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Tracy King's Blog

My Black Friday Shopping Experience.

You would never know there was a recession on, there were shoppers with full carts of TVs, computers, printers everywhere.

Or, why would anyone get up at 4 am to go stand in line in the cold?

Answer: Beats the heck out of me! I’m a child of the 60’s. I truly thought that Black Friday was all about not buying anything the day after Thanksgiving to protest the commercialism of the holidays. I’ve been co-opted!

How did this new Black Friday shopping extravaganza happen to me? I read a Fry’s Electronics ad and it had a netbook that looked perfect for my husband for about $75 less than I had seen anywhere else. Is a possible $75 savings enough to do this?

The short story is “No.”

Fry's Black Friday 6:30 am

Fry's Black Friday 6:30 am


But I don’t know if that’s really true. I really did get up at 4 am, I left home in time to get a little lost and still arrive at Fry’s in Burbank at 5 am, where I was able to park in the furthest corner of the packed parking lot. The lost part included driving past all those big stores at the Empire Center along Victory there like Target, Best Buy, Old Navy, The Great Indoors. Most of them had huge lines and parking lots full of cars! I’m telling you! At 5 am! Who knew?
The Fry’s staff was like an army. They were lined up about 20 feet apart all around the huge building, because the line to get in went that far. Along the way, there were empty soda bottles, cans, a to-go plate of pancakes, candy wrappers, even blankets. Then, once inside, you had to line up in the department where you wanted to buy your particular hot item, like the netbook. There were hundreds and hundreds of shoppers and in some spots it looked like one staff for every 5 shoppers. I got within about 20 people of the cage where they were handing out the boxes of laptops before they totally sold out of what I was after. Sigh. You would never know there was a recession on, there were shoppers with full carts of TVs, computers, printers everywhere.

But I learned some things chatting with some of my fellow would-be shoppers. I’m afraid this will expose to you just how not a shopper I am, but so be it. One guy had driven down from Mohave to stand in line at the Old Navy store beginning at 1 am. He tired of that, but did a little online shopping at Best Buy at 3 am when a cheap netbook came up for sale. He snagged one of those, just before they sold out at 3:30 am. Then he found out that the first 70 people in line at Old Navy had gotten free Xbox somethings, and he wished he had stayed there. So why was he at Fry’s at 6 am? His girlfriend had expressed an interest in having a netbook, too, and he wasn’t about to pay more than $200 for one. I think this was true love. At 6 am.

The announcement over the store-wide system was “The checkout line begins at aisle 78.” So forget about just shopping for some little things that might be an acceptable deal. I left. I was home before 7 am, empty-handed, but inspired. Gee, maybe I could go online and find some Black Friday deals. Long story short, I bought Christmas presents for almost all my family today for at least a “free shipping” discount. Plus, I was so inspired and in the shopping mode that I actually did buy something for almost everyone on my list. Thank you, Black Friday, I’m practically done with Christmas shopping! Now I can spend my time getting into the spiritual side of the holidays.

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