Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tales from Black Friday

*First, I want to say that I was so saddened by the news on Friday night. A security guard being trampled to death by Wal-Mart shoppers over good deals? It truly saddens me. I had a good time on "Black Friday" but coming home to that news was a sad way to end the day.*

So...this was to be my second year to venture out with the crazies and "do" Black Friday. I swore I would never be one of those people...until last year...when I was! And it was very cold, and a very long day, but it was also great memories with my mom and aunt.

This year the deals weren't as great, but there were a few "biggies" I wanted to take advantage of. The cost of PJs is an ongoing frustration to me, so $4 pj's at Wal-Mart was a big draw! We've also been waiting for several months to see if we could find a good deal on portable DVD players for the kids. $49 each at Wal-Mart was IT.

At about 11pm my mom, my aunt and I decided that we wouldn't even go to sleep. We'd just pull an all-nighter. By 1am we were so sick of sitting and waiting that we decided to go over to Wal-Mart to stake out where everything was and how they would set up ropes and such. When we got there at around 1:45 there were already people lined up in the electronics section!! We walked the store, bought a few things that weren't "blitz" items, and then my mom and aunt decided we should just go ahead and stay until the "blitz" opened at 5am. So by 3am I was parked in front of 100 or so $49 portable DVD players. Mom was on assignment for $4 mini choppers and PJs. Aunt Sherry stationed the $35 comforter sets and $1.50 towels.

The minutes crept by. In my area (electronics) more and more people were showing up. By 4:30 (when we had planned to arrive) there were well over 30 people waiting in the area by the DVD players. But I was first "in line." Me and a few other old timers had a system worked out to make sure the folks who walked in at the last minute waited their turn. Or so we thought.

At 4:55 someone came over the loud speaker and said something. Whatever it was, what it MEANT was RUN TO YOUR ITEM AND ACT LIKE A CRAZY PERSON!!!!!!! I was 3 feet away from those DVD players and common sense told me I had nothing to worry about. But when it comes down to it humans are like lemmings. When one of us jumps we all start running. I got to those things as quickly as I could but before I could even figure out what was going on I was stuck on the ground getting pushed to the floor. Or rather, when I bent down the pick up the players, people behind me kept pushing and leaning over me, so I was stuck there. Eventually I got out of there, with adrenalin pumping through my veins and fighting back tears. That wasn't so fun.

I called my mom, who narrowly escaped stampede in the $4 pjs! "Where are you mom! I can't find you!" "Aisle 2! Frozen foods! Aisle 2!" "Copy." Over I head to frozen foods and find my mom. She had tears in her eyes too. The adrenalin was pumping. We hugged. Mission accomplished.

But we still had a man out there! Aunt Sherry! Aunt Sherry calls and we say, "Aisle 2! Regroup at Aisle 2!" "Negative" she says. "Stuck by the registers. Will never make it!" We told her she must push through to get to the rendezvous point. Eventually our team had reconnected in the frozen foods and we were ready for our second round of battle.

Off we went for second priority missions. $10 ATV guys. $20 play laptops. $15 sheets. Other various toys. The last "to do" was to get checked out. It wasn't as bad as last year when at Target the lines literally wrapped around the entire store. It was an 8-10 basket line. We were out of there by around 6:30am. Whew!

Next was a quick stop for breakfast at Sonic. Had to refuel! Then it was a quick detour to Wal-Greens for buy one $6.99 get the second free Webkinz Littlekinz.

By shortly after 8 we were on to the next mission: Target. When we got there most things were picked over already, but we did manage to get a few TV on DVD sets for $13, and my mom found some of the toys she was looking for.

Next was Kohl's to see what was left over there. The place had obviously been shopped over! And the lines still went from the front to the back of the store (they opened at 4am)! We looked, but walked out empty handed after deciding we didn't want to stand in those lines for the little things we had.

Next it was to the mall. I know! The mall! I NEVER go to the mall, but it was Black Friday and my Aunt and Mom wanted to go to Bath and Body works. I told them there was no way that at 10:00 they would still have any of the VIP bags left (if you bought $40 of stuff you got to buy a bag with $100 worth of stuff for $15). Lo and behold, we got 3 of the last 5 bags they had! I don't know if I was going to spend that much at B&B before I got the bag, but after I got that bag I wanted to! And really, it's not hard to spend $40 there when you have women to buy for. Candles, lotions, oils, pretty baskets, it's just all speaks so nicely to a woman's inner frilly dress!

Oh! I digress a moment... by the time we got to the mall my feet were not working well. It's a planter's fasciitis thing...basically I could barely walk. But in we walked to Dillards, who sells crocs, and they were 40% off! Say what you want about crocs (they ARE as ugly as sin) but for my messed up feet there is no better shoes. I bought a pair and put them on immediately! My feet instantly felt like 60% better.

Our last stop was to a place called "Third Planet" for a gift for my brother-in-law. After that it was a refreshing Orange Julius as we walked out to the car.

All in all, we were awake for 39 hours in a row and had actually been shopping for 12 hours solid. Yikes! But it was fun. Except for the few crazy moments in Wal-Mart, that is. And really...all shoppers need their battle stories. ;-) I added it up and I saved about $400 off of the merchandise I bought on Friday--well over the amount I actually spent.

Will we go for year three? I don't know. I guess it all depends on the ads next year! I will think twice about going for wal-mart electronics in the future.



Joy 7:29 AM  

It sounds like you had fun! :-)


Renee 8:17 AM  

Wow! It sounds like you had great day! Your Mom and your Aunt sound like great ladies!

Heather A. 8:46 AM  

Oh my! That sounds like quite an adventure. Glad you had fun and got some good deals!

Jen 6:28 PM  

Oh my gosh, I can so picture you at the bottom of a pile of crazy shoppers in the electronics- you are a brave woman as obviously the Walmart crowds seem the most dangerous. I did not know they do that at Bath and Body Works- that is a great deal.

Have to agree on the Crocs- they are my 3 day walk shoes for the nights. I can't tell you how great they feel after walking 20 miles each day- although with all that shopping- maybe you know! LOL


Q Baxter 11:27 PM  

You did it! I love Black Friday and I am like you, out early. You definitely figured the "system" out. It is so much better to go with a team than yourself. I can't wait until Leigh Ann moves back because then I will have another person to spread out. :)

It sounded like you had a screaming deal! I definitely think you should go next year! :)


Momto13 11:13 AM  

I am so jealous! I missed the DVD portable players for $49 and the BBW bags! That was such a deal! We always go out on black friday- this year we let most of our older children go and had a ball just eating breakfast and watching the madness around us. It's great people watching!

Emily B. 6:00 PM  

LOL! You're much braver than me :) I've heard that going in "teams" with a "game plan" is the only way to go... it sounds like your group had it all figured out though. I'm so glad you make it out OK... and with some great buys.