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Post Your 2013 Black Friday Thoughts [Winners Posted]


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#31 msyves  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 4:39 am

With all the early openings, my BF experience was hum-drum. I bought some items off Target early Thanksgiving morning while I was cooking. I really wasn't excited about items that were being offered, but I was going to participate. By the time I got to Walmart for the 8pm sale, the place was dead. I guess everyone who stood in line for the tv's at 3pm were the only movement needed. I really wished it BF goes back to BF. I love the whole BF experience the way it used to be.



#32 deanabrown  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 5:48 am

I had a pretty good BF. I didn't spend as much in previous years and it seems that because stores were open earlier/longer the crowds were not there. I think a big focus was online which may have also contributed. I did feel bad for the store employees because everywhere I went they seemed so tired. There were some good deals, but it seems the best deals were before or after black friday. I think stores will open on Thanksgiving again and people will be right in line again. I also think you will see a bigger focus on online sales for BF 2014. Until next year...

#33 jade2002  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 6:19 am

 

 

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. :)

 

Maybe not to you, but to a lot of us, dragging ourselves out in the middle of the night was "fun". That was the thrill of it all. Kind of like a rush or a mission I guess you could say. I mean, I can go out everyday at 6pm and shop with all the lunatics but it was usually only once a year that myself as well as others would get up in the middle of the night to run off to the stores to shop. That was a tradition for a lot of people. Yeah, I could still get up in the middle of the night and run off to Walmart if I wanted but that's not the point. So as far as my "complaining" goes, I have stated my thoughts on Black Friday this year which is what was asked in the op.  Just my opinion.



#34 zim05  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 6:46 am

I did not care for the opening times. With that being said, my mom and I started shopping at 6am on Friday and got everything we were after. There was not a lot we needed or wanted to warrant skipping the family's Thanksgiving. I did quite a bit of online shopping and found that, in some cases, I greatly prefer that to fitting crowds and stupid drivers at ridiculous times.



#35 teach2nuts  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 7:02 am

I did not like the earlier hours. I miss the days of getting up at 2:00a.m. on Friday morning and shopping all day with my mom. Time with family is more important than chasing a sale. Was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family and order most everything online. The online prices were actually better than trying to rush from store to store on Thanksgiving. Thanks to this website I am able to Christmas shop year round and get great deals.



#36 okannie  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 7:25 am

The opening times were pushed again so it is hard to get in Thanksgiving with family before taking off. For me, I had trouble looking at the ads since I was cooking which I felt cheated because I didn't have as much time to peruse the ads and make my list. I do use GottaDeal to look at the ads ahead of time but like having them in hand to really take a good look at what there is.  I did like all the online deals offered before Black Thursday and most of the prices I took advantage of were cheaper even if just a couple of dollars. Walmart did a better job at my store of handling the items and the wrist bands were a great idea. Lots of stuff left over so walking around could pick up things that I didn't get to. I was disappointed about the snow globes at Penney's not available until Friday morning, the sale started Thursday night so looks like the tradition of the snow globe is still broken. Some sales were good but a lot were just so-so, not that exciting. The same things have been offered every year at some of the stores so if you bought it 3 years ago why would I need it again. I have found that Lowe's offers some of the Black Friday sale items cheaper the weekend before the sale, I went there the weekend before and saved $5.00 on each of the tool sets I was looking at. I am beginning to think we will give up the big Black Thursday sale at the store and start doing everything online and maybe check out the store after the start time as you can find lots of things afterwards. All in all, with the online sales my shopping is done and I can just relax and enjoy the rest of the season so in that spirit....Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :holiday10



#37 heffer569  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 7:43 am

I found that the stores especially Walmart and target were not nearly as busy as usual. I liked walmarts wrist bands I was able to get more then that 1 door buster this way. I still do not like targets 1 checkout lane even though this year I didn't get to target till midnight I was still able to get the iPad with gift card and the 20% off. I was able to get everything I wanted at best buy on Friday at around 9 am. I HATED amazon this year I felt that they were. Messing with out heads how they kept switching times.

#38 siczlo  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 8:34 am

I got all of my BF shopping done online with the exception of Menards. I LOVE shopping online in my pj's. It's now my favorite WEEK of the year  :2cloud9: 


"When you know better, you do better." :grandpa: :victory:--Maya Angelo

#39 magickallight  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 9:11 am

Did all of my Black Friday shopping online this year - found better deals BEFORE Black Friday, though - seems like with all the store and online sites opening times there ISN'T an actual Black Friday or Cyber Monday anymore - just doesn't give the same excitement as it had in the past with the actual sale days... wish the store would go back to the way it used to be! Thank goodness for this site, though - matched or beat a lot of advertized Black Friday deals on other sites before any of the sales went live!


“The more I know about people, the more I love my dog.” ~ Mark Twain.


#40 Black Friday200  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 9:14 am

READ CONFIRMATION EMAILS CAREFULLY!!!!!!!!! Bonton/Boston Store promo codes showed up as accepted on the web site, but the confirmation email showed higher prices. I had to call the toll free number to get it fixed. They said it was not the website, but something on the back end causing the problem. They won't send out another confirmation email, so I'll have to check my credit card statement to see if they really fixed it.

 

Opening on Thanksgiving definitely affected the family get together. The shoppers couldn't wait to get out there and that meant that their family members had to leave early, too.

 

The printable shopping list from BlackFriday & GottaDeal really helped keep me organized. Without the list I would have forgotten to get an important gift for my DH.  If I hadn't had the list, I would have forgotten some other items because I didn't notice them in the print ads. They were there, I just didn't see them.



#41 rockpzazz  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 9:41 am

I didn't mind the earlier opening times, but for the true BF shoppers it does take away from the fun of planning and staying up all night and such.  I liked how retailers stepped up the online shopping experience though wish they were a bit more uniform in terms of when they started listing items online to sell.  I felt for the most part Amazon was a little worse this year in terms of the calendar deals (keeping and posting a schedule in advance), but it made it more of a game and a thrill to watch what was posted next.

 

From the aftermath of this year, I would be inclined to say the DAY of Black Friday is dead, but from the ashes comes more deals throughout the week, and from the big ads being posted earlier, maybe in future years, deals may begin in a lot of places at the start of November.


People always say money can't buy happiness.  Give me fifty bucks and watch me smile. :D - Bobby Heenan


#42 NTBoard  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 10:12 am

For me, Black Friday is about providing a Christmas for my family that I otherwise would not be able to do because finances are always just so tight. My love language is gifts so it means so much to me to be able to give the perfect gift and watch my boys' eyes light up with delight. So... If the things I want to buy are a deal online on Monday, at 6pm on Thanksgiving, or at 4am on Black Friday it all works for me! I personally did quite a bit of online shopping this year but also was out in the stores on Thursday & Friday. The nice thing this year is that I had all of my 'must have' items out of the way so our Black Friday/Thursday shopping was less intense this year. While we got almost everything we went out for, if we'd missed out on a deal there would not have been the great sense of disappointment I've experienced before. In exchange for letting my hubby pick out all the cheap Blu Ray movies he wants he shops with me now each year; my son called it our shopping date. He really appreciated the opportunity to come home & actually sleep for a little while before heading back out in the morning over staying out shopping all night. A happy hubby makes for a much happier "shopping date"!

GottaDeal, as they've always been, was a lifesaver for me in planning & getting the very best deals for my family. Thank you from the bottom of my gift giving heart!

An observation of the stores we visited... Michaels was pretty dead when they opened at 4. Walmart was even busier than previous years but everyone was civil. JcPenney was less crowded than usual when they opened but the crowds picked up. Dick's Sporting Goods had a decent crowd. We ran into Target about 90 minutes after they opened & they seemed to have a light crowd. Friday morning we hit Lowe's, Home Depot, Sam's Club, Mardel, & Old Navy which all had pretty sparse crowds. Gymboree on Friday afternoon was packed. The one area I'd be interested to see the impact on is the smaller stores in the malls. Since most major department stores opened Thursday night, at least in our area, the malls seemed dead Friday. I'd guess those smaller stores pick up quite a bit of residual traffic on a 'normal' Black Friday that they totally missed out on this year. Anyway, just one of those things I wondered about.

Many Blessings!
Niccole

#43 mistyinca  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 10:33 am

I loved the online starts on Wednesday evening. I didn't have to mess with any of the thanksgiving day starts, which I think is a bad move. No one should have to make that choice and their employees shouldn't have to work those times either. I took advantage of the credit card deals for additional discounts, but I don't like what toys r us did. I applied for and accepted their card for the 15% off first order deal only to find that it excluded the very item I intended to purchase. IMO if I've already done something to *earn a special coupon, it shouldn't come with restrictions, especially since they were not disclosed prior to my applying for the card. I intend to cancel it and not shop there.

It still saddens me to see the mob scene videos taken during the sales. I would like to see some solution to that, though I don't know what that solution is...

Finally...I wish retailers would come up with an easier price guarantee sitch...for example I bought a Yamaha keyboard Wednesday eve on sale for $99 at best buy. Today I can get the same deal with a free stand. I have to buy again and return the first purchase when it gets here. This is costing best buy 2x the free shipping they have to bear. If they'd just honor the free keyboard when I show the proof of purchase it would save them money and me the hassle...alas.
--Misty

#44 sammy55  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 11:37 am

I did most of my shopping online and didn't go out Friday until 7:30 am.  I was able to find the rest of the items I was looking for.  The stores all still seemed packed with stuff even at 7:30.  This is my normal mode of shopping anyway.  I keep Thanksgiving day strictly for family time.  So my Black Friday experience was all good :fruitsex:



#45 jakesmommy403  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 12:49 pm

 So as far as my "complaining" goes, I have stated my thoughts on Black Friday this year which is what was asked in the op.  Just my opinion.

Hey hey, calm down. No need to get offended. You know that my comment was a generalized opinion, right?  I don't know who you are or whether or not you've been "complaining." Your comments here are confusing to me. You weren't targeted.  Complain away, if that's what you like.  I'm only talking about all the complaining that's been going on on these boards for months now, it's no secret.  Check any thread, you'll see it.  I simply don't understand it, that's all. Doesn't mean I think any less of the complainers. Don't jump on me over nothing. Lol

 

If you like the old way of doing it, why not stick to that?  There's so much left over in the stores, you don't have to be there at opening time on Thanksgiving.  Keep your old traditions, get up in the middle of the night with your ads and head out! Just because the stores moved the times doesn't mean you have to be there for the new openings. :)  If you went out at 3 am you would have been able to find probably everything on your list and not have to fight the crowds we used to see. This could be win-win for everyone who likes different things about Black Friday. Maybe if there's a very popular Must Have item on your list, get that online.  But as for the rest, you can keep it the same.  That's all I'm saying. 



#46 HansieDZ  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 1:57 pm

The early starting times didn't bother me in the least. I did early online shopping starting Tues. with Kohl's and other stores as what I needed became available online. I still went out Friday morning but didn't feel as stressed because I had a head start from online stores. Our weather was perfect Friday and I saw far more people out as we were going home (3 p.m.) than I did when we started at 6 a.m.!

 

I had fun "playing" Amazon's Lightning Deals this year which I have never done before; mostly because we signed up for Prime in July. I would say I did about 70% of my shopping online this year (that's including ordering online and picking up in store) and I participated in Shop Local yesterday.

 

My worst complaint is that Thanksgiving was so late this year lol!


"The years run too short and the days too fast."~Time Passages (Al Stewart)


#47 bellastarr  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 2:14 pm

I switched to online shopping a couple of years ago and haven't looked back.  It's so much easier, less stressful and less time consuming!  I tried last year to go to walmart for the 8pm opening and it was a mad house 3 hours before the start time! You literally couldn't move inside the store and people were so rude and just uncivilized acting that I left.  I'm the type that if someone snatched something from me I'd be in jail for beating the crap out of them..lol.  I used to love going BF shopping before they changed the times, not so much now.

 

The deals this year were pretty good for what I was looking for.  Walmart had good deals, Kohl's was great because they started their sale online Tuesday, and Amazon always does great year round.

 

I'm thankful to GottaDeal for everything y'all do keeping me clued into all the great deals!  I save lots of money year round because of this site!



#48 2bauer4  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 4:30 pm

I prefer the 6pm and 8pm openings over the midnight openings that occurred the past couple of years.   Also, their seemed to be more doorbusters available that in the past.   



#49 connieh  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 5:21 pm

Enjoyed all of BigJim's podcasts.  

 

Enjoyed all the contest here on the forums.

 

Attempted to get to Walmart on Thursday, but the line was so long to get into the store that we left.  Note to self, get to the store two hours prior to sale time.

 

Went out early Friday morning to Menards and waited in line for some good deals. 

 

Did some online shopping and was happy to snag a great deal on a laptop.

 

Enjoyed watching the Amazon gold box deals and how fast they sold out.  Waitlisted the moment the items popped up, wondering did they only have one item at the deal price.....

 

Looking forward to next years planning.



#50 howpomp  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 6:21 pm

Black Friday 2013 - Thought Walmart stated they had record sales I did not see the crowds I have been accustomed to though I did not get to Walmart until 11pm so the mad rush was gone.  I was very surprised how many of most items they still had at that time and again on Saturday when I returned.  The only item I could not find after visiting two different stores was the Sharpie box set.

 

Target and Kmart will steady but not overly packed and again found most items I was looking for when I was there.

 

I did do more shopping online for Black Friday weekend than I have in the past which was great since I knew I would not make it to any of the store openings.  I think that with the earlier starts it did cause some cannibalism to the crowds and that next year we will see more Thursday and even Wednesday sales.

 

As a final note I do want the thank gottadeal.com for doing all the work in preparing for Black Friday.  There was too many ads to digest on Thanksgiving day and by keeping up with the ads as they come out I can make better and more informed decisions on where to shop - Thank You!



#51 nef  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 6:37 pm

I'm torn on the early openings. I feel like as soon as we finished eating it was time to head out. We hit Walmart first and i did like the wrist bands as it gave you the opportunity to get other stuff while you waited. We headed back home and ate desert and then went back to Khols around 10pm and it was pretty dead. Normally khols lines would be so long they would meet in the back. We. Went back to the house and hung out a little longer then my family left and went home. I got up around 4:30am and headed out by myself which sucked because I normally shop with crew. I went to Lowes, AC Moore and the mall and everywhere I went it was dead. The up side was that I didn't run into any long lines and because of the extended hours I had enough time to hit all the store before the 1pm deadlines. In fact I was home by 10

#52 Daisimae  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 1, 2013 - 11:56 pm

I believe the earlier opening times are, in part, a portion of the retailer's multi-faceted attempt to reduce congestion, frenzy and folks camping out all night, which can lead to problems as we all have seen. That said, those earlier times didn't affect me as much as others as we live in MA and not close enough to the NH or CT border to make it worth my while to leave the state. I did benefit from online sales starting earlier.

The online sales were great for me because everything I would have gone out earlier to get, including Doorbusters, we're available online Thursday at great prices. I stayed up late to be at the sites when the prices changed over and already had my cart full and ready to go when this happened. Due to those online sales I was able to saunter out about 4pm on Friday to pick up some in store only items at Staples. Staples here is always very civilized even at opening. The store was nearly empty went I got there. My items were still there. Checkout took less than five minutes. That was a VERY civilized experience.

The result of the shopping period is: I already have my first Kohl's order. The second was done as soon as their cyber monad sales started. Tuesday we will be visited by every major delivery service, in addition to a Staples courier. All will have multiple boxes for us. I will spend a portion of Tuesday night doing rebates and I will have a nice Staples Rewards balance later this month. All of this with no camping, no freezing, no shoving, no pushing or frustration. The combination of rewards and rebate and coupons I used saved us a lot and will put a good percentage of what I spent back in my pocket. I'm only anticipating one return and am interested to see what else Amazon will offer this month. This was all very good. I'd like every BF weekend to be like this!

#53 starbeck96  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 2, 2013 - 6:10 am

Overall, I really think that the ads were not as great as in times past.  There were still several things that I found I needed, but I had to visit many stores to find them.

 

I do not like the earlier opening times.  I miss being up on Black Friday at 3:00 in the morning to shop all day long.  I was not nearly as tired while shopping. 

 

Every store that I visited was very friendly and fairly organized, other than Walmart.  This was the worst that I've seen our local Walmart store.  They barricaded part of the store, so everyone was basically walking in one direction.  I just wanted to get to the other side of the store and it took me almost an hour.  We live in a small town too, so this was quite a shock to me.  They had everyone, whether checking out or still shopping going the same direction.  I did like the arm bands better though.

 

 



#54 wittenlover  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 2, 2013 - 7:30 am

Although I didn't do as much shopping this year (tighter budget), I wasn't impressed that more stores felt the need to open on Thanksgiving and at an earlier hour. I don't do a lot of online shopping because I live in an apartment and getting packages is a pain with my complex's office hours (they close before I can get home from work, only hold packages a few days before returning to sender, etc.). Consequently, I rely on in-store deals for my Christmas shopping. I did get the few things I needed (little green machine at Target, cat litter and cat toys from PetSmart), but missed out on a few things I wanted because I couldn't get to stores as they opened Thursday night. I'll keep my eyes open for deals on the rest of my list as Christmas approaches.

 

As some others have said, I miss being out there at oh-dark-thirty in the morning lined up with a group of strangers who quickly become friends as we all shiver outside the doors. Am I crazy? Probably a little, but there was a special comeraderie among those of us willing to crawl out of bed a few mere hours after we crawled in to go out there, freeze our tails off, and get the deals we waited all year for. I do have to say, though, I still got to have a bit of that feeling as about two dozen of us patiently waited outside our PetSmart for the 7 a.m. opening. Fun times, crazy pet stories, and fun people. Kept a shred of the "Black Friday is special" feeling alive. :-)


For those curious: Kitty in my pic is current furbaby, Mew, curled up in a box far too small for her. Ha! "If I fits, I sleeps!"

 

NASCAR fan (particularly JGR pit crews - many friends there), diehard UM Wolverine fan, animal lover, car girl, cookie baker, singer, bargain hunter. Yep. That about covers it. lol :cool:

 


#55 CMeisenheimer  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 2, 2013 - 7:51 am

I did most of my shopping online before Thursday(Thanksgiving) or Black Friday even got here.  My daughter did coax me into going out on Friday but we didn't go until almost 10AM and Walmart was just the same as any other day.  I was very surprised to see that they had tons of everything but the electronics left.  TV's, computers, Blu Rays were ALL gone but there tons of sheets and clothes and DVD's and CD's and Photo Frames and Rubbermaid and cheap appliances.  I agree with what someone said that if they keep offering the same thing year and I have bought it one year, why am I going to buy it again?  Overall, the excitement of BF shopping just wasn't there for me this year.



#56 jesusluvu  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 2, 2013 - 9:29 am

I am truly disappointed in the earlier opening times. I for one did not go out until later that evening over my family had wrapped up everything at my mother’s house. I refuse to cut my family time short, or under value what I am most thankful for - MY FAMILY and thus the workers families. I have heard the arguments of its their choice to work there but for a lot of them it is not a choice but there only resource to take care of what you are shopping for on Black Friday - Themselves and their Family.  - I digress

 

Other than that - Sales was not that great but I did see a better verity for options to choose from besides our normal stuff.

 

The lines move extremely fast in my area. I was through the Wal-Mart and Target lines in less than 15 minutes. Is it me or does it seems like I got a lot less for a lot more this year?

 

Overall once again I could not have kicked off my shopping without the help of Gottadeal AND ALL of my Brothers and Sisters here. So thank you all



#57 jade2002  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 2, 2013 - 10:15 am

Hey hey, calm down. No need to get offended. You know that my comment was a generalized opinion, right?  I don't know who you are or whether or not you've been "complaining." Your comments here are confusing to me. You weren't targeted.  Complain away, if that's what you like.  I'm only talking about all the complaining that's been going on on these boards for months now, it's no secret.  Check any thread, you'll see it.  I simply don't understand it, that's all. Doesn't mean I think any less of the complainers. Don't jump on me over nothing. Lol

 

If you like the old way of doing it, why not stick to that?  There's so much left over in the stores, you don't have to be there at opening time on Thanksgiving.  Keep your old traditions, get up in the middle of the night with your ads and head out! Just because the stores moved the times doesn't mean you have to be there for the new openings. :)  If you went out at 3 am you would have been able to find probably everything on your list and not have to fight the crowds we used to see. This could be win-win for everyone who likes different things about Black Friday. Maybe if there's a very popular Must Have item on your list, get that online.  But as for the rest, you can keep it the same.  That's all I'm saying. 

 

No one was jumping on you. You said you didn't know what all of the complaining was about and what was fun about going out in the middle of the night yadda yadda ya. I tried to give you some insight to the complaints or at least mine anyways. So I think you might need to chill a little, lol.



#58 tehlilone  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 2, 2013 - 1:20 pm

Got most of my things online and price matched elsewhere on Friday. Wal-Mart was alright but some lady punched another lady in the aisle I was leaving. First time I've seen that happen. Met some of the jerky people in the parking lots. My husband was waiting for a space and left room for the car to back up so another car went around him and squished in front to take the space. The other time, a fellow shopper offered to give his space to my husband so he followed him and there was a car blocking his car. When they asked him to move, that car backed up even more and refused to let the guy leave if ny husband got the space. Earlier hours bring out the low-lives. Once again, tons of unsupervised teenagers and poor crying babies and toddlers that wanted to go to sleep.

I miss the old fun Black Friday. Not the Gray Thursday filed with a**holes.

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#59 j2wice  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 2, 2013 - 2:47 pm

Hate the early times so didn't venture out til around midnight. Got all my big expensive gifts today on Cyber Monday so may just do online shopping from now on. Hate that cause it is a tradition.

#60 tinkrbel  OFFLINE  

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Posted Dec 2, 2013 - 3:14 pm

This year was crazy for me due to being so disorganized and all over the place but overall I liked the new hours. It was nice to be able to be able to scope the Walmart sale setup before sale time and form a game plan. Then we hit Macy's, JCPenney and Target before heading home for a nap before 4am JCPenney snowglobe time. I don't know if stores ordered more than usual or what but I had no issue finding any of the movie discs I wanted even managing to get the LAST copy of the hobbit bluray late on Saturday night at Target after realizing I had missed it previously.

 

Considering how little I planned it worked out surprisingly well with only missing out on some bakeware at Micheal's which was more of a whim than anything. We even got better than BF deals at BJ's when the B1G1F Keebler Townhouse rang up 5.19 each and the coupon discounted 6.99, I should check my lottery ticket :)






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