HOW LONG ARE YOU WILLING TO STAND IN LINE FOR A DEAL?

best buy

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.

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3 thoughts on “HOW LONG ARE YOU WILLING TO STAND IN LINE FOR A DEAL?

  1. This reminds me of coupon clipping….”Look at all of these groceries I purchased for only 99 cents!!”……Sure! if you like Pop Tarts, Soda, Frozen french fries…Unfortunately alot of people are convinced that more is better, bigger is better…..as far as waiting in line for anything anymore (and I USED to wait in line to see many concerts, sports games with my Dad, the Zoo, Wild Animal Park, Sea World with our son)…waiting in line for “stuff” is not the same as waiting in line for a memorable experience, altho some of the folks waiting in line for 3 days at Best Buys might beg to differ about the “experience”….there will always be new stuff, better stuff, antique stuff, vintage stuff, bitchen stuff, cool crap… I have accumulated my share of stuff in my life (did not have to wait in line, maybe because back in the stone age there were not as many people) …I have donated a lot of it to charity …still have some stuff in storage! Now the real issue at my age (59) is downsizing. Possibly the real issue with people is getting “the deal”…..if they only sacrifice (spend the nights in freezing temps) for “the deal” then they will be rewarded….who knows! One thing is for sure, I will NOT go anywhere near those mobs of people rushing into dept stores mowing people over to get to “the deal”.

  2. We are both at the same stage in life, we are also downsizing. It’s amazing how much stuff one can accumulate. That’s nice you gave a lot of yours to charity. My memory as a kid is my mother filling up “Stamp Books ” from grocery stores…a lot of work for a discount. Take Care, Craig

  3. Fortunately we were a military family…..discounted food at the commissary, discounted clothing, toys, bicycles, jewelry, shoes, china, liquor, cigarettes (fortunately both of my parents stopped smoking and lived to 93 and 94)….everything you could imagine at the PX…..we did save blue and green stamps however the items they offered were really not anything we ever needed….As military we were also offered movies for 25 cents at NTC and a Hobby Shop and Bowling Alley at MCRD…….Growing up I do not remember any family discussions about money or lack of it….I know both of my parents were very frugal and we always bought a new car every 5 years…..BTW…your blog reminds me so much of what a blessed life I have had…..now it seems people are just rushing around everywhere and rarely have time to slow down and savor the moment!

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