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Customers camp out for Black Friday
Spots in line sold for $180
Tents line the sidewalk Wednesday in front of the Best Buy on Dawsonville Highway as people wait for the opening for Black Friday. - photo by Tom Reed

Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Sean Adams homecoming

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College student Chris Brown will be eating Thanksgiving dinner in a tent while saving his place in a growing line of anxious shoppers outside the Best Buy on Dawsonville Highway this holiday.

But this isn’t the first time he’s been away from a traditional dinner table for Thanksgiving. In 2011, Brown showed up the morning before Thanksgiving Day to save his spot in line and be one of the first to get his hands on merchandise at Best Buy’s Black Friday sale.

This year, Brown pitched his tent Monday in hopes of getting a great deal on a laptop when the store opens Friday at midnight.

“My other laptop totally crashed,” said Brown. “I’m in college, so this isn’t something that I just want. I need it.”

Brown’s sister, Hanna, camped with Chris and helped keep him company, even though she has no plans of buying anything Friday.

“I’m kind of just out here for the experience,” she explained.

For these siblings, camping out for Black Friday has included meeting fellow shoppers, watching television and playing football and Frisbee in the parking lot.

Only a few feet away from the Browns, three tents were being sold by the man who pitched them as spots in line for around $180.

“There have been several people who have come and put up tents for people who will pay to buy a spot in line,” said Chris Brown. “The guy on the other side of us did it, too, but he said I could sleep in one of the tents now if I wanted to.”

After almost three days of camping at the store, Brown admitted he “didn’t know yet if it’s been worth it.”

“If I’m out here by myself, I have to wait until someone else gets here before I can go to the bathroom. The floor gets pretty uncomfortable to sleep on, and I still have to go home to get a shower before I have to work,” he said.

His sister added to the woes of waiting.

“The tent gets really hot, and it’s hard to sleep because the streetlights are so bright at night,” she said. “It gets really boring.”

Thankfully for the Browns and other campers, streetlights in the parking lot were turned off Tuesday night, and Best Buy provided electricity and free Internet access for those outside the store.

Several tents down from the Browns, four high school friends slept at the head of the line in hopes of being the first customers to get in Best Buy’s doors Friday.

“We tried to be the first ones out this year because last year, the people at the front of the line brought a bunch of other people, and we didn’t end up getting anything,” said Jesus Guerrero, who was looking for a deal on a television.

Although they had “barely gotten any sleep,” the boys explained that they played video games on the television inside their tent and looked around inside the store to help pass time.

And while there is a chance there may be a mass of people who can get in the store on Black Friday before those who stood the test of time by camping out, explained the boys, they’re hoping for a better outcome this year.

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