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November 18, 2021

Black Friday shopper already camped out at Best Buy

The wildest and most pathetic Black Friday stories are never mutually exclusive.

Earlier this week, for instance, we discussed how unemployed Americans were offering their services as satellite shoppers for consumers that didn’t want to brave store line-ups. It is a story that’s, at the core, both kinda wacky and kinda sad.

Yet the latest weird tale from Black Friday, which has endured its trampling deaths and gun threats, is the woman in Florida that’s already camped in line out front her local big box electronics store.

In other words, Occupy Wall Street is over. Occupy Best Buy has begun.

Yes, more than eight days until Black Friday, 2011, actually launched, Tampa’s NBC affiliate reports that one woman decided to set up shop in a tent at her neighbourhood Best Buy Wednesday night.

*Bing: Black Friday deals Canadians can take advantage of, too

“You can’t beat some of the deals they have on plasmas, flat screens and laptops,” she said. “You’ve got to pinch a penny; it’s affordable right now.”

In disclosure, the woman, a student, will be joined by two other families and claims the time spent waiting won’t entirely be lost: when she’s not playing games, she claims in the video, she’ll be studying.

But let’s apply that favourite high school economics principle, opportunity cost, to our friend sitting on a sidewalk as you read this.

Opportunity cost, of course, is the value lost in Scenario B when you choose Scenario A, and while the woman spoken to by Florida media says she’s a student, let’s give this rocket scientist a conservative-paying job just to see what kind of fool’s gold she’s chasing.

In eight-plus days of camping out, we’d be talking six work days normally, but American Thanksgiving (Thursday the 24th) bumps that down to five. So, five days of work will be missed by camping out early. Let’s give our Black Friday fanatic a job that pays her the average U.S. salary: $39,336. On a per week basis, accounting for two weeks annual vacation, we’re talking a $786.72 theoretical pre-tax paycheque being flushed down the drain.

In return, being first in line at Best Buy will give her primo access to the best of the store’s deals. Unfortunately, the most substantial savings may cap out at $300 – the price difference between a 55-inch Sony LED 3D TV regularly on BestBuy.com and in the retailer’s Black Friday ad.

Perhaps she’d be better off waiting at Sears, where a 55-inch Samsung 1080p LED TV will be $1,000 off and … alright, you know what? … she’s probably just nuts.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...