If you don't camp, you don't shop: That's the rule.
Ten-plus members of an extended Illinois and St. Louis family were the first to set up their roomy tent late Sunday afternoon and camp in shifts so they can get a chance at some of Best Buy's doorbuster deals at 12:01 a.m. Friday in Fairview Heights. If you do a few shifts of four to eight hours in the tent, you get to snatch up the bargains with the rest of the family.
"We're a well-oiled machine," said Shirley Williams of St. Louis. Everybody has their own list of goodies and works as a team to fan out in the store to get to the deals. Leading up to the big event, they've had family meetings to arrange tent shifts, baby-sitting duties and other logistics.
"We come as a family and then we leave with what we want," said Williams, who is looking to walk away with deals on a 40-inch television, tablet computer and a laptop.
The family has snacks and then meals are brought during shift changes.
"It's a family tradition and we're satisfied every year. I love doing it" said Dominique Kelly, 19, of Washington Park.
This is the third year that Kelly has been a "willing" participant in the Best Buy camp out. It's his 10th year doing it. Waiting on the concrete in the cold wasn't what he wanted to do as a youngster.
He's looking for a new TV and an Xbox 360.
This year's holiday camping weather is looking to be pretty mild for the rest of the week with highs in the 60s and lows hovering around 40 degrees, but the tent is fitted with a propane heater, a generator and plenty of blankets, air mattresses and some of the previous years' electronic gadgets to make the front of the store feel more homey.