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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Geek Guide to Black Friday

I already posted once about Black Friday, but Gomeler.com has an amusing take on planning and executing a Black Friday shopping spree for geeks. A lot of preparation can go into planning the perfect way to get that 500GB hard drive and 32 inch LCD from having someone pickup coffee and donuts to hauling away the goods. Personally, I tend to avoid the mad holiday shopping hotspots, but for those with the patience to line up at 5 am on a cold Friday morning, there are good deals to be had.

This timeline might give some of you some ideas:

5 AM

By now the employees of your targets have already passed out the door busters which are rewards to the people at the front of the line, enabling them to receive certain deals without having to fight the crowds. Aren’t you happy that you’ve been out in the cold for multiple hours just to receive a little bit of paper? Now your results may vary but at my local electronics stores they tend to slowly let people enter the stores, usually in groups of 25 to 50. Your agents should be at the head of every line and they must run like Olympic sprinters towards the smallest items within the store. If you time this correctly you can usually snag one of the cheaper items en route to your larger goals which tend to be near the walls of the stores such as TVs, Computers, and stereo equipment. Once you have secured your parcels you should then go and get a shopping cart, dragging your victims with you. With the most expensive and rare items in your possession you can then pick up the smaller objects at your leisure as everyone else fights to get in line for what you already have.

5:30 AM

Remember that person that was the coffee and donut resupplier? This person should now check in with everyone and see who needs a pickup. Ideally you will want a station wagon or a truck to quickly run around and gather all the packages and drop them off at a central location. Once all the packages have been stowed away, move on to your secondary targets, my personal favorites being stores within the local shopping mall such as Macy’s and Sears. Here you can get great deals on tools, clothing, and surprisingly, some good jewelry (not from Macy’s..). These stores tend to be much less crowded and frantic than the electronic stores so you can now relax and shop at your leisure.


The shopping day has ended but the work isn’t done. Now you must regroup, distribute all the packages, and pay off everyones balances. Figure out how much everyone owes each other, pay off the coffee and donut supplier, and tally up your daily spending. To make the economical pain feel a little bit better I like to tally up how much I spent, figure out how much I saved, and see if I broke 50%. Sometimes it helps depending on how much you spent and sometimes it just makes the bills look even larger.


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