Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

I did something this year that I've never officially done before.  I went Black Friday shopping.  I have mixed feelings about Black Friday shopping, but thought I'd give it a shot at least once before poo-pooing it for life.  The stores opening at midnight was what pushed me over the edge to go this year.  I'm not one for getting up at 3 am to shop, but I'll stay up a little later.

We opted for Target.  And we had a strategy.  And we were in and out of there in just about an hour.  Which is pretty good for a normal shopping trip.  We did so good at Target, we just had to go to Old Navy too.  Yeah.  That was a mistake.  Old Navy isn't designed the handle the number of customers that Target gets regularly.  And I bet there were almost as many people at Old Navy as there was at Target.  Old Navy was so full that they were literally at capacity and could only let people in as others left.

It was really odd going into Target and seeing dozens of TVs out on the floor.  40"+ LCD TVs for less than $500.  And SLR cameras.  And game systems.  It was an interesting sight.  

Target was brilliant.  They had all their "2-Day Sale" items in big specially marked cardboard displays all over the store.  They handed out maps to where things were located (because I don't normally shop for DVDs in the girls clothes).  The line to check out was insanely long.  You know, the people you stand in line with outside the store the same people you have to stand in line with inside the store when you want to pay.  They taped off a makeshift queue line that weaved in and out of cosmetics and toiletries.  

It was BRILLIANT!  You finish getting all the must have deals of the day and wait in line for 20 minutes and see all the household items that you need to have ... soap, lotion, medicines, etc.  And while you're at it, why not pick up that toy that someone before you left behind.  We had a short conversation with our cashier.  I say short not because we didn't have things to talk about, but because she was so super speedy that we didn't have time for a lengthy one.  As expected, the most experienced cashiers were staffed starting at midnight.

Old Navy.  Imagine shopping at Old Navy on a normal busy Saturday.  You have to wait in line about 20 minutes, and maybe wait 5-10 minutes to try on clothes.  The clothes are messed up and you have a hard time finding your size.  It's crowded.  But you make due.  Now take that same speed and sense of urgency and mentality and multiply it by 1000.  That was the Old Navy experience.  They just aren't equipped to handle the number of customers that come out for an event like this and I won't do that again.  We were in line to check out for over an hour.  And I didn't get anything that I could not have purchased later today or this weekend.  And since everyone went shopping at midnight (thank you Wal-Mart for starting this new trend last year), the Friday day shopping should be a dream ... unless you like the mall.  Yeah ... I'm not going there.

And here's what I learned ........ the Door Buster deals of the 90s and even early 00s are no more.  You remember, you get to K-Mart at 5 am and you get that extra 20% off the TV or movies you wanted.  Or there's a limited number of that "must have" toy and if you don't get in line at 3 am you won't get the toy.  Now, at least at Target and Old Navy, the sales last all weekend or the coupons are good all month.

We did not encounter anyone mean and vicious.  We didn't have to fight over any one item.  There were plenty stocked of everything.  It's a bit odd to see 46" TVs sitting in the makeup aisle at Target.   

I spent only the money I was given to spend and I got some great things.  I got some things I've been meaning to get for awhile.  I got some things I would not have purchased otherwise.  I got some things for me and I got some things as gifts.

I did not get anything that I could not live without.
And there were no sales that were so good they were worth losing that much sleep over.
I did have fun.

I wonder how many Black Friday shoppers are really shopping for Christmas presents and how many are shopping for themselves, or for the rush of getting a good deal.

I'd love to go as a photographer and just get shots of the chaos.  Organized chaos in some places, but chaos nonetheless.


Krystyn said...

I've never done it and have no desire to do it! You made it sound like it wasn't too bad, but at the same time, it wasn't really worth it, right?

TurnRich said...

cool blog i joined using google friend connect i avoided black friday for the most part though they had some great deals on labtops and tvs at hh greeg and walmart

Christine said...

Krystyn ... I don't know. I had fun, but that was probably because of who I was with. I might do it again (skipping Old Navy), but I wouldn't rely on it for my Christmas shopping.

I wish I had the energy to do marathon shopping like my cousins do. Babies are too big to take with me and I still can't leave her at home for extended periods of time, so I have to limit my time out.