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Share Your Black Friday Experience

By Erik Folgate

My wife and I were a part of the Black Friday mayhem, but it may be our last experience with it. I’ll give you a brief rundown of our morning…

I am woken up at 4am to the sweet smell of my dog’s breath, because my wife woke up first, so my dog was excited that we were getting up so early. She took it upon herself to be my alarm clock and give me a big lick on the face. I got up and looked at my wife, and we said to each other, “wow, it sounds so much more fun to go shopping at 5am for great deals until you actually do it”. But, we were already awake, so we decided to get up and go! We got to the mall area around 4:45am where Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, and Kohl’s are all within a one mile radius of each other. I wanted to stop at Circuit City first, but I took one look at the line, and my motivation was gone. We went to Wal-Mart to check out some of the toys they had on sale for our nephews, and what we saw was no surprise. We saw hundreds of people throwing in LCD TV’s, desktop computers, and DVD players into their cart like it was milk and cereal. Literally, some people had a 42″ LCD, a 32″ LCD, a laptop computer, and a desktop computer all in two carts. We walked around a for a few minutes, picked up some of the toys that we had circled on our list, and proceeded to wait for about 30 minutes in line. My wife’s brother-in-law and I then went to Best Buy. Best Buy was a bust. They had no good deals this year, and you could tell. It was busy, but not like it has been in the past. Who really wants a 32″ Dynex TV

Then, I went back to Circuit City and the line was moving pretty well. We got into Circuit City, and picked up a bunch of $4.00 DVDs and a $7.00 iPod armband. We put the items back when we saw the line to check out and how slow it was moving. We went back an hour later after that, and we still waited 45 minutes in line to check out for $25.00 worth of merchandise. We hit up Target and Kohl’s after that. It was in Target where I had that moment where you say to yourself, “What the hell am I doing here?”. I went to find Call of Duty 4 for Xbox 360, because it was $48 instead of $60, but they were all gone. I turned around and all I could see were red carts. I was literally trapped on all sides. I could not move, because there were shopping carts on all sides of me. I could do nothing but stand in the middle of the aisle and look like an idiot. Then, we went to Kohl’s, which we found a lot of great deals on toys for our nieces and nephews. However, my sister-in-law waited for about 45 minutes to an hour just to buy a watch! Apparently, Kohl’s only has two registers where you can purchase jewelry. They were very prepared for their everyday items, but not for their jewelry.

So, that was our day. We were out for about 6 hours, but it was fairly productive. We got all of our Christmas shopping done for the children in our life plus a few superflous buys for us. If I had to rate the stores we went to based on the best deals, I would say that Circuit City and Target had the best overall deals. It was a down year for Black Friday, in my opinion. The deals were not that earth shattering, and none of the door busters were that eye catching. Hands down, the best doorbuster was the 42″ Sharp Aquos LCD TV at Circuit City for $799.00. If you picked up that TV, you got a great deal. Those retail for $1299 to $1499. The 37″ Olevia LCD at Target was also a good deal, but I’ve seen that price for those TV’s online.

Tell us about your Black Friday. Did you stay at home? Did you shop online instead? Did you find any great deals? Did you get in any fights? I sure hope not, because the deals just weren’t worth it this year.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Jerry

    I went to Wal-mart at 4:30 and I saw the same things you saw, people buying 42″ POLAROID tvs for $789! That is not a deal! I walked out with 2 laptops that I bought for $388 apeice and I feel pretty good about that. One is a Toshiba, the other is a HP I bought for my mom that came with a laptop sorround sound system in box! I also got 4 extra gigs of ram from CompUSA for $27 bucks apeice. Then went to Best Buy and got 2 500gb external harddrives for $99 apeice. It was a good day for me!

  • author

    sounds like you cleaned up! good job. There were definitely some good deals out there, but the 42″ polaroid lcd was not one of them!

  • Shelby

    I bought one Compaq laptop with the new windows on it for 179.. Felt pretty good about it!

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