‘Black Friday’ sales create a line of tents at Best Buy

A miniature tent city has sprung up outside of the Rochester Hills Best Buy in anticipation of the Black Friday deals. Some campers have been waiting since Friday, Nov. 16 for the sale, which begins at midnight Nov. 23.

Alex Meier, Kettering University senior majoring in mechanical engineering, said he planned to buy two 50-inch and two 40-inch Toshiba televisions, mostly for his neighbors.

“This is my sixth year,” said Meier. “I have a lot of fun doing it. It’s more for fun than anything else, but the profit’s nice.”

Oakland Community College sophomore Zachary Davis and Zumiez skate shop employee Jordan Carlson were among the first in line. According to Davis, the group has been doing this for five years, having worked out a system to keep their places in line.

“These first four tents are our group,” Davis said.  “We’ll stay here in shifts, and the other guys will bring back food or whatever, so someone can go to work or class.”

“We’re here pretty much all the time, but I just left for work and came back,” Carlson said. “It’s like this is my house, basically.”

Rochester High School student Nick Sautter said he and his friends have been in line since Tuesday night for deals on televisions and computers.

“Some people drive by and have some choice words, but other than that, it’s not too bad.” Sautter said. “Last year, though, we were camping out and one of the tents got water thrown on them. That wasn’t nice.”

As for Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, Davis said, “We worked it out with our families so they don’t really overlap.”

“I’m going to go home for Thanksgiving,” Meier said. “It’s kind of a grace period where everyone’s like, ‘We won’t screw with other people’s tents or cut in line.’”

Meier said the first few tents belonged to his friends and himself, and “now we’re just out here making friends with everyone.”

As for keeping themselves entertained, Davis said, “Once the store closes and we have room, our buddy hooks up his power inverter to his car. We were playing ‘Halo’ projected on the wall yesterday.”