|NOTE: This blog was previously published under the [AccuWeather.com Community] blog at http://community.accuweather.com/ ( now http://weathermatrix.accuweather.com/ ) but has been absorbed into Jesse's main blog for archival purposes.|
My Black Friday [WikiPedia] experience this year was pretty good, when compared to past experiences. I decided after my horror story in 2003 that I wouldn't go extremely early again. Back then, I had less money, needed more computers and monitors than I do now and you could really get some killer deals. These days, the deals aren't a lot better than you can get from Dell and I have amassed enough computing electronics to feel comfortable in my home office. I've also decided that selling some of my old stuff on Ebay is the better way to get more money for buying inexpensive new stuff that isn't sold on Black Friday.
NOT THIS YEAR, BABY!
The line to get into the Best Buy store in Warwick, R.I., wraps around the building as holiday shoppers turned out early for Black Friday deals, Friday, Nov. 24, 2006. (AP Photo/Stew Milne)
Anyway, this year went very smoothly, as I had alluded to before, thanks to BestBuy.com. I have always found myself gravitating to Best Buy for some reason. They have always seemed to have the best deals and gimmicks on electronics and I've shopped there fairly frequently for major items since they opened here in State College in the early 2000's. Our family's TV, arguably the most important appliance in the house, was purchased there in 2002. This year (and to a certain extent last year) Best Buy decided to do what no other local stores were doing -- making their Black Friday items available for purchase on BestBuy.com, and they even started at midnight on Thursday. Now, they held a handful of items back for store-only, fearing e-commerce might reduce their local hype. But no biggee -- I wasn't shopping for any of those things and 2003's experience taught me that waiting in lines in the physical store wasn't worth it. So Thanksgiving morning I got up and purchased, at great discount, just what I needed this year on BestBuy.com (these are still for sale by the way on Saturday, but some have sold out):
- Westinghouse 19" LCD HDTV Television / Monitor (Reg. $399, Sale $199)
- Curtis 7" Widescreen 7" LCD TV (Reg. $149, Sale $89)
- Seinfeld Seasons 5-6 (Reg. $99, Sale $29)
- SanDisk 2GB Secure Digital Memory Card (Reg. $99, Sale $29)
- SanDisk Cruzer Micro 2GB USB Flash Drive (Reg. $99, Sale $29)
The first was the key purchase for me. My home office lacks a television, for all intents and purposes. Although my main computer has Windows Media Center to display a TV signal, though I don't use it all that often due to the complication of fitting it on the screen, or because I have WM already recording two channels at the same time. I refuse to turn on any of the tube TVs that I have due to heat generation -- I swore I'd go all flat-screen to reduce heat in My New House. So since I have moved in, I've felt a bit lost -- what could be going on in the outside world that I might be missing?
After reviewing capabilities of several flat-screen TVs, I decided I had to have PIP (Picture-in-Picture) capability so that I could monitor more than one channel, or display both a PC screen and TV screen (like I do with the much-more-expensive Dell TV I have at work). I also wanted an HD-ready TV for the day when HD really takes over (which I have been promised since 1995) and because the digital TVs now have pretty nasty looking displays. So, in summary, this unit has everything I need: VGA inputs, PIP, and HD capabilities.
I also ventured out around 8 AM Friday (as noted, on ice) with my stepdaughter to find some DVD deals. At that time of morning, the initial rush was over (most stores here opened at 5 AM this year, vs. 6 last year). Target (where I purchased Simpsons Season 8 DVD at 60% off but missed Family Guy Season 3) was crowded but had a quick checkout. Wal-Mart was actually kind of dead, except for Electronics. A quick checkout there too, to grab a few discount movie DVDs. Circuit City was the big offender. Just like last year, they had some great deals on DVDs but each checkout line contained at least 50 people when we walked in. Since, unlike Best Buy, they don't put their deals online, we walked right back out, as I'm sure did many of their potential customers. We did visit later at 2 PM when the lines were better and purchased some notable DVD deals (Northern Exposure Seasons 1-2 for me, for $13 vs. regular price of $99, Charmed Season 3 for my wife ($18 vs. $39) and Super Mario Soccer Gamecube for my stepdaughter for 50% off).