Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Black Friday

Like a hungry, zombie mob, consumers can't resist the delicious savings!

It's the one day every geek loves to hate. Loves, because you're never gonna find more consumer electronics deals on a larger scale (every store, every type of item, one crazy morning). Hates, because it's one of the worst days to shop due to the crowds, pushing and shoving, and the absolute need to "camp out" in line for the really good stuff.

Every year, I vow never to put myself through the ordeal and every year I prove myself wrong. But it's hard to resist the promise of good deals. Only thing is, everyone else seems to have that very same problem. So, since you're going (yeah, quit fighting it.. you already know you're going), here are some tips to get you ready for Black Friday this year..

1. Bring a friend. If you're going to sit outside in the cold, darkened night, squashed up against a crowd full of electronics geeks of all shapes and sizes, you gonna want someone else there to share in the pain. See, you're misery and their misery now cancels each other out, thus balancing the universe. And if one of you starts dosing off, the other person can be there to poke them back into consciousness. What are friends for anyway? Besides, who are you gonna trust to hold your place in line while you go pee behind that bush? Getting them to make a quick Mickey-D's run at 6am is another good reason to bring someone else.

2. Bring stuff to do. Unlike most other waiting games, this one kinda requires consumer electronics. Unless you're waiting under a bright street lamp or you bring amaglite w/ extra batteries, you're probably not gonna be able to read anything or solve any sudoku puzzles. Sure, if you followed my advice in step #1, you could simply talk to your friend for your entire wait, but we all know that's only gonna take up a good 20mins, maybe 30 mins if you're lucky. If you want to prepare for the long haul, you'd do well to bring a handheld gaming system or two. Rack up the high score in that Bejeweled clone you've got on your cell phone. How about renting a mobile power generator and bringing an LCD with you? Now the guy behind you in line has got 2 things to be jealous of you.

3. Have a gameplan. This is like the big show, so preparing is everything. Maybe it's because I'm a guy, but when it comes to shopping, I never go just to go. What the hell is the point of just looking? I came for a reason dammit, and I've already memorized the fastest route to get my 5 items and then get to where I calculated the tail of the line should be by then. Hesitate even a moment and then little Timmy is gonna have one less overpriced gadget to brag to their friends about come Monday morning. Check the websites early (link1, link2, link3), so you're not waiting for the Thanksgiving newspaper. Also be sure to prioritize everything. Your gifts > Other people's gifts >USB Memory Sticks. Just remember to keep it realistic. Chances are you're not likely to get a shopping cart, so make sure your eyes aren't bigger than what your arms can carry.

4. Hit up multiple stores. If you're got the energy left, you might be able to grab a few more items elsewhere. Naturally, you camp the store where you can strike themotherlode , but don't forget that most people forget about going to those second tier stores like Sears, Comp USA, or even Costco. I know you're probably gonna be in zombie mode, but if you can just hold out a few hours longer, you can be soaking your feet in that brand new foot bath or relaxing in a new gaming chair. Trust me, you'll be glad you sacrificed your body in the name of electronics.

5. Be safe.

You don't wanna be those people on the ground when the shit goes down. One way to make sure you avoid the craziness and mayhem is to pick stores that you know will be handing out vouchers. I know Best Buy usually does this and I'm sure others do as well. Many stores only let groups of people into the store in controlled waves, but it's probably best to ask the store manager before hand. On the flip side, a class action lawsuit is always a good Plan B.

1 comment:

Nukem945 said...


i like how Joystiq used the same black friday pic as me.. those guys have good taste!