How to Be Eligible For the 2010 Black Friday Shopper of the Year Award

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It took only two hours for the Department of Consumption to reach a unanimous decision in declaring Joyce Novak the 2009 Ms Black Friday Shopper winner.This is third year that the award has been given out and the first year that a participant from New Jersey has taken home the crowd. Ms. Novak started her shopping spree at 12am and finished her bargain hunting at around 8:55am local time.Fired up with a mixture of coffee, skittles and adrenaline, Novak called her Black Friday shopping experience “surreal” and mentioned how she almost blacked out while waiting in a Wal-Mart line for nearly 3 hours. “I just kept telling myself to stay focused and do whatever it took to get my holiday shopping done today.”The Department of Consumption monitors R.I.S.K. shoppers and studies their behavior for research purposes. R.I.S.K. is an acronym for Rude, Impulsive, Sale-driven and Kooky. The department identified their top 50 R.I.S.K. candidates and had representatives follow them Friday to grade their performance.The crown is awarded to participants who can set themselves apart in three key areas:1. Amount of time spent shopping before 9am
2. Number of cars damaged in parking lot via participant’s car and/or shopping cart
3. Line-waiting commentary & actionsJonathan Briggs, who was assigned to follow this year’s winner said, “Novak met the basic requirements by starting at midnight, side swiping two parked cars without leaving a note and aimlessly pushing her cart into the parking lot when done, resulting in three door dents to stationary cars and one runaway cart that made its way to the highway.”What won her the crown however, was her line commentary and actions. “She made numerous eye-rolls at multiple cashiers, shoulder shrugs, perfected the phrase ‘Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me’ and made hasty lane changes when new cashiers opened their register.”If you want to be first in a new line, you MUST be willing to anticipate and take risks.” says Novak. “If I see an employee hanging around a new cash register, and making subtle glances towards the other lines, I start running immediately. If you wait until they say, ‘I can take the next customer’ you already lost,” added Novak.Briggs also added that Novak used the long lines to her advantage by confusing new cashiers with multiple coupons, promo codes and stall tactics. “By being totally unreasonable with the cashier, I am able to get even deeper discounts. Their goal is to keep the line moving and most newbies are willing to give in to my demands to get me out of the store.”Novak is not the first shopper to use this technique. Marla Reynolds began this in the 1980’s during the Cabbage Patch craze. “The key to the “line-stall/discount play’ is to get buy-in from the shoppers behind you before you get to the cashier. Openly complain about the cashier’s incompetence, mention how you just know that he/she is going to mess up your order. When it comes time to start whining about not getting to use 6 coupons for one item, you have the support of your fellow shoppers and the odds are tipped in your favor.”Do you think you have what it takes to strip Joyce of her crown? It takes more than your Visa card and a shopping list. DOC reps tells us that if you aren’t passionate about getting great deals, then you won’t be selected.Novak was noticed the day after Halloween taking advantage of deep discounts on candy corn, costumes and pumpkin paraphernalia. NJ rep Juan Reaz said, “she was the most intense shopper I had seen in a long time. Her ability to haggle, throw just about anything in her cart and complain excessively, helped enter her into this year’s contest.”To be eligible for the 2010 contest, shoppers need to get noticed by one of the 200 Department of Consumption representatives that are spread throughout the United States. The DOC reps look like ordinary shoppers and scout the shopping hot spots of most metropolitan areas.Shopping scouts will be looking for their next participants for the November 26th 2010 event until November 10th. The contestants are then informed about the ground rules and assigned a DOC representative that will follow them and report results back to headquarters. Good luck and happy holidays!