Bargain hunters are mapping out their plan of attack for the busiest shopping day of the year. One group of Grand Strand students will spend the Thanksgiving holiday waiting in line for the door-buster bargains to begin.
They don't carry weapons, but they do plan their strategy with military precision. We're talking about true shopping professionals, who have some tips that amateurs can use, too.
Sean Nguyen, Cody Edgar and 10 of their friends will be among the first in line at the Best Buy store Friday morning. They won't just be looking for items for themselves.
The ninjas collect a fee to do the shopping for others who want the bargains, but not the hassle. "We advertise ourselves as, you give us the money for it, we'll go and get it for you, because people don't want to be standing in the line for 24 hours," said Cody Edgar.
Sean started the group four years ago, when he decided to make money off what he was doing already... shopping on Black Friday. He hand-picked ninja members who he knew would be aggressive, since Black Friday shopping can get a little rough. "And so I wanted to make sure these individuals wouldn't give it up at any cost, so they've got to be pretty loyal to the group."
Each ninja member is given a map of the store and a list of items to buy, and they must stick to the list. "If you start window shopping, then you lose items because people will pick it up faster, you won't check out as fast and everything will just be slowed down," Sean said.
The ninjas will start at Best Buy, but branch out to Walmart, Target and others. That's why, as soon as they get in the door, they try to find what they need and get to the check-out line within 15 minutes.
The ninjas grossed $8,000 last year and hope to do better this year.
Sean's advice to amateur shoppers: get to the store early, make a list and stay with it and bring friends for support and then divvy up their responsibilities.
The big items they're looking for this year include HD TV's and laptop computers.
Here's a link to the Black Friday Ninjas' Facebook page.