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Did you go crazy for Black Friday?

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The Sun spoke with some shoppers who waited outside Best Buy for 25 hours just for a shot at the store's door-buster deals. Elsewhere in our nation, shoppers were trampled or shot in the scramble for holiday bargains.

Did you go to any special lengths to score a great deal on Black Friday this year, or in years past? Are you buying presents for your family, a little something for yourself, or hoping to profit by re-selling on eBay? Did you see anyone fighting over toys or otherwise acting badly? Is it really worth it to save a little money?

We'd like to hear your stories.

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Black Friday? Ha! Ever since places like Amazon.com started selling everything under the sun for the same prices (or really cheaper when you consider your savings in sales tax) complete with gift wrapping and free shipping I've said goodbye to the holiday shopping rush forever. Once you've done your holiday shopping online you will never go back to a retail store to go Christmas shopping ever.

One tip though for Amazon newbies, be careful of other resellers on Amazon. After you search for something on Amazon, scroll down and look on the left side. There will be several headings filled with links to refine your search such as department, customer rating, etc. Look for the heading that says Shipping Option. If you click "Free Super Saver Shipping" it will ONLY display items sold and shipped directly from Amazon.

Ordering from Amazon resellers isn't really a bad thing, your items just arrive in all kinds of different shipments and you usually have to pay a lot more for shipping. Finding out you could search for only items with free shipping was a pretty awesome discovery for me. ;)

By the time Black Friday comes, I've already finished much of my holiday shopping. I do it early to specifically avoid events such as this. To me, lining up in the early morning with throngs of mad shoppers pushing against doors and trampling others underfoot to get to some cheap toys and electronics is not my idea of Christmas joy. Of course, what happened at Walmart does not happen everywhere, but it always seems to happen somewhere every year, so I stay away from retail stores until after the weekend. I don't read the store circulars, either, so I'm not tempted to change my mind.

In our family, we have been trying to make Christmas less materialistic for years. This has proven to be an uphill battle by itself. We try to focus on other aspects of the season--events and things to do, traveling to spend time with friends and family, enjoying the seasonal foods and decorations, etc. When the kids were younger, we would stay at home during the Thanksgiving weekend and make our gifts. Now that they're older, we stay at home and put up our Christmas decorations, go to movies--anything to stay out of the stores and keep the focus off of shopping and buying as much as possible. Maybe I do end up spending a little more on an item or two in the long run, but for me avoiding the crowds and enjoying a slower pace later is worth it.

No, I make it a point to try to stay in on that Friday. I lose my balance easily and so I avoid crowds so that I don't get jostled down. (It doesn't take much),

I shop on the net and have out of state gifts (like Fannie May) sent directly to my relatives. I pick up a few other gifts as I run across them anytime in fall. This way, I can enjoy the holidays outside of shopping, for being such a beautiful time of year.

I don't believe in Black Friday with its very early open times and long lines. It looks too much like pure greed on the part of the stores. It's as if nothing is sacred and it gets a bit obsessive. People get really nasty in this season of peace and joy. Retailers have told me that working in retail ruins the holidays for them because of peoples' attitudes.

Who would have thought back in the early days of the Macy's parade that it would get this way? I just say no the Black Friday.


We set our alarm clock for 5:00 a.m. on Friday to get to Menard's for their door busters. We arrived at 5:58 just as the doors were opening and hundreds of people piled in, some running through the parking lot to get in the store. I felt that people were pretty well behaved. Menard's had quite a few people on hand to answer questions. We were able to obtain the items we went there early for.

On the other hand, after leaving Menard's we went to Lowe's for 1 item that I wanted from their sale paper. No one was at Lowe's. There were lots of employees to offer assistance, but hardly any customers. I kind of felt sorry for them.

Last year we got up early and waited in line at Wal-Mart to get one of the tvs that were on sale -- it was an item for us. People are generally pretty civil -- except when someone tries to cut in line -- then it gets kinds of scary.

I find shopping on Black Friday gets me in the holiday spirit.

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This page contains a single entry by Naperville Sun editors published on November 29, 2008 11:30 PM.

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