My mother in law has gone to Best Buy 4 out of the 5 years that Mitch and I have been married on Thanksgiving morning, or the night before to 'camp out' for deals. We always do Thanksgiving with them the Saturday before, so she's free for the day anyway and has gotten some really great deals. This year when the ad came out saying that they had a $200 42" tv, we talked about joining her, camping out Thanksgiving day again, but some crazy person decided to set up tents at the northside Best Buy on Sunday night, by Monday night everyone in the city was getting the idea. We went ahead and decided to wait until Tuesday and headed up there Tuesday morning. I borrowed a tent from my friends and picked up my brother in law (who was saving our spots for the majority of the time) and set him up at the Best Buy in Regency.
When we arrived there were several people in front of us, namely 5 tents. There was 3 small tents that were supposed to have 1 person each, then a tent with 2 guys, a tent with 4 people and then us, making us 12-14. (people wise). As the time went by, the numbers changed for all but one of those tents and by Wednesday there was some very frustrated people. The people in the first three tents hadn't been there at all Tuesday night, and had shown up in a camper in the parking lot Wednesday morning. They were claiming that they had 20 people buying and that was NOT going over well with the people who had been sleeping on the ground for 2 days while their tents sat empty. Not to mention we had no way of knowing if they had one person or 20 people in that camper to begin with. The basic rule had been that as long as you were putting in time there each day or had someone saving a spot for you, you were good and each person could basically save a spot for themself and one other person. So, by the time Wednesday night came around we had decided we would have 4 people buying instead of 3 because everyone else had changed their numbers anyway. So Wednesday night, Mitch's Mom, Mitch's brother and I all slept there, and I have to tell you that it was a lot of fun! We talked to each other, played games, one guy brought a 40" flatscreen and an XBOX, so several people were playing games. By Wednesday night there were about 40 people in line.
Thursday morning, I stayed while Mitch's mom and brother went to get showers, and then I headed to my mom's for Thanksgiving brunch with my family. Mitch met me over there with the kids and we all went to brunch. After eating, Mitch rushed back to Best Buy so that no one could get mad that we didn't have everyone there. I planned to go to my sisters for a few hours but after Brax blowing out 2 outfits and getting a late start on brunch to begin with I didn't see how I could drive out there and make it back to Regency by 2, so I just took the kids with me over there for a few hours and after my mom got some rest, she came and got them around 4:30. Here are some pictures of them playing at Best Buy with Nay Nay and Aunt Jen!
By 4 pm. the line was wrapped around the side of the building. By 7 or so we all started taking down our tents and putting things away. At 10 pm we had to be ready for them to come out with the vouchers for the big items. (like the tvs) Around 9:30ish, people started lining up their chairs closer together so as to mark exactly who was in line and who was not. (ie kids or parents who were just there to help carry or pay) (there were 2 15 year old boys who had been there since Tuesday with one parent, so the other one's parent came around 9 since she was paying, but he was the only one in line). By this time the parking lot was filling up and the line was around to the back. There were also several people who would just stand in front of the doors like they were going to get to bypass the line. Ha! When the manager asked us to line up single file, we all started putting our chairs against the wall and standing up, when this black women came and stood right between the people in front of us and the group in front of them. OF COURSE, that didn't fly and we were all pushing to get in front of her and telling her to move. She started yelling and pushing saying "I've been here. You can't skip me!" And we were all like "Um, no." The police officers came over and asked what was going on and we told them, and they told her to go to the end of the line. Actually, they said "Go to the end of the line, or get arrested". She left. :) They started coming out with vouchers at 10, and passed them out if you wanted that particular item, until they were out. Computers, tablets and cell phones, blue ray players and the like for 45 minutes or so. Finally they came out with the vouchers for the tvs that everyone had come for! We were expecting them to have about 40, but as they started passing them out, it became obvious that there were much fewer than 40. We were numbers 17, 18, 19 and 20, and we were the last people to get vouchers.
We felt really bad for the people behind us, but all of our tvs were spoken for. :( When the doors opened at midnight there was some pushing from people trying to get past the front people, and there were some guys in the line who just grabbed the other people by the collar and said "Don't get yourself hurt by being stupid, because I won't let you trample these people". I thought it was very interesting. We ran once we were inside and got the xboxs, leappads and ps3s that we wanted and then got in line with our vouchers. The lines were ridiculous and we were there until 3:30 or so. Mitch had to work at 7, so he got home, slept and hour and then left for work. Talk about a long day! We did get everything that we wanted though, so that was good. We sold a lot of the stuff we bought on craigslist and ended up making about $600. We kept a tv and a 10.1" tablet for ourselves and are definitely loving them!
It was a lot of work, and a lot of fun, we'll definitely be doing something for black friday next year too, but I doubt it will be that big! lol