I can’t really remember, but it seems like the religious Black Friday midnight ritual is a recent addition to American tradition. I may be wrong, but I first remember doorbusting midnight openings beginning to occur in the early 2000’s and getting increasingly worse and earlier thereafter. My first experience after college resulted in netting a stupid dvd at sunrise and a parking ticket. After that I stayed away from large electronics stores and stuck to internet shoppiong and malls and outlet centers. My second major experience two years ago involved driving to Tanger outlet at 10pm for a midnight opening. Not bad, but the traffic getting there was not nice.
Of course the big lure or addiction is two-fold: a) the adrenaline rush of beating others in saving money, and b) not wanting to be left out in this great materialistic/idolistic American tradition. It’s certainly fun to save money, but are there really things on sale that you really want or cannot live without? Perhaps the $199 ps3 or xbox 360? Not really.
In any case, with a baby on the way, this year I targeted a glider rocking chair and ottoman at BabiesRUs for 50% off. I could have ordered it online, but shipping would have made it +$70, so a store pickup was the only option. All stores were advertised to open at 5am, which was sort of ideal since I was to drive the wife into work that morning. I left at 4:30am and arrived 15 minutes later at College Point and waited behind 20 others. Unsurprisingly, mostly men were waiting on line as the wives were home sound asleep with the kiddies. As the bell tolled, I made a bee-line to the back of the store for the furniture section and after 20 minutes of placing the glider set on order for store pick-up and signing up for a rewards program, mission accomplished.
All in all, it was well worth it because I actually saved 57.4% and I got a ton of Pampers diapers by using some coupons and a boatload of boxes of free baby wipes. Already working hard for this son of mine.