Black Friday Shopping: What'd you do today?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DaveF, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This is my third year shopping "Black Friday" and my second with my now-wife. I found this year to be less interesting that last year, but I still found a few helpful deals.

    We got to Circuit City at 4:30am, and the line was around the store, out back, and I was parked about three stores away. At 5am, like locusts on the grain fields, the start of the line was in and grabbed all the DVD-R packs and 1GB and 2GB USB drives; I didn't get the key items I was after. But I found a few movies I wanted for gifts and my wife found the Half-Life 2 Xbox game I wanted for a gift.

    Then we got in line.

    This Circuit City was a complete disaster. Lines were rambling everywhere clogging major aisle, the ends unmarked and unclear. Long lines forcibly merged together before registers, and you couldn't tell which register you were going to until on top of it. We entered the store just after five, shopped for maybe 20 minutes, and then spent 80 minutes waiting to checkout. The lines were worsened by the remarkably inefficient checkout process. Each item had to be handscanned by a gun, an manual five-digit code entered for each one, mailing address info manually entered at point of sale, and the rebate slips slowly printed by the computer. I estimate it added one to two minutes per customer, which becomes substantial with 30 to 60 people ahead of you.

    Forunately, I had good line neighbors and we chatted. And at the register, some discarded USB drives were found, salvaging this trip.

    Worrying we'd be late for CompUSA to get the H700 earpiece I wanted, we dashed there. The store was quiet and slow and we quickly found the earpieces. True to form, I chose the slowest line. The one guy in front of me, buying a single item, took 10+ minutes: The item rang up wrong. They waited for a manager. She took several tries to get it right. The customer then tried to pay with a check, which wasn't worked. Finally, he had then cancel the sale and headed out to get cash from an ATM. And I bought and was out quickly.

    To BestBuy: I wanted a SanDisk 1GB MP3 for my mom. These were hot last year and I thought they'd be all gone, but we gave it a shot. BestBuy had stocked copiously; salespeople were hawking them to people waiting in line.

    In contrast to CC, BB was perfectly organized with roped lines and guides to point customers to the next open checkout.

    So back home with my stuff, Christmas shopping started and a couple new gadgets ready for use. [​IMG]
     
  2. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    Great story. I remember going to Best Buy last year in Augusta GA. The line went all around through the store. They only had one line that lead to different register points. I don't know who came up with that idea. Very strange. Certainly made me reconsider buying anything that day, even though that had a stack of DVDs I wanted that were less that 5 bucks each, like the new version of Apollo 13 and Catch me if you Can in WS. Oh, well. I still haven't bought those.

    Today I'm just going to my small town Super Wally world. I doubt I'll spend more than 30 minutes in total. (famous last words) I'm hoping for some REALLY cheap DVDS I heard about. Now, this weekend I'm going to that Augusta Best Buy again. I'm hoping they have Corel Photo XI for $30 since the online store is out of those. They thing retails for like $100! I'm wondering if it's an error or something.
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    None of these "Holiday" deals are any better than the usual deals the stores offer.

    I did go to Kohl's though - the parking was a bit crazy, but not too bad - but once I got in the store, the line for the cash register was down and around the corner. Ummm, no thanks! The deals aren't worth waiting over an hour in line. Besides, I am always getting 15% off coupons in the mail, so it's not like I'm missing a major sale.

    I did go to Wal-Mart as well and while the store wasn't anymore crowded than usual, the toy and video sections were JAMMED! Thank God I don't have to buy presents for little kids. I'd go nuts!
     
  4. DougR

    DougR Second Unit

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    Slept in [​IMG]
     
  5. Scott Thomas

    Scott Thomas Second Unit

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    Slept in, been playing Gears of War for Xbox 360
     
  6. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Depends on the item. The 2GB USB drive was much cheaper than normal -- I've been following prices the past six months. Likewise the Bluetooth earpiece was much cheaper than I've seen all year.

    To my disappointment, no one had 24 S2 on sale (unlike last year).
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Yeah, electronics and toys are probably the best buys, but clothing and other stuff was ;meh;.
     
  9. Rob Landolfi

    Rob Landolfi Stunt Coordinator

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    There were only a couple items that caught my eye this year, and I was hoping to avoid the crowds if at all possible.

    The main Black Friday site helped me out as they posted the Office Depot ad over a week ago, and I saw a good deal on a universal power supply (normally $60, on sale for $20). I picked it up last week for $60, then went to the store tonight after work when it was a lot less crowded and price-matched it back down to $20. I got lucky with my early recon effort as they were out of the model that was on sale.

    I saw the line forming at the Best Buy early Thursday, including someone's RV in the first non-handicap spot, and knew I wasn't going to go there anytime soon.

    Once Walmart's servers were back in the game this afternoon, I picked up something for the kids at the advertised low price and avoided getting trampled at the store.

    For me it was a normal work day other than a few diversionary visits to online storefronts and the low-stress trip down the street to Office Depot.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Rounding up to nearest dollar amount for the prices:

    On Thursday I ordered online at bestbuy.com 17 DVDs, all but one was from the $5 offerings. It was a good thing I ordered online because Best Buy checkout lines are a very time-consuming process of waiting and waiting and waiting, thus omething I wanted to avoid this year if possible.

    Fry's - showed up 5 minutes after 5 a.m. and didn't have a problem getting into the store by 5:10 a.m. since they were still letting in the big crowd from the cold outside. Since Fry's is a big store, they can accomodate a huge number of shoppers at any given moment.

    320 GB Maxtor HDs for $60 each.
    Battery Backup UPS Free after $28 rebate
    Lost season 2 $25
    Desperate Housewives season 2 $25
    FatF: Tokyo Drift $8
    Rush Hour $3
    Terminator 3 $1
    X-Men 3 $8
    The Office season 1 $8

    House season 1 was already sold out ($12)

    I drove over to Target, but they didn't open until 6 a.m. and I was about 15 minutes early, so I drove over to Circuit City and the check-out lines were ridiculous, so I stashed a House season 1 set, but it got picked up by someone with good eyes, so I didn't get a cheap House season 1 set.

    I left Circuit City and went to check out MicroCenter because I was interested in the XBox 360 Premium system for $300 after $100 rebate. Well, the line at MicroCenter was even more crazy because the big doorbuster deals features a $200 laptop, a cheap PC, and some cheap LCD TVs (don't know why people were excited to get a cheap LCD TV without HDMI, only had DVI from what I could tell).

    Suffice it to say, I did not stay at MicroCenter, and instead drove over to Staples to see if they had any of their doorbuster items left. When I got there, the checkout lines were long, and all the cheap/freebie stuff was pretty much gone, except for some so-so Sandisk 1GB SD card, etc, and also EASY buttons were on sale. So I didn't stay long and got back in the car.

    I next tried Target again, and bought a bunch of $4 and $6 DVDs (mostly office stocking stuffers). There a lot of other titles I would have picked up, but they were all foolscreen editions:

    $4:
    Batman Begins
    The Notebook
    Spider-Man 2
    Ultraviolet
    When a Stranger Calls
    Fun with Dick and Jane
    March of the Penguins
    Memoirs of a Geisha

    $6:
    National Treasure
    Pirates of the Caribbean
    40 Year Old Virgin

    $10
    Lethal Weapon 1-3

    $9
    Mission Impossible 3

    I tried getting the Transformers Millenium Falcon set (Chewie and Han) for $15, but they sold out.

    Drove back over to Circuit City and finally the lines had subsided, and it was possible to dig through the cheap DVD bins:

    My Name is Earl season 1 $19

    $6:
    Rent
    Transporters 2
    Office Space (With Flair)
    (I wanted another copy, but it had a Borat preview Disc and a different SKU and it didn't ring up as $6, bummer)

    $4:
    Honey
    Cape Fear
    Anger Management
    Resident Evil 2
    The Grudge
    Hitch
    Garden State
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Bad Boys 2
    Thin Red Line

    $3:
    Total Recall

    Then I drove back over to MicroCenter to see of the line had gotten shorter. It had, so I parked the car and got in line, and waited about 20-30 minutes since the store is small and could not handle the sheer number of people wanting those LCD TVs. Once I got in, I dawdled around and watched a few people play with the store demo setup for the WII, and that's a winner of a video game. Also saw the Playstation 3 in action, and to me it's just "prettier" graphics, but not any more involving to play then the PS2. People had a great time with the interactive aspect of the games for the WII, and couch potatoes would get some form of exercise playing these games. I did pick up a XBOX 360 Premium system for $400 (comes with $100 rebate to reduce price to $300 plus tax). But I'm having second thoughts about the purchase and will most likely return it this weekend.

    I was hungry, so I went home, had lunch and surfed for more BF info.

    Then it was time to go get my Best Buy order, so I showed up there to see what was left of the cheap stuff, and it was pretty well picked over, and I was very glad to have placed my online order earlier. So I saunter on with my emails and order info to the service desk. The lady goes into the back and brings back a big stack of DVDs for me:

    $5:
    Layer Cake (2 copies)
    Underworld: Evolution (2 copies)
    The Bourne Supremacy
    Doom
    Super Troopers
    Girl Next Door
    Fight Club
    Dodgeball
    The Transporter
    Robots
    Man on Fire
    Ong-Bak (2 copies)
    Saw

    Monster House $10

    Then I also found:
    Entourage season 2 $15
    Inside Man $10

    Finally thought I was done with shopping, but I remembered about the Star Wars LE + bonus comic book deal ($9.72) at Wal-Mart, so I drove over there and got a set of them for episode 4-6, and then looked through the toys section and actually found the last Transformers Millenium Falcon (with Chewie and Han), and had to go back to my car with the Target flyer and used it to get Wal-Mart to price-match the $15 sale price (normally $35). The Transformers is for my nephew, and big Star Wars fan.

    That was finally it for BF shopping. Whew!
     
  11. Michael D. Bunting

    Michael D. Bunting Screenwriter

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    Did the majority of my shopping online.

    Circuit City Online:

    1. Panasonic 52" (PT-52LCX66) LCD Projection HDTV with Built-In ATSC/QAM/NTSC Tuners and SD Memory Card Slot - $979.94

    2. Creative WebCam Live! Ultra (VF0060) - $16 AR

    Got some other things - but the TV was the only thing I really wanted, it's for the bedroom...already got a PS3 the day after launch, so...I'm a pretty happy camper [​IMG]
     
  12. JoshRas

    JoshRas Stunt Coordinator

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    Target has all Simpsons seasons for $16 each.

    They also have seasons 1-5 of 24 for $16 each also.

    I just started watching 24 last season so to pay $16 for a $40-$55 set is awesome.

    The only thing, I went to 2 different Targets and both were out of season 2. They still had plenty of the others. BTW, this was at 7pm.

    The sale price is good through tomorrow
     
  13. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    At the Apple store in Yorkdale (yes, in Canada where we already celebrated Thanksgiving ages ago and so they called this "Joy to the Wallet" -- this isn't usually a "sales" holiday up here) the debit card network went down twice, resulting in lines out the door.

    Wasn't just limited to the Apple store -- the rest of Yorkdale kept losing their debit card network, so it must have been at the bank level -- but it sure caused a giant pileup at the cash.
     
  14. Regulus

    Regulus Cinematographer

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    This year wasn't as great as last year was for me (In 2005 I "Raided" Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, Wal-Mart and Walgreens and "Relieved" them of 26 Different Movies including The Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Jurassic Park Movies for about $100.00!) If that wasn't enough I "Relieved" circuit City of a 51-Inch HDTV for about $600.00! [​IMG]

    Today I took on the Insanity called Circuit City and for about $70.00 I "Relieved" them of Three DVD Box Sets and Four Movies. [​IMG]

    The Box Sets:

    1. Christmas Classics (Contains Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is coming to town, Frosty the Snowman, Frosty Returns, The Little Drummer Boy and Cricket on the Hearth)

    2. Charmed, Season 1

    3. Firefly, the Complete Series

    The Movies

    1. Terminator 3

    2. Alien

    3. Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle

    4. Robots

    All Movies Widescreen except for Robots (For $2.99 who's going to argue!)

    I hope everyone found the bargains they set out for. The crowds can be quite hectic, but we are all looking for Bargains.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Mark - do you mean to say, people shop for things besides electronics and movies on BF!?! [​IMG]
     
  16. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Well, the TV isn't $979 anymore...it's $999. [​IMG]
     
  17. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    I, myself, learned a lesson a long time ago, NEVER go to any store announcing its first "Christmas sale of the season."

    Reading Dave's original post, about the guy in front of him with the problems paying for his item... Have any of you seen that new Visa commercial, where the guy paying with cash is the one who screws everyone else up, because the clerk has to deal with cash, rather than the Visa card? My brothers and I laugh our asses off, because half the time, the reason a lot of lines are so slow in stores, especially during this time of year is because the modem lines to get the damned purchase approved in the first place are being overwhelmed. I worked in a bookstore, and at lunch rush, when everyone was in a hurry (natch!) the damned credit card lines were ALWAYS molasses slow.

    If the guy in front of Dave had had cash in the first place, it probably would have gone a lot faster, without having to fiddle with checks, and then leaving to use the ATM.
     
  18. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I went to the super Wal*Mart and bought some groceries and blank CD's.

    There were no lines at 10pm, and nothing I bought was on sale.
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    I love the Best Buy system. It severely limits budging, and because the line is going to multiple registers, you're always moving - which makes the time seem to go faster.

    I was horribly sick from a nasty headache overeating, so at 4:01 am I decided I wasn't going to get any more sleep and got up. I drugged up, by which point my shuffling about had woken up my father. We hopped in the car around 4:38 and got to Circuit City at two minutes to five. We parked in the back and walked to the front.

    Instantly, I knew it was going to be a disaster. The line was ten deep and wrapped halfway down the oversized stripmall (ie. a stripmall with only giant anchor stores) We didn't wait in that line. Not becasue we weren't prepared to, but because there was a three foot gap on the edge where all of the latecomers were streaming through. Circuit City had no one out front to enforce the line. We slipped in to the (I believe warranted) screams of indignation from the people who had been waiting at the front of the line for probably hours but were, do to shitty line management, totally blocked from entering the store.

    Unfortunately, it'd been a while since I'd been to the Circuit City in Guilderland and I had no idea where anything was. This wasted precious time, and by the time I got to where the prize item (a 250 GB external harddrive for $100 off) was, they were all gone. The other big ticket item I was after, an external dual layer DVD writer, consisted of only four to six in boxes strewn on the top of nearby items. I snagged one, spotted the empty discount USB flash memory bin, and went in search of my father. He was about 200th in line for the digital camera section, which had only one cashier working. It was hopeless. He gave up the chase. And that's where the nightmare began in earnest.

    Whereas Best Buy was always better at making sure the first people waiting outside the door were the first ones in, Circuit City's design actually screwed the people who spent the time waiting. It was much the same with the registers. There wasn't any space to move in the store (there was a fire truck outside in case they blew capacity) and the store only had five checkouts and the customer service desk by design. Each line was a row of the DVD/CD section. That was the extent of their line control. We got in line at 5:27. We finished checking out after 7. Like Dave, we had a friendly group around us, so it wasn't bad, even though it moved about a foot every 20 minutes. The only nice thing was that people with the smaller items got fed up and left, which meant I was able to snag one of the 1 GB USB 2.0 flash memory sticks for $4 after rebates and a copy of X-Men 3 for $9. Also saw the Jack Johnson Curious George soundtrack for $12 and picked that up. So they only got me for one non-loss leader out of the pack. Once the rebates come back, it'll come out to be over ~$78 off for items totalling ~$178 originally (including the nothing special CD price). Not a total success, but well worth the misery.

    From there we went to Office Max and got a Kodak EasyShare camera for a not black friday (but still cheaper than many of the others) price. No one else even in line. They threw in Norton Confidential for free as one of their black friday gimmicks, though we'll probably never use it.

    Then we went to Sears which had a better camera for only slightly more, but we said screw it. Ended up hitting Boscov's and Macy's, also to no avail. Back home by 8:30 am. Never again, I tell myself. Until next year.
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Fry's is just a humongous store, capable of holding hundreds of people (if not almost a thousand), so they didn't have to limit the number of people going in at the start of the BF sale at 5 a.m. Also there are almost 70 cash registers at Fry's.
     

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