Brittany D. McClure
The Valdosta Daily Times
What would you do for a $179 flat-screen television or a fully loaded and discounted Playstation 3 package? Would you wait in line for minutes, hours or even days? You might be saying: that's crazy, but for those who deem themselves "Black Friday professionals," it's go big or go home.
Brittiany Thorton pitched a tent and set up camp in front of Best Buy at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Her treasure? TVs, laptops, a Garmin GPS and a free cell phone.
"All totaled, we'll save well over $800 to $900 with everything we're going to buy," said Thorton.
She said this year, people were lining up for Black Friday earlier and earlier. Thus, she strategized to beat the rush.
"Last year, at 4 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, the line wrapped all around the building," said Thorton.
Thorton wasn't the only one. Right behind her in a camping chair was Rachel Patelski.
"I got out here at 7:30 a.m. (on Wednesday)," said Patelski. "I'm waiting in line for my dad and he's getting some hard-drives, movies and TVs.
"We're going to be taking shifts."
Third in line was Sherry Mascorro. She arrived at Best Buy around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.
"I did this last year, but I was like number 10," said Mascorro. "I'm skipping Thanksgiving again."
You would think that staying in the same place for days and hours would be difficult or boring, but these three have everything they need.
Both Thorton and Moscorro have tents, beds, laptops, movies, games and coolers full of food and drinks. If they need to use the bathroom, Best Buy has provided porta-potties. If they get discouraged, all they have to do is look at the Best Buy sales paper and remember what they're fighting for.
Just down the street, four women camped out behind a shopping cart barricade in front of Toys R' Us on Thanksgiving Day.
"I got here at 9 a.m.," said Jessica Walker who was the first in line.
Following behind her was her "runner" Tanya Morgan and Deshai Richardson with her "runner" Pat McSwain.
For the fifth year in a row, these women have sacrificed an entire day just to make a 20-minute purchase, but to them, it's worth it.
They were all after one thing, a Playstation 3 bundle that comes with controllers and games that were priced with a $100 discount off the regular retail price.
Though staying in one place for hours makes for a long day, they all agreed that if they could only do Black Friday shopping at one store, it would be Toys R' Us.
"They are so organized," said Richardson.
Toys R' Us only lets 15 to 20 people in the store at a time and getting everything you need can be found and purchased in a matter of minutes, Richardson said.
Each person receives a ticket. If you are in the front of the line, you are guaranteed your item and you don't have to fight for it.
Their only complaint was that they wish stores would stop opening on Thanksgiving. For parents like them, who need to save the money, they have to sacrifice a day with the family to ensure everyone gets what they asked for.
"We wish it was Black Friday, not Thursday," said Richardson.
While many will refer to those who camp in line for hours and days as "crazy," those who do it know it's just the sacrifice that has to be made.
Black Friday isn't for the lazy and isn't for the light of heart. It takes true dedication and anyone who's been one of those "line people" knows that you never get something for nothing.