Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Black Friday 2011 Was Kind Of A Bust

Our plan this year was to start at Walmart, then hit Target, possibly Toys R Us and finally the mall. Since the Walmart and Toys R Us doorbusters started only an hour apart, there was no way we could be at both. I picked my sister-in-law, Tracey, up early, around 7:45 on Thanksgiving night. We were at Walmart by 8:00 - a full 2 hours before the doorbuster deals started. And yes, it was already getting crazy. We threw some of the sale items that weren't shrink wrapped into our cart, like the bikes for my kids. OK fine, we may have ripped open some shrink wraps on a few items, like the $9 Bissel Stick Vac. Which is totally awesome by the way. The Walmart associate guarding the $9 griddles was on to us though and wouldn't let us open those up.

By 8:45 we had everything that we could get into our cart, so we parked down a side aisle to get out of the crowds and waited for 10:00 to arrive to get the rest of the doobusters on on our lists.While we waited, I used my iPhone to try and get some of the Toys R Us deals that were online. I had pre-filled my online cart with the items I wanted and refreshed it at 9:00 when their sale started. Everything I wanted was there and I was so excited to be able to get two stores done in one shot. But then I tried to check out and that's when the Toys R Us site crashed. I tried to check out for two hours. By the time I was finally able to get it through, most of the items were out of stock.

A sea of people shop the 10pm Thankgiving
night doorbusters at a Walmart in CT.
Taken by Tracey from her safe spot.
Occasionally we would peer out from our safe aisle to check out the growing crowds around the toys and electronics departments. The "stations" for the doorbuster video games were heavily surrounded by 20-something year old guys waiting to grab as many cheap games as possible. At one point we could hear Walmart staff yelling at them to back up away from the Xbox games. It was starting to get insane, and it wasn't even 10:00 yet.

When the rest of the shrink wrapped items were cut open at 10:00, it was a free for all. Those guys wiped out the PS3 games in less than 30 seconds. We decided not to take our big cart loaded with stuff out of the aisle. Instead my sister-in-law stayed in the safety of the aisle while I went out on several missions. I ran out and grabbed her electric griddle, literally hurdling fallen objects along the way. And when there was an opening that would allow it, I ran. I grabbed a few cheap movies and after circling the store several times, finally found the Wii games.

We got on line and Tracey ran out to grab some pajamas for my niece and nephews. The checkout line actually wasn't too bad, but getting from the checkout line to the front door was backed up. We were in my van by 10:45 and headed about a mile down the road to Target. And this is where the "bust" part comes in. We got in line at about 11 outside of Target. It was pretty long, but wasn't the farthest back we had ever been. As we stood there I started to feel sick. It started with dizziness and there were a few moments I thought I might pass out. So I sat on the ground. Then the nausea kicked in. I held it off for as long as I could. But at midnight, right when the Target doors opened and they started letting in small groups at a time, I couldn't hold the sickness off anymore. We ended up leaving and going home.

I spent all of Friday in bed or on the couch with the most horrid stomach bug I have ever had. I did end up bringing my laptop with me to bed at one point and was able to get a lot of the stuff online that I missed out on at the other stores. Thank you Amazon for matching some of the Toys R us deals! So overall while I did end up getting almost everything, I was and still am disappointed that we had to cut our Black Friday shopping marathon short. Doing it all online just isn't as fun.

How did your Black Friday shopping experience go this year?


  1. That picture is scary! I could not imagine that many people jammed shoulder to shoulder!

  2. Oh No!! :( Sorry to hear you got sick :(
    I didn't even leave the house on Black Friday. I was going to, but never mustered up the courage.


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