My BestBuy Black Friday Experience with HD Video and Photos!

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:

1717 Harrison St

San Francisco, CA 94103

Phone: 415-626-9682
GEO: 37.768921, -122.4116
Overall, I am satisfied with my first ever Black Friday shopping experience starting at 3:05AM in the morning.  Time went pretty fast because I was either blogging in my car or taking photos/videos of people.
I also met a nice guy who was buying an iPhone for his daughter, thanks James for being a cool dude!  (He’s in the video btw.)
I couldn’t interview the #1 guy in line because he didn’t want to but I did interview the #6 guy in line, I guess he came 6AM the day before!
Also, I realized that shopping Black Friday in San Francisco ain’t that bad as most people are used to competitive shoppers and traffic.  I think more problems are in suburban cities/areas where there’s not enough taxes to have more police officers or people are simply not used to massive collision of people.
Anyways, the Black Friday experience at BestBuy proved to me that Black Friday isn’t all that it’s hyped up to be.  Of course, depending on where you live, this might be different but I think people are becoming more aware not to be simply stupid and be mean to others.
I didn’t buy anything but heck, I did get the photos/videos I wanted to write this very blog post.

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.
I had to make a video because videos up on YouTube right now simply didn’t go into details other than images of mad crowds but I find the opposite is true.  Perhaps camping out for Black Friday ain’t all that bad if you are courteous to others.  Karma?
P.S. For those of you who have missed BestBuy’s retail sale, you can go here for Online BlackFriday BestBuy deals and shop in the comfort of your home.

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