the crowds) only to find that every single thing I would have used it on was out of stock or not included on the coupon. I really felt like I wasted it when I had to use it on my most expensive item...a $7 bottle of vanilla from the cake decorating section. I was hoping to score on a Sizzix die set. BUMMER!