Black Friday is just few days away. It’s the biggest shopping day in USA. About 150 Million people will be going shopping on Black Friday.
Retailers wants business and they give awesome deals to sell products.
I’m listing few black friday shopping tips based on my shopping experience.
My First Black Friday Shopping
I was all excited to experience the Black Friday. I was looking for my first laptop. Best buy had a good deal on Compaq laptop.
My roommates were looking for Digital Camera’s and other free items (after mail in rebate).
Best Buy will open at 6 AM. We started at 12 AM from home, went to different shops, dropped off my friends and I reached Best Buy at 1 AM.
It was freezing cold night. I was wearing thermals and 2 more layers, monkey cap, hand gloves and shoes. Only my eyes were visible, even then I was freezing inside.
I was like 15th in the line. Along with me there were few other friends. We were having a blast. They came to get Digital Camera and TV.
Around 5 AM, couple of my friends came (too late) and by then queue was 1 mile long.
They asked me to pickup free 100 pack CD ROM Drives. Yes, it’s completely free after mail-in rebate.
Also, 4 GB USB drives were also free after mail-in rebate and CD Writers (no DVDs) was also free.
Mad Rush – Store Opening
After doors opened at 6 AM, there was a mad rush of people running inside the stores to pickup the items. Laptops were in middle of the store, but I need shopping cart to pickup CD ROM Drives, CD writer.
I took a shopping cart and literally ran to Laptop section. That extra 2 minutes I spent to get the shopping cart filled laptops line. They had 10 laptops and there were like 15 people in the queue.
Then I ran to pickup the other items.
10 Pack CD ROM drives were on a table. I kept the cart near the table and swept some 10 spindles on to the cart.
Best Buy employee was standing right next the table said “Did you know, you get only one free spindle per house?”. I smiled and moved on.
When my friends came in the store after 30 minutes, I distributed the CD ROM, Free USB drives and other items to them. I was left with few more items, which I left behind.
Next drove to pickup my friends from other stores, who had purchased so many free things – Keyboards, mouse, speakers, etc.
Mail in Rebate – Blunder
Most of the electronics items we purchased were free after mail in rebate.
You pay for them at the store and mail the rebate form, store receipt and UPC bar code form the box. Company will send the check in 6 to 8 weeks.
Form should be mailed within 30 days of buying the product.
I mailed my stuffs next week. My roommate remembered on the last day.
So, he filled the form and ran to the university post office, which closes at 4 PM. It was 3:55 when he mailed them.
He came home relaxed or we would have lost over $150.
After 1 week, I picked up the mails from mailbox and saw rebate forms. I came home running
“Hey, we got mail in rebate checks”
But, it looked different from a typical mail in rebate checks.
I gave it to my friend, he opened it to a great and his face kind of looked stunned.
Him: “Dude, these are the checks, I sent to the company, it came back to us.”
I : “What do you mean by it came back?”
Him: “USPS, sent the check to our address instead of sending it to the company’s address.”
I: “Give me the envelop”
I looked at the address and saw the what went wrong.
He wrote the address on the envelope, just like how we write the address back in India.
- In India, To address will be on the Top/Middle and From address will be on lower left side right?
- In USA, From address should be on Top Left corner. To address will be on lower/right/middle side.
So, USPS thought, From address as To address and sent the check to our home address.
$150 Lessons Learned
My advise to first time black Friday shoppers – Have fun during black friday shopping. Make sure you know to mail the forms right way, else the form is coming back to you home address.
I started this post to give Black Friday shopping tips, but ended up sharing my First Black Friday experience.
What are you planning to buy on Black Friday?
After your first Black Friday shopping, don’t forget to share your shopping experience.