Just for the record, Black Friday is absolutely overrated. I can’t imagine going to a store and standing in line for hours, at 40° Fahrenheit, waiting for the doors to open at midnight. I was, however, curious as to how many people would be this crazy, so at around 10pm I drove past my local Best Buy to check out the situation. I estimate that there were about 250 people freezing in line.
Best Buy did have a couple things that caught my eye this year. One was a Sharp 42″ Class LCD 1080p HDTV for $199.99 (
$499.99) and the other a HP – 23″ Flat-Panel LED HD Monitor for $119.99 ( $229.99). Even though the Sharp had less than average reviews, for $200, a 42″ HDTV is a 42″ HDTV. Unfortunately, the Sharp was what you call a door buster, which meant that if you weren’t one of the first 20 people to enter the store, it was more than likely that it was going to be sold out. The HP monitor, on the other hand, was just a regular sale. The thing is, most people who shop at this hour are either looking for early Christmas presents or to treat themselves to something nice e.g. iPods, laptops, DVDs, gaming consoles, etc, which is why I arrived at Best Buy again close to 1am.
I admit to standing in line for about 15 minutes, but it was nothing compared to what it would have been at 10pm. I realized later that they weren’t opening the doors for everyone at midnight, but rather letting people through in sets, doing somewhat of a crowd control. Then after x amount people left the store, a new set would be let in. I guess even Best Buy has an occupation limit.
Once inside, I inquired about the Sharp TV and then proceeded to the monitors. Not a soul over there. I checked out that beautiful HP monitor, inspected all of its capabilities, and then walked over to one of the demo computers to read some reviews. The majority rated it 4.5 out 5 stars. Furthermore, the best price for the monitor was indeed Best Buy. Nobody had it cheaper, even after taking shipping and tax in account. After spending another 15 minutes on research and now finding that there were two monitors missing, I picked one up for myself, leaving two behind on the shelf.
It had been a really efficient trip thus far, but after locating the tail of the checkout line, which wrapped around several aisles, I felt tricked. I had already come this far and I certainly wasn’t going to walk out the store now, and any doubt I did have, shrunk with every step I took forward. Ironically, I was on the phone with a friend of mine, who was at another Best Buy (after tempting him with this great deal on that monitor), but the moment he saw the checkout line, he walked right back out. There you go Best Buy, it lost you sale!
What do I take away from this experience? Well, I think I’ll go back to my motto: “Don’t stand in line for a product unless it’s for a new release of Halo,” but nevertheless, I did end up with a shiny new toy.