Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday Shopping 2011

Black Friday. Is it really worth it?

Let me regale you with my Black Friday shopping. I initially had every intention of just going to Dick's Sporting Goods and then on to Anthropologie (their first Black Friday sale ever!) but upon seeing that Belk was giving away gift cards to the first 250 customers and opening at 3 am (!), I decided to go there first. I had my eye on a particular item (sorry! Can't say what it is because it's a Christmas present for one of my faithful readers :) and I had an additional 20% off coupon. PLUS, I just knew I had to try for one of their gift cards - the values ranged from $5 to $1000. I must say, I was very anxious all Thanksgiving day, anticipating the daunting task of getting up early, waiting in line, and fighting through the crowds. But my in-laws assured me that I would have no problem with Belk. Surely, I would easily be one of the first people in line because let's face it - no one goes to Belk on Black Friday. WELL! Let me tell you about my day. First of all, I didn't get any sleep because I was simply too excited about shopping. So I got up at 1:20 am. I didn't really feel rushed to get to the Avenues, so I leisurely ate my breakfast, got dressed, and around 2 am, decided to start heading out. I figured Belk would be giving out the gift cards at the indoor entrances so I decided to park at the Food Court because I knew that entrance would be open (the mall opened at midnight). Well, the parking lot was PACKED, but I got lucky and found parking pretty easily. If you are not familiar with the Avenues, the Food Court is on the opposite end from Belk, so I had a pretty long way to walk. As I was approaching Belk, I noticed that there was no one there, and I thought, "Yay! First one in line!" but the closer I got, I noticed there was a sign at the entrance. It said, "Gift cards will not be given at this entrance. Gift cards will be given at the outdoor entrances." I thought, "Ok, that's fine. The outdoor entrance is not too far from here. I'll just walk outside and wait there." WELL! Apparently, a lot of other people were excited at the idea of winning a $1000 Belk gift card, because when I walked outside, there were about 200 people already waiting in line.


So I mosied on over to the end of the line and got out my iPod and iPad (yes, I come very prepared for these things) and within the first couple minutes of Kelly Clarkson's "What Doesn't Kill You" my iPod died. Crap again. But one of the things I like about Black Friday is meeting new people in the lines. So I got to chatting with this nice couple behind me. We talked about what we wanted to get and our chances of being one of the first 250 customers. It seriously looked like we were at the cutoff point. One guy not too far behind us actually counted and he was number 235. But occasionally we would see people getting out of their cars and getting in line ahead of us, presumably with the people who were saving a spot for them. Anyway, long story short, we get to the entrance and the nice couple and I exchanged good luck's and we were one of the lucky 250! But don't get too excited - it was only the $5 gift card. Triple crap.

But I did get what I was looking for and hightailed it out of there. Store number 2 - Dick's Sporting Goods. They were scheduled to open at 5 am and at this point, it was only 3:30 am. So I headed on over to the Town Center, and when I saw that no line had formed at Dick's yet, decided to walk around. I wandered in to Abercrombie, where shirtless models were posing for pictures. I wanted to get a picture with them, but since I looked so disheveled (it was 3 in the morning after all) I decided it wasn't a moment that I wanted captured on film. After that, I walked around some more, but ended up going back to Dick's where a small group of people started to gather. So I decided to wait there. Plus, one of the employees informed us that they were going to open a bit earlier at 4:30 am. I thought, "Great! This way I can get in and out quickly and head over to Anthropologie." So I sat down, and got out one of my snacks (like I said earlier - I'm very prepared. Well, except for the iPod). But these people I like to call "church freaks" started coming around, giving out free coffee and donuts as a way to lure you in so they can bore you with details about their church. I am not cool with this, so I promptly called my brother so I could look busy. Anyway, I walked to the entrance of Dick's and waited, and a crowd started to gather at the door. At 4:30 on the dot, the doors opened and I was the first one in! On the list - Nike running shorts, size small. I especially wanted to get to Dick's as soon as it opened this year because every other year when I decide to go at a later time, ALL the size smalls are gone. And I'm always looking for a good deal on Nike shorts. Anyway, I got a couple cute pairs and headed on out. The time - 4:45 am. So on to Anthropologie...

Ok, so this was the one store I was most anxious about. It's Anthropologie's first Black Friday sale ever, so I didn't know what to expect. Plus, I REALLY wanted the Charlotte Taylor Adelie penguin blouse I blogged about a few weeks ago - it had recently gone on sale for $99.95 and Anthro's Black Friday deal was an additional 50% off sale items from 6 am - 11 am. And just like the Nike shorts, my size always seems to be the first to go. So I wanted to make sure I was at Anthro bright and early. Well folks, I was the first person in line. In fact, I was the only person in line. So of course, my chances were looking good. They were looking even better when I had to sit there for an hour and listen to passersby make comments such as "I hate Anthropologie" or "Who would wear any of this crap?" while pointing at the window display. I kept telling myself, "This is a good thing. At least those people won't be any competition." So there I sat, all by my lonesome, playing Family Feud on my iPad for about an hour. But then about a quarter 'til 6, a line started to form and it was looong. And I was at the front!!! So as soon as the door swung open, off I went to the sale room in the back. I found my penguin blouse pretty quickly and when I turned around to continue my shopping, IT WAS TOTAL MAYHEM. Women were everywhere, and the penguin blouses were flying off the rack. I thought I was the only one who liked penguins, but apparently not. Anyway, we were all rummaging through the racks, standing shoulder to shoulder, shoving and pushing our way through all the women (and the poor men who were dragged along), clothes, shoes, and accessories flying everywhere. And you know what? No one was mad. It was like it was understood that this was the way it was going to be. Some women were even helping each other. How nice. A far cry from the chaos seen at Walmart. Anyway, I had a successful trip at Anthro - I GOT MY PENGUIN BLOUSE so I'm really excited about that. Here are some of the other things I bought:

Seyes Ruling Tee by Ett Twa

Adelie Blouse by Charlotte Taylor

Bojagi Pullover by Postmark

Hip Cinched Blouse by Maeve

Draped Lapel Pullover by Charlie and Robin

Side-Snap Turtleneck by Moth

Devote Jeans by Citizens of Humanity

Farrah Skinny Jeans by AG

Visionaire Flare Jeans by Joe's 

Shirr and Pleat Skirt by Eva Franco

Painted Plaid Dress by Maeve

Saffi Belt

Bow Trinket Flats by Pilcro

Imprinted Palette Egg Caddy

I got a few other goodies that I can't tell you about (for my other faithful readers :) Of course, there were other items that I wanted, but alas, they were sold out in my size. Overall, I think I had a very successful Black Friday. It was stressful, it was tiring (24 hours without sleep!), but it was also fun. So was it worth it?


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