Friday, 27 November 2015

Why people are lined up outside Best Buy on Thanksgiving Day

About a dozen people passed up traditional Thanksgiving Day plans and instead braved the rain outside Best Buy for one common reason: saving $280 on a 49-inch TV.

Prepared with some tents, chairs and umbrellas, the small group waited outside the store at 28th Street SE and East Beltline Avenue in Grand Rapids Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the 5 p.m. opening. The Toshiba TV is selling for $149.99.

Those in line by 2 p.m. guessed the rain kept more people away.

As soon as I saw the ad I was like, 'You got me. I'm in line,'" said James Hainstock, who rushed to Best Buy after work at 2:45 a.m. Thursday.

But Hainstock, who ended up being second in line, found out he didn't need to hurry to the store. He figured he could have still taken home a television if he had arrived 12 hours later.

Hainstock pitched a tent and got a little shut eye, which was interrupted by rain. He was able to keep his spot in line while rushing home to take a hot shower in the morning.

This is the Manistee native's first Black Friday shopping experience. Hainstock lives in Grand Rapids and because he's working Thursday night, he would not have been able to travel to Manistee to see family.

"I'm all right missing Thanksgiving," he said.

Ferris State University students Samir Dave and Mansehaj Singh drove in from Big Rapids Thursday afternoon with another friend who came along for the ride.

They planned to shop for themselves and family members. Along with the 49-inch TV, they're hoping to get their hands on Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablets for about $130 off with a student discount and the purchase of a bundle.

The Best Buy ad including the Toshiba TV deal is what inspired them to make the trip for their first Black Friday shopping experience.

"Anyone would love to buy it. It's a cheap TV," Dave said.

Both their families live in India, so they aren't missing out on time with relatives. Singh planned to spend the holiday evening at a friend's house.

"I'm going to go back to eat some good food at night," he said.

Grand Rapids resident Sasi Gundepudi originally decided to wait in line for $100 off an iPad for his wife. His son later sent him a text message saying he'd like the TV, too.
He planned on joining family for dinner later.
"I'm not missing much except for the football game," he said.
Gundepudi said this year's shopping experience is much more pleasant than six or seven years back, when he waited in line for electronics in freezing temperatures at 3 a.m.
He brought an umbrella and earmuffs to stay warm and dry Thursday.
Shopping on Thanksgiving has become a family affair for Eric Baldwin, of Grand Rapids.
He was out with his daughter, and more relatives planned to meet them later. After Best Buy, he planned to buy some home items from Walmart and Target.
He'll eat a warm dinner once his shopping is finished. He was most concerned with getting updates on the Lions game.
"I'm missing my Lions. That's what I'm missing right now," Baldwin said.

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