Editor's Note: Earlier this week we put out the call for locals to join our Patch Black Friday Street team and share their Black Friday tragedies and triumphs. Here's the story of two Black Friday shoppers.
Names-Tracy Swall and Katie Swall (and several other friends along the way)
Age- 44 and 20
How long you been doing Black Friday?-Tracy has been going for about four years and this will be Katie's second year.
Black Friday Game Plan— Tracy: "I'm thinking Best Buy first. The number ones on our list now is a laptop and maybe a TV. Normally we do a combination of shopping in Manassas and Sterling. Another favorite is Old Navy. They usually have a great sale on jeans and they give away a nice gift to the first 50 to 100 people. The first year we tried for that gift we just missed it, but now we have a system.
See, the bigger items (electronics) you can't get at Old Navy obviously... so we have learned that Old Navy opens at midnight in Manassas, but it opens between 4 and 5 a.m. in Sterling."
What actually happened on Friday? "Our Black Friday was quite the experience! We started at 10 p.m. Thursday. We started at Sears at Manassas Mall. The store was already open when we arrived. We went straight to the boots! We each picked up a pair for $20! There were no lines at the cash registers—score!
Our next destination was Kohl's. Kohl's didn't open until 12 a.m., so we waited in our car for a little while because the line outside the door wasn't too bad and it was getting cold.
We had to get out in the cold when all of a sudden cars started pulling in the parking lot left and right. We got lucky though, we only had to stand in line about 45 minutes and we were probably 30 people back. The lady in front of us was in line four hours outside at Toys R Us (that is something I would not do). This is where we some some craziness. The line ended up getting very long behind us.
As the opening got closer, some people started arriving right before the door opening and stood right across from doors. Luckily the store noticed this and as those people started trying to cut the line, they had some security come out (store employees) and supervise.
As soon as people hit that door, they started running! I knew exactly what I was getting there and got most of it. The only things I didn't get to look at were the bath and linen things; I had so much in my arms there is no way I could have gotten anything else.
So we were in and out of there in 15 minutes. I got some small kitchen appliances, more boots and a tablet. Next was Modells, got a few gifts (Dallas Cowboys pajama bottoms.) Then it was on to Old Navy.
Oh my gosh, this place was packed. It took awhile to find a parking space. Upon entering, we saw that the lines were all the way to the back of the store. Any other time, I would have walked right back out to my car, but the jeans were too cheap to pass up! So I got in line and Katie made her way through the store.
Luckily the jeans I needed to get were in racks right next to where I was in line. So I shopped while waiting in line. This line was worse than the line outside of Kohl's! It probably took an hour! But I got six pairs of jeans, a jacket and four gloves for $119!
Our next stop was back to the mall to Victoria's Secret and Target. These stores uneventful and not crowded at all.
In fact, I was surprised to find that Target still had some TV's and other door buster deals even five hours after opening. Better yet, the store was practically dead!
At this point we decided to stop, which was earlier than normal but we got a lot of good deals and had some things to do on Friday.
But we are already looking forward to doing it all over again next year!"