CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – As more and more campers pop their tents outside of area Best Buy stores, it become obvious how much the electronics giant values the bargain hunters as a marketing tool.
While many shoppers consider the bundled-up campers crazy, they also generate a major buzz leading up to the biggest shopping day of the year.
Nick Dolansky, sales manager of Best Buy in Cuyahoga Falls, put it this way: “You get questions (from customers) everyday. They’re asking, ‘What’s the new thing? What’s coming out? Is something launching tomorrow? What are the guys in the tents doing here?'”
Tony Avitar, 49, of Akron, has camped in front of Best Buy for 10 straight years. However, this is the first time his large tent, complete with propane tanks, a generator, and WIFI, is first in line.
“You have to be in a certain mindset to do this. You have to not mind doing this. You have to have patience,” Avitar said.
He started to camp last Thursday, meaning he’ll live outside of the store for eight days just to get his bargains.
Avitar wants to grab a 40-inch flat-screen TV that will be reduced from $419 to $180 on Black Friday. He’s also eyeing laptops and other electronics for his five children.
“I like to be able to make the money go farther and get my kids something decent for Christmas instead of crappy presents,” Avitar said.
Jeremy Kropveld, 35, of Cuyahoga Falls pitched a tent on Monday and said he enjoys the experience. Several jackets and a zero degree sleeping bag keep him warm.
“I’m going to get a laptop and I’m hoping to get an Apple product if the price is right,” Kropveld said.
Shelly Adamo, of North Canton, stood by her car on Tuesday afternoon and took pictures of the campers, but has no interest in joining them.
“I don’t know what to make of it. It’s just craziness to me… I wouldn’t do it. Let me say that,” Adamo said.