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Walmart's Black Friday 1-Hour In Stock Guarantee: Could They Live Up to the Promise?

Updated on December 26, 2013

Walmart Black Friday Guarantee

Walmart tried something new this year, guaranteeing their Black Friday price if you were in line within the hour of it going on sale.
Walmart tried something new this year, guaranteeing their Black Friday price if you were in line within the hour of it going on sale.

The Gimmick

Black Friday 2013 actually began much earlier this year than ever. Most stores were open on Thanksgiving night with Kmart opening early Thanksgiving morning. We all know why. People come out in droves for the great Christmas deals that are typically offered. Every Thanksgiving, I like to scan through the newspaper to map out the deals, who has the best price, and which store to hit first. This year, money was tight so I only had one item on that list: Beats Solo headphones and it appeared that Walmart had the best price.

Walmart was doing a bit of a staggered Black Friday thing where they would put certain things on sale at a particular time. The big sales began at 6 p.m. but the Beats went on sale at 8 p.m. So my daughter (no, we don't do Santa) and her friend headed to Walmart to stand in line.

According to a Walmart press release, 2013 was one of the most successful Black Fridays ever.

"Last year, Walmart served 22 million customers on Thanksgiving Day. This year, even more customers chose to shop Walmart:

  • More than 5 million customers took advantage of Walmart’s One-Hour Guarantee which was expanded from three items last year to 21 items this year.
  • From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Walmart processed more than 10 million register transactions in its stores."

This is the top sellers on Black Friday 2013 at Walmart. Shocking isn't it?
This is the top sellers on Black Friday 2013 at Walmart. Shocking isn't it? | Source

Beats Solo Headphones

My daughter was hoping to get the white Beats headphones. We'll see if that is the color they give us.
My daughter was hoping to get the white Beats headphones. We'll see if that is the color they give us. | Source

The Line

We live in a metro Atlanta suburb and our Walmart is one of the smaller ones. But that night, I've never seen the parking lot so full, actually it was bursting! Cars were parked in a grass field and illegally along the side of the parking lot. Remember, the deals began at 6 so by the time we got there around 7:30, I was able to find a place to park thankfully. As I walked inside, it was a madhouse with people and police everywhere. Apparently the Walmart employees were not briefed very well because after asking vainly asking two employees where they were selling the Beats, a sweet customer was the one who correctly pointed me in the right direction.

There was no sign just a long line in the back of the store in the dairy and frozen foods section. The girls and I stood and waited for 20 minutes for 8:00 to roll around. The line moved slowly but eventually we got a card with our instructions to redeem our guarantee. I found out there were some Beats headphones in the store but only for those first 20 who were in line early. It didn't take long for the employees to run out of 1-Hour In Stock Guarantee cards, long before the one hour window was up.

Since the night was still young, the girls wanted to roam around the store a bit. As we walked, the scene was a bit apocalyptic with crowds everywhere, merchandise picked over on every shelf and a police officer within every few hundred feet.

I finally decided to wait in line to pay for the headphones a couple of toys I had randomly picked up. Since the lines were long everywhere, I decided to take my chances with the line in the electronics department since that is the area the headphones came from. Big mistake.

Armed with my fullest measure of patience, I began the process of the checkout. The line itself wasn't too terribly long. When it came to my turn, I became that person, you know, the one who holds up the line. Apparently yet again, Walmart did not adequately train their cashiers on how to ring up these 1-Hour In Stock Guarantee transactions. After at least 10 minutes of attempting, my cashier was able to track down a manager who was able to ring me up. Walmart, you really need to work on your customer service. This manager did not say one word to me; no "hello," "sorry for the wait," no small talk, NOTHING! I felt badly for holding up the line as you can imagine.

The Hottest Items From Walmart's Black Friday Sales

led my IPad Mini
didn't say which one did best
LED, internet TVs
Call of Duty, XBox One, PS4

Did you go to Walmart on Black Friday? Did you get what you came for?

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The Rest of the Story

Originally, Walmart thought it could deliver my product some time around the 14th of December. Then I got another email saying oops, more people purchased this item than expected and they would let me know when they could get it. Meanwhile, the clock ticks closer and closer to Christmas. My daughter is beginning to freak out. Then it happens...

Today is Monday, December 23. I purchased the Beats Solo headphones on Thursday, November 28. This morning I finally got the long-awaited email saying they have my item! Can't wait to get to the store and see which color they picked out for us. At least it's here in time for Christmas AND I got it at an amazing price!

The ending of this story...

I went to the Ship To Store section of Walmart to pick up my headphones, expecting to get white, black or red ones. The man opened the box to reveal...PURPLE!!!!!Thank goodness these were for my daughter! Regardless, she loved them. Whew!


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    • my_girl_sara profile image

      Cynthia Lyerly 4 years ago from Georgia

      It was not only true it was a huge success. I'll definitely do it again next year. Thanks for the comment.

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Interesting hub! I didn't go out on Black Friday, but I was curious if Walmart's 1-hour deal was really true.