Cost of Camping Out for Black Friday

Black-Friday-LineThis year I saw tents up in front of Best Buy as early as 9 days before Thanksgiving. 9 days of camping on concrete to buy cheap stuff.

My immediate questions was, “Don’t these people have jobs?” I mean, they are planning to spend a lot of money, otherwise why camp out. No one camps out to get a deal on headphones. These people are looking for TVs, computers and such.

That led me to the next question… How much are they really saving by giving up 9 days of work to camp out?

Let’s say they had a low paying job, about $8 an hour. Not sure how they can afford to buy a lot of big tickets items on this budget, but let’s go with it. And assume they owned all the camping gear, tents and blankets necessary. And can get people to cover their spot for bathrooms, etc…

9 days before Thanksgiving means 7 working days. At $8 per hour, 8 hours a day, gives us $448 gross earnings lost.

Then food for these days. Let’s assume they planned ahead and brought breakfast food. 18 fast food meals for 9 days: $126.

That’s $574 in cost/lost wages to camp out for the chance to save money. That number goes up if the camper’s job is better than entry level.

To make that worth while you have to buy a lot of big screens and computers and phones.