ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – With Thanksgiving over, attention is now shifting toward holiday shopping. Yourbasin.com reporter Rob Tooke paid a visit to two retail stores to talk to shoppers about deals, crowds, and their purchases.
A few shoppers shared their experience about starting holiday shopping the night of Thanksgiving. They waited in line at Gamestop after dinner to buy the Playstation 5, a gaming console that has remained highly-coveted since its release.
But on Black Friday, there were no visible lines outside of stores. There were still crowds, with many people loading up on their new ‘toys.’
“We’ve been out since five this morning and it really hasn’t been bad,” said shopper Krystal Duke.
Shoppers seemed to have fared well under blue skies and cool temperatures. With stomachs full and some shopping carts equally as full, people weren’t only buying goods off the shelves: they were following up on a tradition many consider fun and exciting. Of course, there’s no better way to take part than by shopping with family.
“We got toys, clothes, laundry detergent, stuff like that,” Lisa and Ryan Soto laugh, as their three children mill in and around the cart. “(It’s) mostly toys.”
At the Target store on 42nd Street in Odessa, some shoppers bought exactly what they had set out for.
“It’s this game here,” shopper Erick Nevarez says, showcasing his newly-bought game, Catan. “I hear it’s a lot of fun. And then a card game, and a sweater for mom.”
“For the kids, some cute clothes. Not a lot of electronics because, like I said, we’re traveling so we can’t really take a lot of stuff,” said Anabel, a shopper visiting from Southern California. “But just stuff for the kids and just to see what the hype was about.”
Anabel said the deals were okay. There was nothing significant about them. Helen Handley shares the same sentiment.
“They started Black Friday deals mid-October,” Handley said. “So… they kind of taken the fun out of it.”
It seemed the attitude toward Black Friday has changed. Unlike previously reported shopping chaos nationwide, today, there were no fights over items like TVs. Instead, it looked like people were ordering TVs online and then, picking up the product at the curb, a much simpler process. It was clear retail workers were busy and had their hands full.
At the Best Buy store by Loop 338 in Odessa, electronics frequently flowed out of its sliding doors.
One man was strapping in a newly-acquired 82 inch flat screen TV on the bed of his pickup, when Rob Tooke approached him.
“How much did this set you back?” Rob asked.
“I just bought it, I didn’t even look at the price!” the man mused.
Karen Hawthorne had more, yet smaller items, in her pickup. She came from Roswell, New Mexico, with her son, Martin, and some other family. She says, she made the trip just to visit Best Buy. She recommends Black Friday shopping.
“It was very nice inside. It wasn’t pushing and shoving, nothing like that. Actually everyone was very considerate. They said, ‘Excuse me’ or ‘I’m sorry,’ or ‘Did I cut you off?’ They apologize. It was a very good experience,” Hawthorne said.
Call it old-fashioned but Karen says she rather shop in-person than shop online. That’s because she likes the customer service and being able to see the product on the shelf before she spends the money to buy it.
“…And at least we don’t have to worry about someone stealing it from the front door,” Hawthorne joked.
With holiday shopping expected to ramp up – considering the subsequent Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday – the Better Business Bureau has tips for shoppers to stay informed. They include: read the fine print on deeply discounted items; map out which stores you want to visit; sign up for email alerts; know the return policy and warranty information on purchased products.