Patient Shoppers Screwed When Staples Opens Early For Some

Scott is pissed because he had his hopes geared up for a $99 Navigon 2100 portable GPS unit from Staples. All the advertising said the sale started at 6am. After dutifully waiting until 6am, he ordered the item Then he found out that some people had been calling in to the 1800 Staples # since 4 that morning, placing orders, and it was now out of stock. No GPS for Scott, who is now mad. If you advertise the heck out of a 6am starting time, you better make sure everyone abides by it. At least, unlike other shoppers across the nation, Scott was able to miss out on the doorbuster deal from the comfort, convenience, and warmth of his own home.

I got a Navigon 2100 from Staples … nope, fooled you … we sold out before the 6:00am opening [Slacker At Work!]


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  1. UpsetPanda says:

    Heck yeah I’d be mad too! They say 6 a.m., people start buying at 4 a.m., you better have enough leftover for the 6 a.m. crowd, or you better turn away some really early bird shoppers.

  2. Pizza Club says:

    I bet those Fat Wallet forum greedy jerks had something to do with it.

  3. ironchef says:

    what time zone does that guy belong to?

    I think the 2 hour difference might be time zone related, duh.

  4. ironchef says:

    oops. nevermind.
    6AM EST.

  5. mamacat49 says:

    Same type of thing happened to me at Best Buy (trying to get a monitor). The local newspaper ad said “Friday and Saturday”–nothing about shopping on line. I checked the web site anyway, just to look up the item number and low and behold, all sold out on THURSDAY at 10:00am. I didn’t even bother going over to the store. They lost the sale to Target.

  6. kalikidtx says:

    false advertising, I wonder how many they really had in the first place, I doubt very many…..

  7. Voyou_Charmant says:

    I hate the whole black Friday concept — it’s geared towards idiots that get caught up in mass hysteria.

    Especially considering that with spending 15 minutes on the internet is bound to turn up a comparable deal without dealing with crazy ass people and lines and waking up at 4am.

  8. GitEmSteveDave says:

    Staples was horrible today. I get up normally on the weekdays at 5 am to feed my horses, so I decided afterwards to just throw some jeans on instead of my overalls, and head out for some stuff. Staples had a 4gb flash drive for 17.98 after rebates, which is $12 less than I paid for the one I have now, and I can use the new one with my OLPC. I head over to the store round 6:30 and it was bedlam. 4 registers were trying to ring up maybe 100+ customers. Add in dumb people who can’t read the flier, holding up the line, and it was horrendous. I waited almost an hour to ring up my flash drive and a set of speakers. I did get the last flashdrive though. Then, they started annoucing that if you didn’t pay for the laptops they had on sale by 8am, you forfeited your laptop coupon. I was like, what about the people who did some shopping, and have been in line, and will never make it to the register before 8am. I got out of there before violence ensued.

    Target on the other hand was very pleasant. The local Chic-Fil-a was handing out free breakfast biscuits and a coupon for another. The registers were open, and staffed very well, and except for maybe the electronics dept being popular and packed, I got one of the DVD’s I went in there for, and a raincheck for the other. Sweeet.

  9. GitEmSteveDave says:

    @thisaintsweettea: I don’t understand why companies don’t opt for the online sales. I think you are more inclined to purchase the items, and more if all you are doing is clicking, as opposed to lugging all of these boxes around. You’d save overhead on the store being opened, security, police(the local BB had a cop stationed outside), and you wouldn’t have to worry about the merch being on hand.

  10. UpsetPanda says:

    Staples customer service is up at 4 a.m. to take orders?!

  11. sonichghog says:

    I wonder if the system is seperate. Online-phone-store all different systems.

    The stores open at 6 am, The online starts at 6 am, and they have a phone system at 4am?

    This item was available in the stores as well, and it is listed one the page for all weekend sales. Not just the Friday 6-11am ones.

  12. Domichi says:

    I ended up going to two different Best Buys this morning. I got almost everything I wanted at the first one at 6 AM (although there is a silly story about one item). I spent under three minutes waiting in line for checkouts at the first store. I only went to the second store because I realized I bought the wrong version of something. That store had a massive line and they didn’t have what I wanted, so I ended up leaving that one without purchasing anything.

  13. Electroqueen says:

    Woke up my usual time to get to Staples. I got there a few minutes after it opened, and ALOT people where there. I guess it was mostly asian people, and the odd white person. Thankfully it wasn’t as packed as the Best Buy, a line from the store to a Toysrus on the other side of the parking lot, according to a conversation I heard later that day.
    They really did sell out of GPSs and I did see the occasional raincheck.
    Alot of people, including me, crowded around the Memory Cards case, like a stampede but at least it was a lot more orderly than what I’ve read about Black Friday deals for hot items.

  14. ahwannabe says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint: In Mumbai it was 2:30 in the afternoon…

  15. s35flyer says:

    Everybody, get a life-go back to bed, stop falling for the hype created to get you to spend money.

  16. headon says:

    @electroqueen: Just curious what does it matter what race of people were there? How is that relevant to the post.

  17. Buran says:

    I’d say it’s EECB time. They sure can order another one from the mfr. for you and everyone else who was told it was in stock and had their orders cancelled.

  18. scampy says:


    I love how people say how a store lost a sale. They dont care if you buy or not on items that are lossleaders. Those are only there to get you in. I doubt they care if you didnt buy that monitor that 350 other people wanted for much less than the store paid for it

  19. trollkiller says:

    @headon: Everybody knows that Asians are good at math and love gadgets so these must have been reaaaaaally good deals.. I wonder did they all have cameras? ;-)

    Seriously if electroqueen’s area is like mine, more than 10 Asians in one spot would be very odd. We are so short on Asians the Chinese restaurant is staffed mostly with non Asians but the food is great.

  20. trollkiller says:

    @thisaintsweettea: I have never hit one of these black Friday sales. Thankfully when I was working retail they did not do this kind of silliness.

  21. witeowl says:

    @ironchef: Yep, the ad says EST. That doesn’t answer, however, whether or not Scott noticed the EST mentioned in the ad. The two hour difference is awfully suspicious.

  22. LionelEHutz says:

    The Staples near where I live was a ghost town. They had everything in their “door busters” at 9:30am, including the big-ass LCD HDTV’s for $799 or whatever it was they were advertising it at.

  23. SaraAB87 says:

    You have to pay attention to when the ONLINE sale starts, best buy started their online sale, I don’t know when but all the items including the hard drive I bought were sold out by 5pm yesterday. I was sure the sale started early friday morning but thankfully I checked some forums that said the sale was already on. Moral of the story if you want an item, bookmark it before hand or put it in your cart before the sale actually starts and then watch the price until it changes to the sale price.

  24. Parting says:

    Reading the article and comments, somehow I’m happy there is no Black Friday in Canada.

    And where ”Black Friday” concept comes from?
    I mean, we’re neighbors and we have to deal with boxing day, too. ;) Nothing like snowy tents near Best Buy, aaahhhh!

  25. Buran says:

    @scampy: They care when you stop shopping there because of how you got screwed once when you counted on them to stand by their word. If they don’t stand by their word, why would you want to go back? THAT’S why they care.

    Don’t forget, happy customers tell 3 people, unhappy ones tell 10. Or whatever the real numbers are.

  26. GitEmSteveDave says:

    @chouchou: Black Friday is the day when supposedly the Christmas buying season starts, and in the olde days when they used to keep records on paper in ledgers, thy would show a profit, and go from red ink to black.

  27. EtherealStrife says:

    Most of the online specials came out on thanksgiving, and at random times during the day.
    I truly loath staples after this black friday season. I got my heart set on a certain no-rebate compaq, scoped out all the local locations and their layouts, only to find out that every staples within driving distance was not planning on honoring the advertised bf specials.
    So I forked over an extra Grant and got a much better laptop from best buy.

    @Domichi: Did it happen to be speakers? The bb I went to had some screwy labeling and I ended up grabbing the wrong ones for a friend.

  28. SteveBMD says:

    I find it interesting that much of the Black Friday hype (as well as the crowds & isolated violence) is focused on electronic gadgets— laptops, GPS devices, MP3 players, flat-screen TVs, video games, etc. Why wasn’t there a mad dash for a sale on books? Or clothing? Or housewares? Are our society’s priorities so screwed up that it’s worth trampling a neighbor for a plasma screen TV, while we’re willing to be more patient (ie, less interested) about new books, or sporting goods, or household appliances or tools? And to think that the electronics purchased today will be essentially obsolete by next Christmas. The materialism of our society is truly amazing.

  29. mgyqmb says:

    @SteveBMD: I recognized that too. I am a former (grateful for it too) best buy employee who had to wade through the day after thanksgiving almost immediately after the store opened for the first time. It was huge around here.

    Anyhow, my girlfriend sure made me hit Old Navy. There was enough of a dash in there to quell any holiday spirit. And I was a bit disappointed that Barnes and Noble doesn’t do anything special.

    Anyways, I was at Circuit City waiting to get an Acer 22″ monitor for $170 – which I am now enjoying consumerist on right now.

  30. ahwannabe says:

    @SteveBMD: Back in the good old days, people only trampled each other over stuffed toys.

  31. Kishi says:

    @SteveBMD: The only thing my wife and I picked up today were a book and a couple of DVDs at Borders. We were just planning on grabbing a couple of books, but they had a bunch of DVDs at $8.99 for the weekend, so we figured it was a good time to buy ourselves Pan’s Labyrinth as an early holiday present…

  32. eimajuno says:

    I got my Navigon early this morning. There was a huge line but I was close enough to the front. It seems like the store that I went to had abot 25 of those navigon units. I got #8. Some of the items they were giving tickets for such as the TomTom. Not so for the navigon for some reason.

  33. headon says:

    all of you needing GPS units how the hell did you find your way to the store!

  34. LetMeGetTheManager says:

    People were able to get those at the store I was outside of. Got there around 3 AM, was number fifteen in line. However, the first fourteen people that were there since 10 PM the night before were night too happy when 30 minutes before opening, a manager came out and mentioned that the ‘Black Friday’ ad everyone had was wrong, because they in fact had NO LAPTOPS…

    There was almost a riot.

  35. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @LetMeGetTheManager: Sounds like some scumbag lawyer will pounce on that…the ads I all read had ‘guaranteed minimums’ in them, so NO LAPTOPS would be less than the minimum.
    Seriously, 3AM? We were out and about at 5:30AM for the PS2 (got one), and 6AM for the Wii (got one) on their launch days. No, didn’t get a PS3, didn’t want one.
    You just have to know where to go and have a system ;).

  36. CurbRunner says:

    Materialism breeds insanity.

  37. BigNutty says:

    Just like the news the last few days, we are seeing too many Black Friday stories here also. Nothing else to entertain us with?

  38. trinkagen says:

    As for the navigon the best deal was at Radioshack. The Navigon 2100 was shipped in packages that caused the units to break so every unit was recalled and not enough were shipped out in time to replace the originals so the the 5100 was sold in it’s place at alot of stores for the same price of $150. However the bad part is the stores didn’t even know til the morning of.

  39. XTC46 says:

    @GitEmSteveDave: When shopping on a website people don’t make impulse purchases as often. You can’t put a laptop in the opposite side of a stare and have the customer walk past the bags, portable mice, wireless routers, etc and cant have a salesmen push a warranty. They would lose a lot of money becasue people would just buy the sale item and be done.

  40. silvanx says:

    Anyone notice how the little navigon icon actually gives you the finger?

  41. SJActress says:

    Why? Because that stuff is boring.

    Just kidding…seriously…just kidding.

  42. MexiFinn says:

    Yeah. Same thing happened to me, but at the actual Staples store near my parents house. I got there at 6am sharp… I expected there to be lines, but there weren’t any. Surprise surprise, the store was full already implying that they opened early and most of the stuff I wanted was gone. Shit, if I knew they were opening at 4am, I would have just kept watching DVD’s until 3am and then gone to bed at like 5.

  43. cde says:

    @silvanx: OMG it is! Maybe it’s giving those not so early birds the bird :D

  44. madmari says:

    Not only people got the stuff by calling an 800 number but the website also let most of the orders through before 6 am EST. I wanted the advertised laptop and I logged on at 5 am and I got the page with the laptop – I put it in my cart but I wasn’t able to complete the transaction. I though that it was due to the time. Later on FatWallet I read that I should have tried refreshing the page. Some people got their orders that way.

  45. SandmanET says:

    well no ticket no laptop no ticket no gps

    seriously I got to work at staples at 5am people were there since about 3 when my gm got there

    oh and I love the can I buy this and return it on black friday and get that price, well no you can’t we couldn’t do returns from 6am – 10am which was almost all of the deals (gps’s mainly)

    oh and I love the ahole who bought notebook ram 1gb on black friday and returned it with a 256mb stick in it and the cashier didn’t realize it