A few weeks ago we stopped by the Gresham Best Buy to ask about their Wii availability. I was informed that they were holding back inventory until the 17th when they would put them all on sale. I marked the date on my calendar.
Last week I learned that Target would also be offering another round of Wii’s on the 17th. With that knowledge, I committed to “camping out” in order to get one for the boys. Since the Wii had already been out a month at that point, I figured that most of the hard-core buyers had already gotten theirs and I wouldn’t have to camp out for more than a few hours.
I arrived at the Best Buy in Gresham at about 3:30 am. I quickly counted 15-20 people already there and decided to move on to the Best Buy in Vancouver. On the way there I swung by the Airport Way store where there over 20 people in line including 3 tents. I was happy to see two fathers within the first ten people.
I arrived at the Vancouver Best Buy at almost exactly 4:00. When I arrived, the rumor was that they had 17 units. I was informed that I was 7 back from unit #17. Having explored the other options, I decided to stick it out anyway and hope for the best.
I have learned that after the store manager arrives, he will, in an attempt to preserve order and perhaps to bestow mercy upon the faithful, often hand out numbers to those in line so that they can warm themselves for an hour or so before the store opens for them to buy their item. Both Target and Best Buy were slated to open at 8:00 and would likely hand out numbers at 7:00.
Some after I arrived, a guy arrived who “guaranteed” that there would be 40 units. This was encouraging to all around me. More and more people arrived to shiver with us in the 27º cold as it got later and later. By 6:40, there were approximately 60-70 people in line when the manager came out to tell us that he only had 18 units. I hopped back in the car and sped off to Portland in the hope that I might be able to catch a shorter line at one of the Targets.
I arrived at the Target at 122nd and Glisan at about 6:55. There were about 20 people in line and they told me that the manager had already told them that there were only 15 units. I decided to move on.
After stopping for a gallon of gas, my next stop was the Fairview Target on Halsey, where there was nobody in line when I got there at 7:05. However, the parking lot was quite full of idling cars, so I approached one to find out the story. The manager had handed out numbers five minutes ago and there were none left. My source advised trying EB Games in Wood Village, which was only another five minutes away.
Five minutes later I found 10 people in line for 6 units. By that time, I’d had enough and headed home.
Thus, this week I will be calling stores every day and perhaps camping out for a few hours some mornings. If that fails, I would like to give the boys an empty box with an IOU inside, but I’m not sure Tina is down with that. The whole time I waited in line I kept picturing the looks on their faces when they opened it up. It would be an absolute surprise because we have told them repeatedly they have to earn the money to buy one. I want this to be the best Christmas they ever had.