I’m amazed at how Black Friday has changed in a few short years. I made my first Black Friday expedition 3 years ago. It was a lot of fun. I had a few small items I was hoping to score. Knowing quantities were limited made the thrill of the hunt exciting. But I knew I had a chance to get what I wanted. The doors opened very early Friday morning, so early that I had to set my alarm and decide if I really wanted to go out. I went, I had fun. That was Black Friday then.
Fast forward 3 years and Black Friday begins on Thursday. I debated whether Black Friday on Thursday is a good thing. Does the bonus pay make it worth an abbreviated Thanksgiving holiday for the employees? Ultimately I was lured out by the promise of an iPad purchased at regular price with a bonus $75 gift card. I would not normally go out for a big ticket item since quantities are always limited and I am not the kind of Black Friday shopper who is willing to wait in line for hours before opening, but the 1-hour guarantee got me. What did I have to lose?
Well, I knew I was in trouble when I pulled into Walmart’s parking lot and it was at maximum capacity. This would have been a good time to turn around and go home. Lines of cars were parked along the street, an adjacent parking lot was full. I ended up parking across a major road in another store’s lot. I chose a well lit spot as close to my destination as I could. I called my husband so I was not walking completely alone late at night with a purse full of things someone else might want. This might have been a good time to turn around and go home. I enter the store and I am greeted with a line of shopping carts filled with enormous boxed television sets that extends to the back of the store. This would have been a great time to turn around and go home, but no, I ask where I need to go for the iPad. I’m directed to the shoe department, odd. I get to the shoe department and I understand why. There is a line, a very long line, that twisted through the aisles of the shoe department reminiscent of the lines at an amusement park. Do I stay or do I go?
I had gotten this far so I stayed. I really should have gone. Waiting in this seemingly stationary line I tried to estimate how long it would take and weighed that against the value of my time. I was far better off without the bonus $75 gift card, my time was more valuable, but I was already there so I stayed. I ended up with a guarantee card and I should have the iPad soon. This Black Friday was not so much fun, by the time I was done with the iPad line all of the smaller items I would have liked were gone. I’m not sure there will ever be a deal good enough to get me out on Black Friday on Thursday again. Anywhere farther away than my local Target, that is, and only for the small stuff!
Did you venture out for Black Friday on Thursday? Did you have fun?