Shopping, it is an occurrence that happens on a regular basis as people obtain the necessities and the luxuries in life. Once a year, an occasion transforms from a mechanical, almost routine event into something unique, it is called Black Friday. On this day, stores have loss leaders that sell under the retail price with the hopes that they can attract huge crowds of shoppers. This term has been popularized because it is when many retailers would move from the “red” where the lose money to the “black” where revenue finally exceeds cost in financial statements. For the longest time, I have not participated in this annual excursion due to a lack of interest, or because I didn’t feel the need to whether long periods of waiting for little reward. Due to a perfect storm of a family conversation with my cousin, I decided to try my hand at Black Friday to say that I have done it. Here are my thoughts on this day.
|The line was long!!!|
My cousin was supposed to arrive later with her boyfriend, they headed off to a store that rhymes with “Einhart” and decided to try their hand at videogame deals. When he arrived close to 11pm, he gave a depressing recollection of events that showcased the dark side of this event. When he headed to “Einhart” he initially waited in line outside, but due to this store being 24 hours, the line was dispersed and people started wondering around the store. Then at the count of 10am, some pallets where unloaded with the goods and it was total chaos. My cousin was apparently trampled over by some frenzied buyers as they tried to score discounted video games. Her boyfriend recalled how people just grabbed stacks of games and started trading with other people. After the insanity, they decided to head to my direction in Best Buy, dejected, irritated, with some wounds of the shopping war.
|You see that bag? That is where |
my spot is in line.
On the news, Black Friday is associated with all the madness, people being unruly just for silly discounts. My experience that night was the complete opposite of what the popular media seems to portray. The people in line were affable and so much fun to talk to. When I got in the store, people zipped from one location to another, but I saw many acts of kindness as people helped each other. I saw an older Chinese woman who was buying a PlayStation 3, and as she was buying the PlayStation 3 she was asking around for good games. As I saw her walk around, I see people helping her, suggesting interesting games that her daughter may like. Even as I grabbed the last hard drives on sale, people who came after just smiled and said “you beat me to it, have a great Christmas.” As busy as it was, people were friendly and helpful to each other.
That is the lesson I came away with from Black Friday, as insane as it is there were many great moments among the people I was with. The experience of waiting in line, while relating to strangers was a great experience. There was a level of camaraderie with the people there because we were all there for the deals and for the Black Friday experience. It was such an interesting experience that I will probably make it an annual tradition of sorts, next time I will actually read the catalog to find the heavily discounted items.