11.25.2011

Y3W: Black Friday Review

We went, we bought, we didn't exactly conquer.

My BFF and I continued our Thanksgiving tradition of midnight madness at the outlets.  Last year, we scored some incredible deals so we were super excited to hit the Waterloo Outlets again this year.  Well.... we ended up leaving fairly disappointed.  We found deals, true.  And we bought things, true.  But it wasn't nearly the incredible savings that it has been in the past.  We did end up coming back to Syracuse around 5am to continue our shopping spree.  Even if the deals weren't fantastic, we were able to find some great gifts and, most importantly, share an awesome night of coffee and girl talk together.

The recap:  I didn't get everything on my Christmas list, but I did snag a few things... and lots of cute clothes for me which I will probably wrap and put "Love, Santa" on the tag.  lol.  My BFF has two small LOs, so I mostly go to help her out.  She drops the kiddos off with her mom, then we hit the road with an ample supply of snacks, water bottle and coffee (although only a cup for me this year... it was tough!).  I stand in line while she shops around at places like The Childrens Place, Osh Kosh, Toys R Us, etc.  Then she'll wait in line for me at GAP, Banana Republic, etc while I shop.  It works out great for both of us and it's always a fun night of shopping and girl talk... Love it!

We got to the outlets just before midnight and had no problem parking.  It was crowded, but not ridiculous.  I think half of the people there were waiting in line for the Coach store.  Seriously.  There must have been 500 people in that line.... pure insanity.  First up was The Children's Place... it was crowded, but not too bad.  I went straight to the line and BFF shopped around.  By the time I was at the front (about an hour later), she was ready to go... worked out perfectly.  We wandered around several more stores and repeated our process.  I think the best deals belonged to Eddie Bauer, although we had a tough time finding clothes we liked there.  Bummer.  We did pretty good at GAP... a few sweaters and pants although I didn't feel that the prices were any better than a normal weekend sale.  Old Navy had some steals like $5 fleeces and we both grabbed a pair of moccasins to rest our feet while we ditched our boots.  Best $12 I ever spent.  After that, more stores, more deals, but sadly nothing really blog worthy.

TBH, overall this year I wasn't super impressed with a lot of the deals.  Last year, I swear almost every single store was 50% off- the WHOLE store.  And you could use email coupons or rewards or AAA or military discount or "give us your email and you get an extra 10% off" type stuff... combined.  This year, many of the stores were only offering 20 or 30% off... (heck, that's like an average weekend sale at the outlets)... and you could only use one "extra" coupon or code.  Needless to say, we didn't do as well as we did last year.  Oh well.

TRU looked like a war zone and there wasn't much left by the time we got there (5am... they opened at 9pm Thursday), so that was kind of a bust for her.  Target and Walmart weren't crowded at all (got there around 6-7am), but same thing... the deals weren't super awesome.  I guess they had a lot of great deals on electronics, but not much else.  And Walmart does their deals in small batches.  (A,B,C on sale from midnight til 2am then D,E,F on sale from 2am-4pm... etc)... that's crazy... what do you do... just stay there all night and keep checking out every 2 hours?  Weird.  I did manage to score a fabulous sheet set from Target (550 thread count) for $35 and a duvet cover for $25.  That made my day.

Kohl's was ok, but I really think they mark their prices up a bit so when you get to use your "15% off" you think you're getting a great deal... but it's really bringing the price down to the same price it was last week.  If one good thing came out of this, though, it's that the annoying Kohl's commercial with the black Friday song is no longer being played.  Small victory.

Kevin and I ended up going to Carousel Mall later in the evening and it was surprisingly slow.  I was dying to go to Verizon and investigate the free phone deal they had advertised.  Turns out I was eligible for it with my early upgrade, so I went for it.  I am so pleased to announce that I now FINALLY have a smart phone (does happy dance).  Oh.  And it was FREE (does more enthusiastic happy dance).  Well, technically $50 with a $50 mail in rebate... which I already have in the mailbox... so free.  This also made my day.

Anyway... that was it in a nutshell (whew, that got long).  Still good prices, but definitely not as awesome as last year.