When Black Friday Comes…


Black Friday is quickly sneaking up on us, what with all the leaked ads popping up on sites and forums all over the Intarwebs. And yes, there are lots of great deals to be had provided you like to stand—or if you prefer, camp overnight in freezing conditions—and fight off throngs of rabid, maniacal shoppers looking for the same bargains you are.

Well, I’m not one of those. Not only do we normally stay as far away as possible from any retail establishment on said day, we usually have our Christmas shopping done well before Halloween and this year was no different. The only post-Halloween purchase I made was for Ann and myself, our early Christmas gifts to each other. They were good deals to begin with and we buy other good deals throughout the year so that once Christmas comes around, we don’t have to spend time fighting off crowds.

With social media being the thing these days and crazy kids shooting videos of anything and everything, we’ve all seen the YouTube clips of blood-thirsty consumers ramming the doors of their local Walmart and running over anyone who was reluctantly in their path. This, however, is nothing new. I recall the days when Ann and I worked for Walmart back in the early ‘90s, when she had to crouch down and sneak into the store through the little door used exclusively for shopping carts because of the crowd gathered around the regular entrance. Even so, with her name tag on and with an associate manning said door to let her in, her entrance nearly caused a riot amongst the crowd.

What is everyone celebrating again?

Maybe some find it fun to be around angry people who will just end up selling their stuff on eBay for a few extra bucks. Well, I don’t and I’ve worked enough years in retail, back when stores were still closed on Thanksgiving, to keep as far away as possible on Black Friday.

Besides, there are already good deals in the days leading up to it. We found this one today via the Walmart app:

IMG_1197

Here’s an iPad mini for $219 with free shipping and free case. Yes, it’s lacking the Retina display as well as the faster processor but some little boy in this house is going to be pretty happy when he opens this up on Christmas morning (compared to Dad who’ll open his Walmart credit card statement and gawk incredulously). All it took was a decision, made from the comfort of our couch, to buy this thing and have it delivered. Done and done.

Let’s compare that to what Wally World is having the evening of Thanksgiving:

walmart1

Same item for $20 less, however:

  • It’s Thanksgiving night at Walmart and not online. There are plenty of other places I’d rather be, like on my couch suffering from a tryptophan-enduced food coma.
  • “While supplies last” most assuredly means that unless you are a linebacker or an NHL power forward and can get to the Electronics Department before anyone, forget it.
  • Read the fine print. Nobody reads the fine print. Anything that requires wristband distribution is not promising and could get ugly when they run out.
  • The $30 gift card is a nice touch, but my deal included a case. I’d wager that most of those gift card will be used for cases anyway and those can average around $23. Almost a wash.

Even though the Thanksgiving Day sale may be a better deal in the long run, I consider the extra few bucks I spent a Convenience Fee in that I avoided everything I despise about Black Friday by ordering it now and even having it delivered. No fuss, no muss.

So when Black Friday comes, I’ll be somewhere far, far away from all this madness, and my shopping will be done. It’s just not for me.


I’m aware that this song is a reference to the stock market crash, but I’m playing on the title.

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Happy Black Friday, Suckers!


I know there’s no lyrical correlation with today but I can’t think of a better day to post this video.

Black Friday Deal: Virgin Mobile’s HTC Wildfire for $99.99 at Radio Shack


Hey, I hope you all are relaxing after your Thanksgiving meals. I know I am and we ate at 12pm. Gives you an idea of how much I enjoyed myself.

Onto the meat of the post. I just realized that Radio Shack will be offering Virgin Mobile’s HTC Wildfire S for $99.99, which is 50% off its regular price of $199.99.

htc

Now I know I may have mentioned in a previous post that I wasn’t in a really big hurry to consider this phone but honestly, at 50% off of its MSRP, I may be outside Radio Shack tomorrow morning to pick one up. I already ordered one online for Ann who occasionally has issues with her Optimus V freezing up. I’ve tried cleaning stuff out of it and it still does it now and then. This will be her Christmas gift from me.

Myself, I’m just thinking of it as an affordable upgrade which is what makes prepaid programs much more enticing. For a single Benjamin, I can upgrade my phone in less than a year’s time as opposed to being on a contract when I would have to wait until it was up (usually 2 years) before I can consider doing the same thing. Not only that, I’d be paying taxes on the full price of the phone even if I got it under contract for $50. And that ain’t cool* (READ UPDATE BELOW). By that logic, the purchase seems more than justified.

If you want to avoid the crowds (not that there would be any at Radio Shack but I could be wrong), you can order it online now or be like me if you can’t wait for the phone to arrive on your porch and hit your local bricks-and-mortar location at 5:30am.

It’s a good thing my local store is only a few miles away because I’m so crawling back into bed when I get home. And if you do get this one or the Optimus V at Target, don’t forget to use Ann’s Kickbacks code when activating: UJWQD9VW. Heck, or mine: dJWQc09H.

Enjoy the shopping season! With the exception of this, I’m done 🙂

*UPDATE 11/25/11: I bought one online Thursday and paid taxes (8.75% in CA) on the sale price (around $108). This morning, I went to my local store and ended up paying taxes on the full price (around $117). What gives?

  • $99.99 @ 8.75% CA tax = $8.74 (online price of $108.74)
  • $199.99 @ 8.75% CA tax = $17.49 (in-store price of $117.49)

Tweeted @RadioShack. Waiting for reply and will post reply/resolution.

Virgin Mobile’s LG Optimus V for $10 at Target on Black Friday — Sort Of


If you’re in the market for either an 8GB iPod touch with iOS 5 or a Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V, or if you just want to buy someone something really spiffy this year, the folks at Target are aiming to make your wishes come true on Black Friday.

Provided things go as planned or as I think they might, the time you spend with all those lunatics beginning at midnight/Friday morning will be time well spent when you realize you could possibly leave the store paying only $10 for the Optimus V.

How so, you say?

Target is offering a $40 Gift Card with the purchase of an 8GB iPod touch which is being advertised at the unremarkable price of $195. That’s a whopping $4 off the MSRP if you’re keeping score but hey, don’t blame the bullseye for the lame markdown — you know how Apple is.

They are also offering the Optimus V for $49.99 which is a bargain among bargains if I’ve ever seen one. (In fact, I’m composing this post on my Optimus V. I added the images at home, however.) So putting those two facts together, one could surmise that getting the phone for $10 is possible if:

  1. The Gift Card is issued at the time of iPod purchase or is an on-pack promotion
  2. It doesn’t have any particular redemption dates

I’ve gotten free Target Gift Cards before and they’ve been pretty lenient about when they can be used. I’ve gone right back in the store and used them or given them to Ann who was behind me in line buying a few items.

So, if the aforementioned rules hold true, then all you’ll need to do is bring a friend — or your split personality if you have one — along with you when shopping. You go for the iPod and your friend grabs the phone. Once you have and pay for the iPod and get the $40 Gift Card, hand it off to your partner in crime for redemption on the phone.

BOOM! A $10 Android phone!

Between the two of you, you will leave the store paying a combined total of only $204 (plus tax, the iPod buyer paying almost all of it). About the only thing you’ll have to do is pay your friend back for the phone, say “Merry Christmas!” and let them have it, or fight it out in the parking lot while a stranger shoots a video of you two and posts it on YouTube with the title, “Two Black Friday Idiots in Target Parking Lot Fighting Over Phone.” Hey, it could go viral. You never know.

Any thoughts on this? Do you plan to do any BF shopping and especially, giving this plan a shot? I don’t. I’m done shopping. But if you’re not, I’d like to hear how it went so post your experiences in the Comments when you return. Or, if you’re on the Twitter, tweet if it worked by posting something like:

“Got Android phone for $10 @target. Thanks, holographicmeatloaf.com! @aeromat“.

The @aeromat mention is me, of course.

So get some sleep after your Thanksgiving feast and go for it. You can thank me later…if it works… 🙂

And hey, if it does work, give my wife some credit and use her Kickbacks code when you activate your phone: UJWQD9VW. We no longer have a home phone and she’s been burning through her minutes, so help her out!

Is it Black Friday Yet?


Outside Best Buy today, Tuesday, November 24. Seriously, people…