Some shoppers refuse to lose out on a bargain — even if it means camping out 24/7 for more than a week.
Shoppers across the country are setting up camp in front of Best Buy electronics stores to snag the best deals on Black Friday.
Intrepid consumers started lining up Monday at a Best Buy in suburban Akron.
Jonas Allooh was first in line, putting up his 10-person tent to simulate the comforts of home: bed, generator, space heater, TV, game console and microwave oven. Allooh, who graduated in August from Kent State University with a doctorate in audiology, has some time on his hands as he looks for a job.
Camping out for Black Friday deals has become a tradition for him, he says. He’s been doing it for four years with his buddies, who’ve been doing it for about seven years, he says.
“They are seasoned pros,” he says about his friends. “We’ve got a propane heater. And we threw a tarp over the tent to keep out the cold. And we have lots and lots of blankets.”
The hearty shoppers have created a community of people camping out until the post-Thanksgiving sales.
Allooh and his two brothers — they’re identical triplets — and their friends were eager to be first in line, so Allooh set up camp on Monday. Since then, shoppers have erected two more tents.
Allooh is eyeing a 27-inch computer monitor and some gifts for “someone who doesn’t know what we are getting her.” It’s his mom, Molly Sebring, who laughed talking about her son’s urban camping adventure.
Still, he’s not completely sure what, if anything, he wants to buy. “I have plenty of time to look at the flyer,” he says.
For him, it’s more of a social event than a shopping event. Last year, he left right before the store opened and shopped online.
As for Thanksgiving dinner, his mom isn’t so sure she’ll spend Thanksgiving with her sons if they spend it in the tent.
“It’s awful cold in that tent, even with the heater,” Sebring says. Allooh says he hopes friends will relieve them so they can have Thanksgiving dinner at home.
Tony Avitar, who was first in line last year, set up the second tent.
Avitar “came earlier than he had planned to because he saw the other tent was here,” his parents, Ed and Janet Regec of Akron, told the Akron-Beacon Journal.
The Cuyahoga Falls Best Buy is offering deals on 60-inch flat-screen TVs for $998, iPads for $300 and digital cameras half off at $800. The chain retailer will open at 6 p.m. nationwide on Thanksgiving Day.
In Jacksonville, N.C., Robert Prine told WITN that he set up his tent Wednesday afternoon. He’s in line for a coveted Xbox One gaming system, which goes on sale early Friday at midnight. He also wants to snag a Black Friday deal on a 65-inch Samsung TV that he says will save him $1,000.
He told the station that he has camped out before for Black Friday, but never longer than 48 hours.
In Beaumont, Calif., Victoria Torres is the veteran Black Friday shopper/camper of a small troop of about 10 people. She’s been camping outside the Best Buy for Black Friday sales for five years.
“When we need something and we can’t afford it, we come out here on Black Friday, because they’ve got the good deals,” she told the station.
She was in line Monday. She said she looks forward to it every year.
“It gets a little cold,” Torres said, “but it’s worth it.”