Monday, December 01, 2008

Black Friday: Mission Accomplished

I got what I set out at 5:30 a.m. to get. That's a late start by Black Friday standards, but I'm getting too old and cranky for the 3:00 a.m. start that I used to be proud of. I started with my friend Sue at Staples where the line wasn't too bad and we only waited a half hour before going into the store. During that half hour we became best friends with the guy in line behind us who was actually showing us pictures of his dog by the time the doors opened. Once the line started moving we instantly forgot all about him and his dog as the mad rush began.

As is generally the case, I bought things that I've been waiting all year to buy because I knew they would be on sale the day after Thanksgiving. We are each proud owners of new office chairs. Mine replaces one that, although still functional, has long outlived its aesthetic value. I also bought a new shredder to replace one, that although still functional, was born before shredders were made to shred credit cards and CDs. I have no credit cards or CDs to shred, but this new machine is going to be great on the days when I finally make it to the mailbox at the end of the street to pick up a week's worth of mail and don't want to open the junk prior to feeding it to the shredder. My current shredder will only allow about three pages to go in at a time so my weekly mail-runs end up taking a good part of the day. Maybe that's why I don't do it more often. Anyway, at Staples I also purchased some new memory cards for our cameras, phones, and computer games. Upon leaving Staples we quickly discovered that even with the help of a faithful Staples employee, our new chairs weren't going to fit into my car so I left Sue sitting by the curb with the boxes while I ran home to get the bigger car that I should have brought to begin with. When I got back, we loaded up the chairs and Sue headed off to work while I set my sights towards Kohl's, ToysRUs, Big 5, and of course Wal-Mart. I bought some gifts (that will go un-named just in case one of the recipients happens to stumble upon this), some new camp chairs (Phil's request) and, you guessed it, some new socks for myself. You see, Black Friday isn't always about exciting electronics, cool new clothes, or big ticket items. Remember? For me, it's all about the deal, and I got some good ones this year.

I'm not normally an impulse shopper but I get caught up in the Black Friday chaos and usually end up with something that I end up returning a day or two later. I'm happy to say that didn't happen this year. The only return trip I made was back to Staple's on Saturday after Sue perused our receipts in search of the rebate deadlines and noticed that she had been charged for two chairs and I had been charged for two electronic picture frames. It wasn't hard to convince the Staples manager that we only got one chair each since one of the employees had helped us out with them, but he was a little reluctant to believe the same story about the picture frame. Sue talked so quickly and convincingly though that after just a few minutes he refunded my money along with hers. Whew! Something like that would have wiped out a good chunk of my Black Friday savings and would have left a very bad taste in my mouth that wouldn't have been erased until next year.


Danielle Christiansen said...

I can't believe you are so brave to go out there on Black friday. I would never do it!

KJae said...

Lucky. I wish I had gone with you. Although, I did get the only thing I wanted by getting it online the night before. Thanks for the tip, btw. Still, I'm sad I didn't do it this year. : (