Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Black Friday

Well, I did something I never thought I would - set an alarm for 4:30 am on the Friday after Thanksgiving so I could go to a 5 am sale on Black Friday.

Circuit City had a Sharp 19-inch LCD HDTV on sale for $250 - normal price is $429.99. I've been wanting a new TV for our bedroom for a year or more. The current one was 19-inch also, but much larger then an LCD, and the video RCA input was dicey. I'd have to jiggle it every time I popped a tape in the VCR to get any image. Also, we use rabbit ears, and the reception of the channel we watch the most was terrible - snowy would describe it best. I knew the over-the-air HD signals would be a nice change, and the analog channels are disappearing altogether in January 2009.

I'd been looking at prices on and the local Costco. Similar-sized TVs were in the $350-400 range, so the sale price was very attractive.

So I got up and got to the store at 5 am - only to see the line was around the block. I figured 19-inch TVs weren't going to be the big draw, and I had a list of other places to hit so I went to Old Navy to get sweater for Girl 1. 30 minutes later the Circuit City line is only around the corner of the building, so I get in line. 25 minutes later, I'm in.

First, let me drop some advice - scope out the check-out lines before choosing one. Find one that leads to the most checkers. For example, the line that leads to three registers instead of one. It will probably move three times as fast as the line with one checker. Don't listen to any employee if they suggest you shift to another line. They don't care how long you wait - even if it's 2.5 hours. Or more.

Can you see where this is going?

By the time I was done (about 8:45 am), I had the TV - there were plenty available - three Cruzer 2MB USB drives (for $8) and a camera case for $5.

I was worth it, I guess - saving at least $100 for 175 minutes of my time in line. Plus, the HD reception is something to behold. The extra channels are nice too. There's a weather-only channel that's great if you miss the forecast on the news.