Inquirer staff writer Robert Moran reports:
To make sure she got the best Black Friday deals, Carol Highfield got in line at the Best Buy in Springfield, Delaware County, at 3 a.m.
That’s 3 a.m. Thanksgiving morning.
You think that’s way too early — and maybe a little crazy? Well, the next group in line came about a half hour after her. And the next group about another half hour later.
The first people in line were in groups and Highfield was joined by her sister and three friends.
“If you’re not the first in line, you’re not getting anything,” said Highfield, a school bus driver and mother of two college-age kids.
This bit of extreme shopping is a tradition for her family and friends, who’ve been doing this for five years. And the other super-early shoppers have been doing this for a few years, too, so it’s become a hangout scene.
To be clear, they didn't all just site there the entire time. They rotated with some going home for a few hours while one or more stayed. And they staggered their Thanksgiving dinners so everyone could spend a little time eating turkey with their families.
Is it worth it?
Highfield said laptop computers and printers that might go for $700 were on sale for less than $300.
And stragglers don’t have a chance to get those deals. For one thing, there’s a limited supply of the best sale items. And then there are the ticket resellers.
Tickets? Each person in line gets a ticket for each sale item they say they want. There are only so many tickets. People will get tickets, head in and then head right out to sell those tickets for $50 a piece.
So what did Highfield get? A Playstation 3 for her 18-year-old son and a flatscreen TV for her 21-year-old daughter. She also got two laptops for a friend who has younger children.
She was done shopping in an hour.