I couldn’t be the only person in the world who wants to lay around after Thanksgiving dinner watching the television while slipping in and out of nap mode. There isn’t a deal in the world that would get me up at 4am to stand in line in the cold to save money on a new TV set. It must be me because as of Tuesday afternoon there were people already camped out at Best Buy in their pup tents with Coleman heaters ready. The store will open at 12 midnight on Thursday night (Friday Morning), that’s 56-hours of waiting in line! Are they there for the deals or for the adventure, or both? Either way it is just crazy. You’ve just spent the day with family and friends being thankful for all the stuff we already have, then frantically racing to a store less than 12-hours later to amass more stuff. I can almost understand showing up a few hours early to get a particular item at a big discount…but days? Days of complete boredom and freezing cold nights. Spending Thanksgiving on a sidewalk next to a big outlet store? There is something wrong with that. The only break in the non-action is when a TV station sends a reporter down to interview those standing outside and the people who take great pride in being the first in line. “I love camping out because it’s an adventure”, ” I love the people that I meet “, ” My wife will be bringing my Thanksgiving meal while I wait “…Really? You would rather save money on a computer than spend Thanksgiving Day with family. Ok, it’s not really camping out when your on a sidewalk by a store and your meeting people similar to you who have nothing better to do then spend 3-days on that same sidewalk. I should not judge, but to me I could better spend my time sleeping. Here is my own scale to separate the shoppers from the psychos:
1. Don’t go at all and stay at home – Totally normal. In fact 70% of in-store Black Friday deals are also available online for the same price. The LA Times reported that 9 out of 10 Americans said they didn’t plan to bargain hunt on the holidays. A second survey put the number at 85%.
2. Go to sale 1-hr. early – If you have to go this is still within the reasonable limits of normality. You probably won’t get the doorbuster deal advertised, but you’ll still save money. Even the super early birds are not assured of getting the deal they want as doorbuster items are meant to create buzz and lure shoppers, but unfortunately are very limited in supply. If you see a television regularly priced at $1,200 selling for $200, they probably have only 10 in stock.
3. Arrive up to 3-hours early – This is the cut-off time between normality and insanity. 3-hours is the maximum waiting time for any normal person…after this you become Abbie Normal.
4. Arrive 3 to 8-hours early – This is a full day of waiting with no pay, no fun, no reason to be standing . You’ve become obsessed with the item you want to buy and are willing to show up on the local evening news looking stupid. Remember you can still get hurt in the ensuing charge when the doors open. This is also past the time limit one can control his/her bowels which sets the stage for another embarrassing situation.
5. Arrive 1-day or over – Change your name to Sybil if your a woman or Norman if your a man because you are officially Psycho. This has now gone past obsession and gone in to unexplained behaivor. You’ve brought out the camping gear, your kids are embarrased when they see you on TV, you have lost rational thought, but your actually close to the first person in line who happens to be the head nutt-job.
6. Wait for Cyber-Monday – Back to normal. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and start the buying online in a warm home on late Sunday and Monday. Deals can even be better online than those in-store. Be thankful for all that you already have.