For Tanya Avera, Black Friday deals aren’t worth camping out all night in front of a store.
“Nothing is important enough to get trampled on,” the Cartersville resident said.
Avera has shopped the Black Friday sales for the last eight years, and she said she’s only been in a really crazy-crowd situation once when she was looking for a video game for her husband.
“It still wasn’t that bad,” she said. “People were fairly nice. No one was grabbing or stomping people down.”
Normally, Avera will arrive at stores when they open or even a little after, usually around 5 to 5:30 a.m. This year will be different, though, as Target is opening at midnight. Avera thinks its competitor, Walmart, also will start its Black Friday sales at midnight to make sure it doesn’t lose customers.
“Walmart won’t want Target shoppers to get all their deals at midnight,” she said.
Avera’s plan this year is to hit Target at midnight and then other stores when they open. Her list always runs from the most important to least important items.
“By the time I get to the end of my list, if they’re out of what I wanted, it’s not that big of a deal to me because it wasn’t that important to begin with,” she said.
Last weekend was when Avera planned for this year’s trip, scouring the Black Friday ads on www.gottadeal.com and deciding what she wants to purchase. Between now and Friday, Avera likely will go to several stores and compare the Black Friday prices to current prices.
“Is it going to be a significant difference between now and what they’re going to sell it for on Black Friday?” she said. “From there, I’ll figure out what’s the most important for me to get. What’s going to save me the most money?”
Sometimes, the current prices are actually lower than those advertised for Black Friday sales. For example, when helping a friend look for a deal on an iPod Touch, Avera discovered a bundle at Walmart’s website that is currently priced $10 less than the Black Friday sale prices at Walmart, Target and Radio Shack.
“If [it’s not a better deal], maybe it’s better to just go ahead and buy it before Black Friday,” Avera said.
The crowds don’t deter Avera, who will spend the early morning hours shopping in town and likely head to Kennesaw to hit Town Center Mall in the afternoon.
“I know what to expect, so I make sure I’ve had enough rest, I’m wearing the right shoes, I carry nuts in my pocketbook so I don’t get hungry,” she said. “I go there with that in mind. I know there are going to be a lot of people there, so I take a deep breath and I just go. It’s not fun for me if I’m going to go and get frustrated.”
The best deals Avera has gotten in her years hitting Black Friday sales were for her children—Leapster handheld game consoles with several books for $20 to $30 less than the retail price and a Nintendo DS system with a game that cost $20 less and included a $20 Target gift card.
“We haven’t bought any real big ticket items,” she said. “Most of the things I’ve gotten good deals on have been for the kids. I’ve never been the kind to go out and buy the $1,000 TV for $500.”