Black Friday Mayhem

On Friday, I pepper-sprayed a small crowd of people so I could get a cheap XBox 360.

Black Friday line

Image by tshein via Flickr

Well, I didn’t, but some woman in Los Angeles can truthfully say that today.

On Friday, I slept in a bit, had some breakfast, and played with my kids.   I only shopped at stored whose name ended in “.com”, and didn’t do much of that.

My wife, on the other hand, couldn’t resist the siren call of the sales.   Not that I fought it.

We’ve been planning to replace an old, failing TV for a while.   Friday turned into a good day to pick up a high-definition, widescreen(not a big screen) TV.   The paper said that sale started at 10PM, so my wife got there early enough to get in line and find out the sale actually started at midnight.   She and my brother took turns standing in line while the other shopped.

In my mind, shopping major sales early in the morning with 5000 people who wish they’d have thought of bringing pepper spray is just an example of Hell beta-testing a new level of pain.

At one store, she said the customers were elbowing each other out of the way to get some scrapbooking gadget hanging on a display, so my wife ducked down to grab the extras off of the bottom shelf, reaching between people’s legs to do so.   Certainly smarter than the competition, but still nuts.

She left the house at 9, shopped until about 2, came home to sleep for a couple of hours, then went out to hit the 5AM sales for round 2.    She left with a budget of a few hundred dollars to pick up our new TV, finish our Christmas shopping, a bunch of scrapbooking stuff, and a new winter jacket for one of our brats.

12 hours and $830 later, she was done.

That was just under twice our budget.

That’s like going out for cocktails and waking up in the bathroom of a Tijuana cathouse, covered in ice, with a new social disease and no kidneys.  Sure, you probably had a good time, but was it worth it?

Thankfully, we are at a place where this money is coming out of our debt snowball, not accumulating more debt.

Unfortunately, this is going to cost us a month of our debt repayment plan.

Black Friday just isn’t worth it.  Yes, you can find some huge deals, but you’ve got to fight rude crowds and the risk of buying more than you intended is very real.   Next year, it’s not going to happen at our house.  If my wife insists, she’ll do the shopping with cash.  We can’t afford to do it this way again.

How did your Black Friday go?

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    1. Wow, your wife sure is brave! I have absolutely no interest in dealing with crowds on non-holiday weekends, let alone this particular weekend at malls. I was all comfy in bed Thursday night and Friday morning while the vultures were out trying to pick through whatever store they could get into in order to find a good “deal”. I wonder just how many people buy things just because of the discount and not because it was necessarily “needed” on Black Friday

    2. I didn’t shop and didn’t get hit with pepper spray. I wonder how that will work out for her now that the authorities have an identity.

    3. I have to admit that I did go out on black Friday for a sale item. There was a store in the town close to where I live that had an electric smoker for a price that i was happy with so i got it. But I slept in until 8:30 when the dog woke me up and got to the store around 10:30, I came out with the smoker and a couple of strings of christmas lights that were also on sale. That’s about it.

    4. My wife went out for a few things, but we’ve never done anything electronics related, which is what always seems to attract the crazy people.

    5. Yes, I’m not a Black Friday shopper either. I wandered around Wal Mart this morning (Monday) and they still have plenty of stock of all the electronic goods on sale. I spent exactly zero dollars, and I’m ok with that.

    6. Tin Foil Hat says:

      I’d be curious to know why she didn’t go with cash only this year. You have mentioned her shopaholism often in this blog – did she think she was over it?
      I don’t shop on Black Friday. And the little Christmas shopping I can afford to do will mostly be done at locally owned stores, not mega-retailers. Although I will probably spend the $10 coupon I got in the mail today from Kohl’s, since there is no minimum purchase required.

    7. Committing a crime for an Xbox is just down right crazy. But, your wife did save a ton of money by going shopping. Not my cup of tea but, she dominated the budget. hahah at you tijuana cat house reference. My black friday wasn’t too bad. I hit up a few clothing stores I frequent to get a deal. The lines weren’t too bad at were I shop.

    8. My wife and daughter bought nothing on Black Friday, however they did buy a few things on Saturday. Part of this mayhem is created by the retailer who only has minimal inventory for the sales price.

    9. Very honest and transparent post. Thanks for the example. Cash is great idea! peace

    10. I can’t believe people are so desperate for sales that pepper spray has entered into the equation. That is nuts.

      As far as what happened with your wife, she is brave. I can’t say I would have put forth that kind of effort.

    11. What a hoot! I love the way you wrote this up, but hope it isn’t causing holiday stress for you and your spouse!

    12. I actually got a good deal on children’s clothes at the one store I went to. I couldn’t imagine doing what your wife did. She is a brave woman!

      My husband’s cousin left Thanksgiving dinner early to get in line at Toys R Us with his girlfriend to pick up some toys for her siblings. They sent us a picture and the line was wrapped around the store. On Thanksgiving. That is madness.

    13. Love the Tijuana-kidney reference — she sure had one heck of a good time! I overspent, too, but I kept it to 10% overspending (thank God for my hatred for shopping, but curses at my love of food!).


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