Confessions of a Best Buy Squatter

Have you ever driven past stores on Thanksgiving Day and thought about how crazy people are for camping out a day or two ahead of time just for Black Friday sales? I know I have. Yesterday, however, I was one of them.

Waiting outside Best Buy on Black Friday

I played a good bit of cards with the people around me

After a delicious Thanksgiving meal with my family, I headed over to Best Buy to wait in line for their midnight opening. I got there at 3:30 p.m. and was #28 in line – the line grew extremely exponentially in the next couple hours, so I was glad to have gotten there when I did.

Almost everyone there was looking to buy a 42″ Sharp television or a computer on the cheap, but I was the odd one out. I was there for a barely-advertised Nikon S8100 point-and-shoot camera that was selling for half of its normal price of $300.

My family called me crazy, but over the next nine hours they began looking at Best Buy’s sales online. When 11 o’clock rolled around I had a list of items for my entire family. The name-calling quickly ceased.

When they let us in at midnight I got my camera without a problem, and then managed to get most of the other deals for my family. When it was all said and done, I got out of Best Buy at around 1 a.m. after having saved $700 on $1700 worth of electronics.


One item not pictured because it's still a surprised
Washing Machine not pictured.

I was very relieved at the organized structure of the sales. Best Buy handed out tickets for the most popular items, so many people knew by 11 p.m. if they would get what they came for. The people in line were also very kind, and I enjoyed sitting and talking with the people around me. While you may read about horror stories of stampeding/trampling in Walmart, most people I was with seemed to understand that a television is not worth rioting for. (Either that or Best Buy’s ticketing system just removed that temptation. But I hear most Walmarts were still pretty bad, even with ticketing.) I also appreciated getting home at a reasonable hour instead of being out at 4 or 5 in the morning.

All in all, it was a memorable, and even enjoyable, way to spend my Thanksgiving evening – my only regret is that I had to bail out on my family before desert. I now have a fantastic camera to document my travels through Europe with, my parents have a new washing machine, my sister’s fiancĂ© has a PS3, and… well, we’ll just have to wait until Christmas to figure the rest out. (UPDATE: It was an Apple TV.)

If any of you went shopping on Black Friday I hope you got through it safely, found some of your deals, and didn’t have to sacrifice civility in the process!

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