The Wildest Black Friday And Cyber Monday Finds People Ever Had The Wildest Black Friday And Cyber Monday Finds People Ever Had Photo Courtesy of Wien People are curious creatures: Such as the American tradition to follow-up a day of being thankful for what we have with trampling others to buy all sorts of things we don’t even need. Gluttony and excess at its finest. Black Friday (and it’s online equivalent, Cyber Monday) are incredible sales we find online and off during Thanksgiving weekend, an effort of retailers to kick off holiday shopping season with a bang. Some of us avoid it like the plague. Others, swear by it, and the finds they make. We chatted with a few people who had some pretty awesome Black Friday finds – and even though some are pretty out there, there seem to be very few regrets! Syreta J. Oglesby, Publicist- SJO Public Relations Going to Best Buy for a laptop. It was like a concert. Wall to wall packed. I literally bought my laptop in the parking lot from someone and paid him an extra $50 for it. I ran across Rte. 22 in NJ to go to the ATM to get him the cash. Laura Dolce, Executive Director of the Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel Chamber Lining up at 3 AM outside a Wal-Mart – in freezing weather – with other crazy shoppers to get a Furby for my daughter. It ended up being a truly irritating toy. Jon Vincent, Founder of earlyblackfriday.com We’ve been covering Black Friday since 2005 so we’re on top of the latest retail trends, doorbuster deals, etc. Over the years I’ve had tons of Black Friday regrets but the latest one was the “special” Black Friday models that retailers make available. These models are typically seen a lot with electronics and overall the parts/quality of them are less than what you would expect from the brand. For a personal example, Best Buy had the Logitech 1080p Pro Stream Webcam as an “early Black Friday sale” for $49.99 (50 percent off). This seems like a great deal, right? Well, I bought this webcam for the $49.99 price and checked the quality of it. Overall, it seemed like an inferior product compared to the other “real” model Logitech webcams out there. In my opinion, there is no way the original $99.99 price is justified. It feels like the real price should be $49.99 but they post it as $99.99 and mark it 50 percent off so it seems like you’re getting a great deal. So that is definitely a “buyer beware” tip that shoppers should do a quick Google or Amazon search on the brand + model number to see what turns up. If you can’t find the product on Amazon or even on the brand’s own website, you know it’s most likely a special Black Friday model that may be inferior to other models that the brand has. Toni Minardi, Personal Shopper I usually go to get a few things on good sales. I’ve had pretty good luck in the past with it not being crazy or crowded. I got two down coats last year for $100. They have proved to be the best purchase I made all year. Photo Courtesy of IFashionNetwork Alexis Lambert Quesadilla maker. It sits in my cabinet, reminding me of the dumbest $30 I ever spent. Allison Galland, Software Trainer, Gallery Systems I don’t usually go Black Friday crazy, but I arrived at a Modell’s at 6 AM in order to get the “early bird” deal for a baseball jersey for my then-boyfriend. I had a coupon, plus there was an additional discount for those who went to the store before 7 AM. Going early also ensured his size and favorite player were not sold out! The gift was a huge hit and the jersey that would have cost me $100 was about $35-40. For a purchase like this, getting up early was totally worth it! It pays to do your research and seek out coupons and special sale hours if you have a pricey gift in mind and want to make it more budget-friendly. Hannah Onstad, Founder of LOAKL.com. One year, I was feeling pretty bah-humbug, not wanting to shop, and I bought every gift on my holiday list at Amazon on Black Friday in one fell swoop. I thought I was being so clever. I typed out gift messages, I checked the gift wrap checkbox and typed in the recipient’s address. It was certainly efficient. But I never touched the gifts, never wrapped a thing, just forked over my cash, and in the end, I felt it was a little soulless that holiday season, as a result. Now, I’m sure to visit independent shops in my neighborhood and find unique gifts from local makers. Luckily, I live in Oakland, CA where lovely retail shops abound. Plus, I love to give books as gifts. When you give someone a book, you’re giving them more than an object. You’re giving them an experience — like curling up under a blanket on a rainy weekend afternoon for a precious moment of reading. Alexa Rae Johnson, Creator of ZaagiTravel.com Stainless steel garlic crusher – $9. No regrets whatsoever. Bryce Gruber of The Luxury Spot A couple years ago we heard about a rocking horse that actually makes neighing sounds and thought our then two year old absolutely had to have it. The thing was that it was priced at about $250 full retail, which was way beyond my normal rocking horse budget so we waited for Black Friday to drive to New Jersey from where we live in NYC because we saw it advertised for around $65. We got there a few hours after the store opened (which was like 5 AM or something super insane), and were forced to settle for a rocking tiger version instead because all the horses were already sold out. Two years later this thing is still roaring in my living room. Photo Courtesy of ATrendyLifestyle Ellyn Laufer Walansky (Aly’s mom) A giant clock wall ornament. We bought it in Amish country. I fell in love, and my husband (Editor’s note: Aly’s dad) said I couldn’t get it home to NYC – but I did. Took up the whole back seat of the car. Oh, it never worked, by the way. But it’s really pretty. Dan Moran, Founder of Concierge Diamonds Diamonds and gold have value assigned to them based on the markets. That means if you purchase a diamond or engagement ring at 50% off retail during a black Friday sale, then the piece or the diamond was either marked up extravagantly, to begin with, or it’s a garbage stone or ring and someone is desperately trying to get rid of it. And if those two variables are true, how can you be sure you know what you’re really getting in a place that does business like that? You can’t and have no way of knowing if this person is snowing you or not just so you whip out your wallet and buy whatever they are selling. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re getting a good deal just because there’s a fire sale and you’re rushing to get a good deal. It won’t be a good deal and you more than likely won’t be able to return it. An engagement ring should be something that’s a considered purchase, and you can’t make a considered purchase with the pressure of a one-day sale manipulating your decision-making process. Aly Walansky Aly Walansky is a freelance lifestyles writer based in New York City, who contributes regularly to iVillage, SheKnows.com, xoJane, Huffington Post, and The Fashion Spot as well as many other print and web outlets.