Black Friday is a big freaking deal. But is it big enough to cut out on Thanksgiving dinner and go stand in a cramped, sad line outside of your local Walmart? Walmart thinks yes, of course it is, so it's moved its Black Friday start time to 8PM.
Last year, Walmart opened its doors at 10PM. So this is just a two-hour shift from that. But any Black Friday veteran knows you don't line up when the doors open. You line up hours and hours ahead of time. 10PM meant you could have a reasonably timed dinner, but still had to get your butt in line by 4 or 5PM, minimum, if you wanted to sniff those doorbuster deals—and probably even earlier than that.
So the move to 8PM moves that back even further, meaning you better sneak in your Thanksgiving brunch by noon or so. Which sort of reaches the point where it changes the way you should look at lining up at Walmart, or anywhere else. Think about how miserable you're going to be in that line at 2PM to get a cheap TV they might run out of. How much would you pay to just have a relaxing evening with your family, and totally ignore Black Friday until the next afternoon? As much as the difference between that doorbuster and the other, also super cheap TV that will be there the following morning?
So yeah, we're still going to round up all of the Black Friday deals, and you're still going to herd yourself into absurd lines to save a few hundred bucks—especially if money's tight, or there's a serious upgrade for you out there. But maybe also do yourself a favor and consider paying a little extra to be less than miserable on actual, day-of Thanksgiving. [Reuters]