Monday, May 05, 2008

Event Lines

Yesterday, for the second time in sixth months, I found myself standing in line outside of a Best Buy. I went over 29 years without ever stooping to waiting in line just for an opportunity to purchase something, but apparently now I've suddenly become a slave to consumerism. Or at least to getting a good deal.

Anyways, this time it was for a RewardZone special event that happened after store closing on Sunday evening. The line was much more reasonably sized then the one on the day after Thanksgiving, with Linzy and I ending up 47th and 48th in line after showing up 15 minutes early.

They did the doorbuster coupon deals this time again, although it seemed that there were far more coupons then there were people who wanted those items. Probably a reflection on the fact that the deals didn't seem all that good.

In my case the only reason we were standing in line was because I was there for an item that I knew they only had one of, and the event offered triple reward points for purchases. That, coupled with the 10% off coupon good only this week, a $300 rebate, and 18-month interest free financing was enough to make me stand in line to ensure that I would have a reasonable shot at getting that lone item.

The event was kind of interesting because while there were probably 100 customers, they had what seemed like a full complement of employees (or more) manning the store. The place was crawling with employees trying to be helpful. They also had free smoothies (tasty) and mini-burritos (which looked good, but I didn't try one). There were five $50 gift cards given away as well, which considering the low turnout gave you a pretty good shot at getting one.

Linzy and I were debating whether the event was actually worthwhile for Best Buy. It is hard to judge, because it probably really depended on exactly what it cost to have all those employees work an extra 2.5 hours. Even though there were not all that many people there, people were definitely buying things. So if the goal was to get a couple hundred people out buying stuff when they normally wouldn't on a Sunday evening, it was certainly a success.

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