I went to Best Buy once for Black Friday about 6 or 7 years ago. I went to buy a doorbuster Samsung monitor which, while a very good price, wasn't the hottest thing they had in the way of doorbusters; I guess I did it for the experience
I put on my polypros and took a girl who wanted a doorbuster camera. We pulled up at our local Best Buy sometime shortly after dark on Thanksgiving Day; maybe about 6pm or so.
There were already several people there in lawn chairs and one guy with a tent setup. We were #7 and #8 in the line.
We put our lawn chairs up, poured some coffee from the thermos and settled in. It was bitterly cold that night so we took turns going to the truck to get warmed up.
Throughout the evening, more people came...a couple set up crappy tents to keep the wind off, others brought footballs and Frisbees, laptops and gameboy things. I played some football in the parking lot while talking to my "neighbors" to stay warm It was actually kind of fun.
Sometime in the early morning masses of shoppers arrived. Some were real idiots and tried to cut in line, but those of us who had braved near single digit temps for the past 8 hours, learned each others names, occupations, and hobbies and had formed a weird consumerist bond with that nerf football, were in no mood to argue. The retards went to the back of the line w/o incident.
At about an hour before the store opened, the line stretched completely around the store and into the adjacent parking lot; viewed from the air, it would be a giant "J" of people, maybe 500+ bodies.
A van pulled up in front and store employees brought out a plastic folding table. The van contained Starbucks coffee, hot chocolate, and Krispy Kream donuts for us adventuresome few at the front of the line. The "lesser" shoppers who would have access to our crumbs when their time came
A small female employee who I knew to be the manager, walked out of the store and explained the directions so the first 15 or so of us could understand: there would be a voucher system in place with 10 vouchers for each doorbuster. An employee will walk down the line and give 1 voucher, for each item, to each person who requested it til the vouchers for that item were gone.
Immediately, the people who were NOT one of the first 10 behind us were grumbling; concerned that despite their best efforts to juggle the Thanksgiving holiday with their commitment to save $150 on a crappy laptop, they would miss the doorbuster of their choice; the whole exercise for naught.
I kept my mouth shut and waited. I was here for the monitor, my friend, the camera. Everybody else wanted the laptop, big ass TV, or some other stuff I can't remember. Our immediate neighbors knew what items we were waiting for, but as one of the first 10, I had my pick of any voucher I wanted
So I did what any young capitalist would do, and asked for a voucher for the TV and laptop I encouraged my friend to do the same, but she didn't comprehend the value of these little slips of paper and I couldn't very well spell it out for her with so many employees and tense shoppers behind us.
After the waves of employees bearing vouchers had subsided, I could easily overhear the people behind us who had missed out on the laptop or TV. I casually leaned over as far as I could and told them that I had vouchers for each item that I would be willing to let go for $25 each
The laptop lady was happy and gave me $25 from her purse but IIRC, the TV lady (her friend) tried to haggle. I didn't have a lot of time and it was a weird situation; I told her something about going farther down the line, or buying it myself, and I think she gave me $20.
The doors opened and we walked inside, us members of the elite, frigid group with more free time than sense. The employees were lined up and they cheered for us
The mixture of sleep deprivation, caffeine, sugar, cold, and sodium lights had put me in a weird frame of mind. Being cheered by teenagers in a bright fluorescent store was shocking as hell, but kind of nice. It's not something I'd actually want to do again though.
I bought my monitor and my friend got her camera; we both declined their service plans and we went home.
So that's my Black Friday story...let's hear yours.
Never have done the black friday wait in line thing.