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Post Your 2013 Black Friday Thoughts [Winners Posted]


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#1 Brad  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 9:21 am

 This contest has now ended.

 

Black Friday is over, but let's have another fun little contest on the forum :)

 

I have a $10 Target.com eGift Card and a $10 Walmart.com eGift Card to give away.

 

To enter the contest: Just reply to this thread with your thoughts on Black Friday in general this year. Thoughts on the opening times, thoughts on the deals in the ads, thoughts on the online sales, whatever you want. Sum up your final thoughts for the year.

 

I'll leave the contest open until Monday night at 9pm EST. At that point I'll randomly pick 2 winners who will each receive one of the eGift card codes. Contest is open to everyone, even if you've won something this year.

 

Just a reminder that we're open all year here on GottaDeal.com, including the forums, so the deals don't end. Stick around!

 

We're also giving away over $2,000 in prizes in our Decade of Deals contest which ends in 2 weeks - get details here.

 

Good luck :)

 



#2 smurfgirl  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 9:40 am

I didn't care for the earlier opening times. I miss the days of getting up and getting inline at 3 or 4 in the morning. I went out Thursday night for a little while and the stores didnt seem as busy. And by Friday morning they were dead. I really wish they would go back to the way it was!

#3 Illinoismom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 9:41 am

At  first I didn't like the early openings at any of the stores, I did a lot of shopping on line which I don't normally do, But took care of a lot of movies and video games that my kids want every year. Our Walmart was great this year never in 15 years have I seen it so calm. The deal site has help me more this year then ever before. I went to three stores Thanksgiving night where I only make it to one. went home got to sleep and then went out for the early opening of another store. I am not sure the early openings help many retailers as I went to Penney"s and was in and out with my purchase in less then 30 minutes. For me this year was a big savings compared to others and I needed that. To the retailers not so sure. A lot of left over stock. 



#4 dealseeker  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 10:03 am

I was surprised at how "unimportant" Friday has become in the grand scheme of things.

 

I mean the online sales started Tuesday and Wednesday nights and the good stuff was long gone by yesterday. And same with the in-store sales - they started Thursday and so it wasn't necessary to even shop on Friday at all.

 

Basically yesterday didn't feel like a "big day" like it used to when all the sales started that day.

 

It's called Black Friday, but now I know to expect to do my shopping well before Friday next year.



#5 speeddiva  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 10:10 am

I loved all the online sales & how the retailers have stepped it up with deep discounts and free or cheap shipping. I always do a lot of shopping on Amazon, but this year they easily got about 3/4 of my total spent.

#6 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 10:26 am

I didn't go out at all this year.  I didn't purchase anything online either.  We drove past Wal-Mart on our way home Thursday and I was awake Friday at 3:00 am, but it was cold and the deals were only warm -- or at least there were no great deals on stuff I wanted.  Considering the emails I am still receiving and what I read in the news, better deals are in our future.

 

I really liked that the merchants have embraced the BF season.  It was nice to see so many ads so early.  It made planning easier.  Even though I did not ultimately execute on my plan, I had one and I had a list.

 

I like what Wal-mart did with the door buster guarantees.  I know a lot of people who got everything they wanted at Wal-mart.

 

Finally, as always, I was very happy to participate in these forums.  Thanks to everyone for good company and lots of great information. 



#7 totallyBF  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 10:36 am

the crowds were busy from 6pm-1030pm but by 1am it was ghost town around here. i think the only win win situation from this is going to be open at 2am and have the "crazy black friday people" come out and shop until 4am and they by 5am the older crowd as i like to say they will come out and shop for there can be a constence flow of people coming threw there doors because  at 1am - 4am no people in the stores anymore.


i wish everyday was black friday :g_laughin

#8 theboyzmom  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 11:37 am

I miss the old way of getting up after a nap and going out before dawn. I did not shop on Thanksgiving but I did go out early Friday. I found most of the items gone and it was just as difficult parking, shopping, and walking. In short, for our area at least, the early times seemed to be accepted by the majority and people were STILL out shopping through the next day. I fear that because many stores are saying the early times were lucrative that it only means even earlier times next year.

 

I fully agree with the above poster who stated Friday did not feel special anymore.



#9 jade2002  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 12:11 pm

Black Friday shopping is not like it used to be. It's not fun anymore. I just wish it went back to the usual 5am start time. People left their kids at home then and now they bring all 10 of thiers with em along with the neighbor's kids. It's just crazy.I didn't go out at all this year and chances are not next either. I shopped some online and got great deals. I didn't need any of the big ticket items or I may or may not have went out. I got great deals weeks prior to leading up to Black Friday right here on gottadeal. The ads seem to have pretty much the same as years past with the exception of a couple of more dollars being knocked off on some. Last year was the same for me. We went out and was back home in no time. I'm afraid it's just gonna keep getting worse with years to come. Everything has changed now and for me personally, I don't like change. Black Friday is definitely not what it used to be. It's kinda sad in a way.


Edited by jade2002, Nov 30, 2013 - 12:12 pm.


#10 kimpooh19  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 12:12 pm

I didn't think I would, but I like the sales staggered throughout the week instead of trying to be everywhere doing everything all at the same time.  Did 99.98% of my shopping online...comfy and cozy in my pj's with my coffee not getting trampled. :g_thumpsu


I :heart: someone with Eosinophilic Esophagitis!

#11 Tigger97498  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 12:46 pm

I was surprised at how much was left Friday as far as doorbuster. Im thinking the earlier times backfired

 but worked well for those who went out Friday. I was also shocked by the amount of deals online. 80% of my shopping was done on the computer.


Edited by Tigger97498, Nov 30, 2013 - 12:48 pm.


#12 missjuglia  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 1:32 pm

I really like how Wal-Mart had everything set up.  It was very organized, fair, and safe for the most part.  There were a couple moments that the tension was high, but most everyone got what they wanted.  There was a small issue of only having 6 Playstations available, but everyone got a guarantee for it so no one was too upset.

 

For as many people to claim they were boycotting the stores that opened on Thursday, it sure didn't feel like it.  The store was packed.  

 

I also loved the wristband system.  It made everything very fair.  However, it seemed like a lot of people showed up at noon, got a wristband for something, and then never came back.  It ended up defeating the whole purpose.



#13 mghtymth27  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 1:35 pm

I didn't even bother looking at the ads this year because the majority of sales were on Thanksgiving. Black Friday has been a tradition for me for 18 yrs. this just killed it. People can blame stores all they want but if people didn't show up then they wouldn't be open. I would rather spend time with my family, but that's what I feel is best for me. People have to do what's best for them.

#14 laddhorn  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 1:47 pm

I don't like the openings at 6pm (or earlier).  I was late for Walmart because we were at our annual movie.  I did get everything we wanted, but I prefer to be gone shortly after they open.  The earlier opening times brings out the novices.  At JC Penny at 1am, there was a lady trying to check out for multiple people using multiple visa gift cards.  She had no idea how much money was on each card and each transaction was a fiasco with her trying to figure out what items she could actually purchase.  I think a 3-4am opening time would bring back the fun.

 

I seem to be doing much more online purchases than in prior years. I am able to get what I want without any of the hassle.  I liked the idea that Fry's electronics had for this year.  Their execution could have been much better, but I was still able to get what I wanted after they got their website back up (about 4 hours into the sale).  It was interesting that I found several items in the sale that were not in the ad.  I may have been interested in picking up some of these unannounced items if I knew what they were beforehand.



#15 racerfan  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 1:59 pm

It was sad.  When I first saw the new times the stores were opening I thought they were crazy.  We decided to go out on Thanksgiving because Walmart had the gift for our son.  I do not think Walmart or any of the other stores that opened early on Thanksgiving did as well as they thought they were going to do.  My Walmart was empty all day and when the sale started it was not the usual mad dash.  There was a lot left over after the sales.  People were not out as usual.  

 

On actual Black Friday I spent the day at home online shopping.  It was the first time in over 20 years that I have not gone out.

 

I hope the stores have learned and next year they will get back to the good days of Black Friday.

 

Sad Sad Sad



#16 momlori  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 2:30 pm

The earlier opening times were terrible. I did most of my shopping on line this year and it was great

#17 brynnfromtheblock  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 3:13 pm

1) I realized just how much I rely on/love Gottadeal for my BF shopping when I suddenly couldn't get into my account Late Thursday night .... Thanks for the help Brad!

2) I enjoyed the earlier times, we ate at noon, were out by 4 and back home by 11. We got everything we wanted, the crowds were much calmer and orderly.
I think I'll try defying gravity .... and you can't pull me down!!!

Tina

#18 amez74  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 3:48 pm

We skipped going out Thursday night and waited until Fri. morning. We got to JCP around 4:15 it  was completely dead. We easily got what we needed. Went to Target-same thing, found what we needed and checked out without waiting.  We then went to Meijer and it was a little more crowded, but easily managable. We each only had like 2-3 items and went to self checkout. We (along with everyone checking out) had to wait until the sale started at 6am to check out, but we were first in line at the self-checkout--only stood there about ten minutes.  We got to Menards about 15 minutes after they opened. They were super busy and there were no carts.  However again we got everything we wanted-the associates were GREAT about knowing where all the products were located.  We checked out in the garden section-a bit of a line, but not to bad.  After we unloaded we went back through the store to see if there was anything else we needed/wanted since our arms were free-still no carts. MY SIL found a couple of items and we spent a much longer time in line checking out. We ate at a local diner and had some coffee to warm up. My SIL decided she wanted a random sweater from Kohls even though we had already done all of our Kohls' shopping online. I figured since it was 9:30am that the lines wouldn't be too bad, but they were terrible inside. lol we decided her random sweater could wait. Went to Sam's club and picked up a few things, and again they weren't busy at all.

 

This is the first time ever we didn't go to Walmart.



#19 stevierocks  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 4:05 pm

My opinion is not just based on my own experience ,but other family members reports.

many have said how its not the same,and i have to agree. making black friday actually be on Thursday took away from the whole experience. i am also concerned that it not only took from black friday,but may have taken some from thanksgiving and family time. granted my family still got together for the meal,and some quality family time,but even in our case i think people left a bit earlier then normal, however none were as excited to be shopping as in previous years.

i dont know if it was good for retailers. may have been safer though. however they now may have lots of stock piles and less crowd trying to push the rush.

All in all,i cant determine why,but i do feel the last couple years have seem to gone down... might be me,more online availibility,ect..or many other factors, but this year seemed to really drop interest.

 though on a side note... i did go out today...wore my gd shirt, one of the managers at one store.was trying to use his iphone to scan the square and see where it brought him.



#20 KBsDarling  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 4:08 pm

I agree that Friday seems forgotten about. I dont mind the earlier times. What I hated was I needed 1 thing at 6pm 1 at 8pm mall at midnight 1 item at 4am and 1 item at 6am....none were long enough to take a nap as we were 2 hrs away at a larger town I dont care if they open earlier i just wish everyone would be on same time or closer. Had so much down time between each sale it made the night drag.

 

I HATED the Walmart corral system. Total waste of time. I am sure they will claim it was safer but from the amount of empty wrappers/boxes i saw hidden among the shelves for whatever that aisle had in the way of food they were robed blind. Smashing that many people into aisle for hours led to insane theft I would guess. I laughed (and shouldn't have) at the open/empty container of dibs in freezer aisle and the half (eww) ate carton of ice cream complete with obvious gouge marks from using fingers as spoons. Will be avoiding ice cream at walmart for a few months till I feel the stock is all rotated out....



#21 jakesmommy403  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 4:13 pm

This was the first year since I started doing Black Friday that I did all my shopping online and didn't set foot in any stores.  I have to say, I thought I would miss being out there but I didn't! I was thrilled to get every single item on my wish list without having to leave the comfort of my home. I did most of my shopping on Amazon, since they're so quick to price match the ads and the Lightning Deals were sweet on the stuff I was looking for, plus I have Prime so the free 2-day shipping has me spoiled.  I got everything from a Bissel Little Green to a TV, and a bunch of movies and video games, and toys. Kohls.com going live on Tuesday night made my whole week; I've never even tried to shop online with them before but ended up making 3 orders! Free shipping and all that Kohls cash was hard to resist.  I also have to say I spent a lot more than I normally do because I kept finding more and more things that I wanted. When I shop in the stores on BF I tend to just get what I'm there for and get out, where online I was free to browse without being rushed.  All my Christmas shopping is done.  From now on, I will plan to tackle BF this way and not worry about heading out on Thanksgiving night. I have a ton of packages coming this week! 

 

Thanks to Gottadeal for all the help! This has been my go-to source for Black Friday info since 2005 and I appreciate all the hard work everyone puts in.  

 

And this is just my opinion, not meant to offend:   I don't understand all the complaining about the new times and how it's not "fun" anymore.  What was fun about waking up in the middle of the night and dragging ourselves to all the stores, hoping to get our items? I hated it.  Over the past few years as the times moved up it was nice to be able to clean up from dinner and head out to shop, then come home and sleep. But now with all the online sales and free/cheap shipping, why even bother going to the stores? Let me tell you,  we host Thanksgiving at our house, so there's a lot of prep the day before and of course then the family is here all day on Thanksgiving.  I got every single item I wanted, didn't stress, put on one hell of a dinner, and spent the whole day with our family.  I don't get all the complaining.  I think we just need to embrace it and adjust.  Who cares what day the deals are on? Let Friday be a day for you to relax now and bask in the knowledge that your shopping is done and you have yummy leftovers in the fridge. :)


Edited by jakesmommy403, Nov 30, 2013 - 4:30 pm.


#22 nikkilugi  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 5:11 pm

I liked the earlier times personally.  I wish, though, that stores would open closer to the same time.  I hated starting at Walmart and then needing to wait 2 hours to go to Kohl's and another hour to go to Target.

 

I also hate, hate, hate long lines.  I which some of the smaller stores with only a few checkouts, like Kohl's, Gordman's, and Dick's would work out a better system.  I have been to the Finish Line where the floor salespeople have handheld scanners where they can check out people with credit cards.  I LOVE that.  Kohl's needs to do that too.  Take an email address to send the receipt and kohl's cash code to - in and out.



#23 missjuglia  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 5:27 pm

And this is just my opinion, not meant to offend:   I don't understand all the complaining about the new times and how it's not "fun" anymore.  What was fun about waking up in the middle of the night and dragging ourselves to all the stores, hoping to get our items? I hated it.  Over the past few years as the times moved up it was nice to be able to clean up from dinner and head out to shop, then come home and sleep. But now with all the online sales and free/cheap shipping, why even bother going to the stores? Let me tell you,  we host Thanksgiving at our house, so there's a lot of prep the day before and of course then the family is here all day on Thanksgiving.  I got every single item I wanted, didn't stress, put on one hell of a dinner, and spent the whole day with our family.  I don't get all the complaining.  I think we just need to embrace it and adjust.  Who cares what day the deals are on? Let Friday be a day for you to relax now and bask in the knowledge that your shopping is done and you have yummy leftovers in the fridge. :)

 

I loved being able to have lunch, rest for a couple hours, then go out and get my shopping done.  We were back at the house by 11 and able to get a full night of rest.  We woke up on Friday refreshed and went back out to see what was leftover, then got some other stuff done.



#24 Bopeep  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 5:32 pm

I'm in the camp that says Black Friday just isn't as fun anymore. We made the most of it.  We got almost everything we were after, but the spirit wasn't the same.  

 

I did like the wristband thing at Walmart though.  We weren't held captive in line for hours, so we could go get everything else we needed/wanted.

 

I did a lot more online shopping this year than I normally do.  Thanks to everyone at Gottadeal for the deals and advice, I saved a LOT of money.



#25 pogiporkchop  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 5:59 pm

In terms of actual Black Friday shopping I did even less than last year. DH, on the other hand and for once, bought me actual Christmas gifts including a brand new smart phone. I just felt it more important to work than to go shopping.

Hours wise I can go either way... I agree it just isn't the same but to me I guess it doesn't matter - if the store is open I'll go check it out if I'm interested yet if stores are closed I'm OK with that too. I'm so confused...

This will be the year that DD got BF initiated :) She asked to go to a store opening because she was hoping to see a stampede, haha...

I just didn't find a whole lot that interested me this year. Next year if there's not much of interest I'm going to go to Walmart, take DD and just watch the stampede... That would make her happy I bet.

To summarize: this BF has left me confused.

#26 Kanyon71  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 6:13 pm

I hate the earlier and earlier hours and I'll just leave it there for that. As for the ad's I thought there were some good ones and some stinkers. Can honestly say this is the first year BestBuy had nothing at all I wanted and if it wasn't for some of the people with us shopping I wouldn't have even went in there this year. I really liked that Wal Mart had a lot of stuff online and I got the big things I would have missed since I refused to go out shopping on Thursday. Grabbed the links from here did some online surfing to their site and spent way too much money lol.

 

All in all it was honestly a very early day for us. We left the house at 4AM did some shopping went for our traditional Cracker Barrel BF breakfast, finished up our shopping and where back home and relaxing by like 1PM I think it was. Didn't even bother heading back out.

 

Was impressed that some of the purchases from BF ordering started showing up today though.



#27 mcwalker  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 8:29 pm

As expected, I did not like the earlier hours.  Although I agree with many that this has diminished Black Friday, it is much more important I think that it has significantly diminished Thanksgiving, an American tradition nearly 400 years old.  Until now both our people and our business leaders placed sufficient value in it not to consider significant business activity or shopping on the day.  That has clearly fallen by the wayside.

 

So why didn't I boycott it?  I am an avid Black Friday shopper both because I like to get some of the best deals of the year, and because I can enjoy both a day with family completely free of shopping and a day of frenzied shopping (the excitement of it).  Boycotting as a protest against the store hours in this case is simply ineffective.  I also think that appealing to individual companies not to open early is ineffective because they are losing sales if their competitors are open and they aren't.  In that vein, I place the largest blame for this trend on two stores in particular: K-Mart, which has been opening all day Thanksgiving for a few years and Walmart which has been leading the rest by opening earlier than most others.  It is interesting I think that both of these focus on the lower end of the market and are not known for the best treatment of their employees.

 

Ultimately, I think the answer is legislation to protect Thanksgiving by restricting the sale of unnecessary items on Thanksgiving.  This needs to be done on at least a state by state basis (not town by town).  Although I think members of both parties could support the idea, and retailers might not stand in the way as if prevents their competitors from getting an advantage over them, but I am not holding my breath for this one to happen.

 

In my case, my family is not focused on Black Friday and my wife and family in New York tend to celebrate Thanksgiving with an evening meal.  (Growing up and later visiting my parents, we had Thanksgiving lunch around 2 PM, but stayed away from shopping all weekend.  As long as stores don't open until midnight or later allows people to celebrate Thanksgiving the way they wish, not tailored to what the whims of the retailers.  As a result, I was both late to start shopping (in order to spend more time with the gathered family and friends), but also was disappointed when I finally did leave in order not to miss some of the earlier deals.  

 

On a separate issue, the move to online availability of the deals and increased focus on having stock to sell at great prices rather than just a few "teasers" that are only available to a few people were good things.  Many on GottaDeal have commented that the deals are not as good.  It is probably true that the super deals that were intentionally limited to only a few people are diminshed, but I think there are now very many excellent "best of year" deals that are available in quantities that many more of us can obtain (without camping out).

 

Like a lot of you regular GottaDealers, I have a good idea "how to do Black Friday" and I spend a considerable amount of time planning for it.  And while I have been pretty successful and satisfied with my purchases, I always have the feeling that I have not prepared enough and that my loose plans always seem to fall apart a bit.  So I always think, I know how to do this--I will get it "right" next year.  So I will see all of you regulars right here on GottaDeal by October 2014 to prepare to have my "Best Black Friday Ever"  (sounds like marketing talk) in 2014!


Edited by mcwalker, Dec 1, 2013 - 2:05 pm.


#28 VTmommy  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 10:28 pm

There weren't a ton of things that were "musts" on my list this year, and the way it turned out was just fine.  Our family Thanksgiving celebration is in MA, and their stores are closed on the holiday, so other than being tempted by CVS and Walgreens when we ran out for the local paper with ads...we just didn't go out shopping.  And once we got home to NH, I slept in on Friday morning while my husband went to work and then did a bunch of online purchases.  I did go into town in the afternoon, but only for a couple of things - none of which would have been the end of the world if I had missed.

 

I really appreciate the continued tips and advice from GottaDeal!  This has been my first and last source of inspiration for good deals for several years now and am sure lurking and sharing has saved me lots of money over time.  A great online community - thanks so much for all of the efforts to manage and coordinate the great info!



#29 sf49erfreak  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 30, 2013 - 11:51 pm

i like the stores opening early and not because i went out early.  i went out at 1 am and still got everything i wanted without all the lines and people because they all went to the early openings. the only thing i wish was better was walmarts cell phone activation.  there computers crashed at least three times and then they started making appointments to come back. they did like a person an hr.



#30 jllouie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 12:27 am

It was fun.  I did a combination of brick and mortor store and online shopping.  I love black friday.  Last year, I just stayed at home and did black friday shopping online but I felt like I missing something so now I'm back brick and mortor store path.  :D






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