I went Black Friday shopping at a large retailer tonight. With all the complaining going on, I think I was the only person to be HAPPY about Black Friday shopping starting at midnight instead of 5 or 6 am. I’d much rather stay up late than drag myself out of bed stupid, stupid early.
I arrived and got in line around 11:15 pm. The line was pretty long, but there were other big box stores nearby with much longer lines. I had picked 4 “Angel Tree” type tags to buy gifts for kids in need, and my main goal was to buy their presents. I also had my eye on a waffle iron for us, but otherwise didn’t have anything in particular in mind.
The store was very busy but not complete insanity. I picked out the toys, and then browsed around for a few more items. Almost everything I picked was 50% off. When I went through checkout, I was surprised at how much the total was. When I got back to my car, I gave my receipt a close reading. I don’t know if the store inflated the base prices for Black Friday, or always has ridiculous base prices and displays the products as always being on sale, but some of the base prices for the items I picked were ridiculous. For example, one of the kids I bought for was an 11 year old girl. I picked out fluffy slippers, and these holiday themed sets of nail polish, lip gloss, and lotion. The fluffy slippers were $6.99 on the mark-down price, which for these quality of slippers, is about or a little better than what I’d expect to pay for them at a discount big box retailer. The base price, however, was $24.99. I don’t think anyone, ever, would pay $24.99 for these slippers, or if they did, they deserve to pay that much for being that stupid. Also, each of the little holiday cosmetic sets were $3.99 on the mark-down price, with an original price of $8–eight dollars for 4 lip glosses in a ziplok? I can’t imagine anyone actually paying that base price, because it is absolutely ridiculous. It’s got to be a marketing gimmick to catch your eye with the 50% off sign, but the resultant price is about what you’d expect for full price at most discount stores.
So all this is to say that I did get a really good deal on the waffle iron, but with almost everything else i picked out, I ended up paying probably the same as I would on any regular day at Wal-Mart. I didn’t overpay for anything, but the “deals” weren’t anything to write home about, either.
This is only the 2nd year I have done Black Friday shopping, and I think from here on out I’m not going to bother. In years past I have done almost all of my holiday shopping online. It’s a lot easier to compare prices online, and I also don’t have to deal with holiday crowds, or worse yet– holiday music.