Well, last year was actually the first year I dove into the “Black Friday” world. Of course, I’ve never actually went shopping on a Black Friday in my 20+ years of living in America but this year, I decided to check out my local San Francisco BestBuy Black Friday sale to find out what the fuss was all about.
Initially, I expected mad crowds and people fighting over for gadgets. Well, let me share you the story in clear HD video and photos I took with my new Canon EOS 7D camera. (Please don’t mind my mad video/photography skillz! *sarcastic*)
Check out the video first:
This is my first shot on the back side of BestBuy Store where the line ended. (3:05AM)
I parked my car and blogged my last blog post. I was actually going to stand in line but it started raining lightly so I camped out in my car. When it hit about 4AM, the rain stopped and I started taking some shots. Here’s the BestBuy Black Friday VIP limo. One lucky customer wins a contest to win a VIP spot. He/she is allowed to bring 3 guest with him/her and also enter the store at 4:30AM instead of 5AM. Plus VIP gets a free $1000 gift certificate, meaning he/she shops practically FREE. This guy spent like $1003, so he spent only $3 plus he got a nice ride home. (If I were him, I would have gotten totally wasted in the limo with my friends. Well, maybe he did.)
There’s the VIP guy, he seems pretty happy. I should get a VIP too for writing this blog post!
This is about 4:25AM, just before BestBuy VIP gets in the store. Everyone else is still chillin’, not too bad though. Also note ABC News van is here, this must be a pretty big event if they are here.
Yey, more people waiting in line around the corner. Everyone seems to be pretty positive and anticipating to get in soon, I can feel it, my hands are shaking because I am the only non-news guy there taking photos. Plus, this is my first ever Black Friday, I feel nervous also because I didn’t sleep. I am sure that’s how everyone else is feeling tonight, very excited to get some great deals.
I took a shot of the ABC News van while it was open, they have pretty neat stuff in there like bunch of remote controls, I wonder what they are for.
More VIP and his friends. I feel like BestBuy is making this Black Friday into like a nightclub entrance, perhaps similar strategy of building “anticipation” with long lines.
I went around the block at about 4:40AM after the VIP guys went in, the length of the line is the same but for some reason, it’s about 3-5 times more packed than I saw at around 3:05AM. (You can see this in the video too.)
I took photos of these VIP signs right before they took them away.
Me, anxious to see a big, MAD crowd when the doors open for rest of the people at 5AM. This is about 4:50AM, I am getting really excited for no apparent reason.
After they started letting people in, a lot of the latecomers stand around the entrance thinking the line will eventually dissolve. They realize they have to wait in line too though. (in a bit)
I am new to DSLR photography and have heard somewhere that you can take great photos after rain, I have to agree. (although this isn’t exactly a masterpiece in anyway…)
After the long line dies out a bit, I take a stroll around the block and see a LOT of garbage. Well, I don’t think that’s unavoidable. But BestBuy employees were giving out free energy drinks the whole night, THAT is cool.
Okay, finally after about 30 minutes, the line dies out so I am in line too, almost there!
After I get in, I try to find some open space. I thought there would be more people at the Apple booth but nobody is interested in the Macs, everyone is at the PC laptop section.
Actually, there’s just like 90% of people crowded near the laptop section and this is where the madness is inside the store.
I took some shots of cheap deals like this Sony Bravo HDTV for $377.99.
More great deals on Samsung HDTVs. Most of the good stuff(deals) were actually sitting in the walkways.
More great deals on LCD HDTVs…
These Sony Bravo 40-inch HDTVs were hot, a lot of people had a whole family to protect their share, blocking the whole walkaway. I guess $540 for 40-inch is not bad, perhaps one of the best deals for HDTVs there.
More Deals on Samsung LCD HDTVs…
This is actually my favorite aisle, I love checking out new laptops at BestBuy more than anything else.
Great deal on Dell Intel SU7300 Dual Core w/ 8 hour battery?
This is another great deal Dell T4300 for $549.99. I think the only thing missing is HDMI on this laptop, too bad.
Great deal on multi-printer from Epson for $24.95!
Another great deal on 13.3″ Toshiba laptop with SU4100 processor.
BestBuy had some real bargains on games for Black Friday, this was one of them.
Nikon CoolPix P90 for $299.99, pretty tempting indeed.
Here’s great deal on Wii with extra nunchuck and Wii Play. I think I paid about 3 times more for mine almost a year back, regretting deeply…
I think this is the ABC 7 News cameraman, well I had to take a photo of his $30,000 camcorder.
Overall, I have a really good time taking a bunch of photos and videos at BestBuy. NO ONE told me I couldn’t take photos or videos. Next year, I might make some better videos/photos though.
I ended up getting NOTHING at BestBuy because stuff I was looking for were actually cheaper online. I think the best deals are probably the HDTVs and laptops but I don’t need another HDTV for at least a year.
The BestBuy Store I visited today is the BestBuy Store #187:
San Francisco, CA 94103
Thanks for reading my time-wasting journal of Black Friday experience at Best Buy and don’t forget to leave comments on what your experiences were like.