29 November 2008

The day after.

On Thanksgiving day, I bought a newspaper so I could browse though all the black friday advertisements. I'm much more of a shopper than a buyer, so I really get a kick out of flipping through all the inserts.

Corey has been thinking about buying a blu-ray DVD player for a few months and our current DVD player is in the process of dying, so Corey researched who had the best deals on blu-ray players. Before too long, we realized that WalMart was having a huge sale on them. I'm not one to pay full price for something if I can get a better deal on it somewhere else, so I started recruiting someone to accompany me to WalMart at 4 am the next morning. Lucky for me, my buddy Maria was up to the challenge. She'd never been to a black friday shopping event before, so she thought it sounded fun (what was she thinking?! haha). Since we were going to be up and out anyway, we decided to also stop at Herbergers (a department store in the mall) to get some new silverware.

I actually woke up before my alarm – I think I was pretty excited. So out we went at 4 am, Friday morning to WalMart. The store is open 24-hours a day, so we didn't have to wait outside (yay!). But to make it a bit more fair and to build up the whole "black friday" hoopla, WalMart wrapped the pallets of sale items with black plastic and lined them up along the middle of all the main walkways through the store.

Walmart - Black Friday 2008
When we arrived (at about 4:15 am) there was a small crowd already in the store, with groups of people gathered around their plastic-wrapped pallet items. But by the minute, more and more and more people arrived and quickly grew the gatherings to a mass of bargain shoppers. At this point I questioned why I was not in bed asleep.

After a bit of eavesdropping, Maria and I realized that we were fortunate to be two of only a few people looking to score a cheap Blu-Ray player. Most of the folks around us were looking to buy a large flat-screen TV. Piece of cake, I thought, we'll let the folks up front get their player, we'll stand back and wait, then when it's our turn, I'll grab on of the 40 of so players and then make our way to the cash registers.

At 5 am sharp, every Walmart employee was called to their "station" to cut the black plastic off the pallets. With that, people started getting crazy. Apparently quite a few of the folks around us (who I thought were just shopping for TVs) decided they wanted blu-ray DVD players too – and not just one – these people were grabbing two, three and four at a time. As I'm "sitting back and waiting for my turn" I notice the pile of boxes is getting lower and lower so I watch for a break and I sneak in and grab one. Yay! I got one!

... Then for the journey to the front of the store. Through the mass of people, highway of shopping carts piled high with goodies, shoppers trying to move huge big-screen TVs, and coffee spilled on the floor, we somehow made it to the front of the store in one piece. I made a quick detour to the cough and cold medicine for Corey (he's sick) and then we got in line.

We had fun watching what everyone was buying ... toys, lots of big screen TVs, and lots and lots and lots of DVDs. Some people were buying 20 to 30 DVDs. I began thinking I missed out on some great deals. Turns out we did - many were $2. crazy! We did get one that someone abandoned on the gum rack - awesome.

We're proud to say we survived our WalMart black friday adventure and scored a $129 blu-ray player and $2 DVD.

Our new Blu-ray DVD player:

Herbergers was much less interesting, so I'll keep it short and just say that we got what we went for, plus two nice bed pillows for under $15 and three rolls of Christmas wrapping paper for 75% off.

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