Black Friday Super Deals? Probably Not

Fair warning. This has nothing to do with gaming.

I want to switch my home office dual 19” LCD monitors to a 32” or larger LCD television. I have read that a single screen with significant screen real estate is more beneficial than two smaller monitors. To make the most of this switch I will need a 1080p television. Those run about $400 give or take $50.

So when I saw Wal-Mart advertising 40” 1080p LCD televisions for $250 I decided that it was worth a Black Friday sale. Ironically, Wal-Mart’s Black Friday sale starts at 10pm on Thursday. Who cares? I just wanted to save $150 if possible.

I looked into the television. It does not have a VGA or DVI input, but it has HDMI (of course) and I can grab an HDMI video card for $30. Okay, I’m still saving $120. I went to the Wal-Mart early.

Not early enough. Traffic was backed up all around the store. I pull into the parking lot and there are no spaces whatsoever. I could not get out of the parking lot and had to go around the back of store. Cars were parked illegally everywhere. I thought about squeezing into one of these “improvised” spots, but I quickly did the math:

Potential Savings of $120 < Potential Parking Ticket or Repair Costs

Those repair costs would be any incurred by the many people attempting to squeeze very large vehicles into any spot large enough to hold a tricycle. With the way people were behaving this may not have been a definite, but the probability was far greater than normal.

Regardless, I go out of that parking lot as soon as I saw an opening to do so. $120 is not something that I would throw away, but it sure is not worth my piece of mind either.

This just got me thinking – what is the potential for expensive property damage or personal harm to a person who goes to one of these Black Friday super sales? Do these costs outweigh the potential saving? I have no evidence, but I feel like I made the right choice in the situation that I just described. $120 is not enough.

In fact, I do not think any amount of savings is worth it.