Getting the $99 Nook: A Black Friday success story

One of the most talked about Black Friday deals this year was the Barnes & Noble Nook (Wi-Fi-only edition) for $99 at Best Buy. I got it, and here's how.

One of the most talked about Black Friday deals this year was the Barnes & Noble Nook (Wi-Fi-only edition) for $99 at Best Buy. I got it, and here's how.

This deal was made available online and in stores, but I'm not the biggest fan of crowds so I chose to go the online route. However, this wasn't as easy as sitting on the couch (although it ended that way).

It all started Wednesday evening when Best Buy's Black Friday sales were reported to be hitting the web at approximately 2AM ET/11PM PT. Given that I was in San Francisco in the time, I thought this would be easy and I would just stay awake a little longer. I gave it almost half an hour, but given that I had a 7AM flight to get up for, I thought I'd just try again at 4AM PT when I had to wake up.

I know what you're thinking: terrible mistake. I got up at 4AM, and the Best Buy listing for the Nook Wi-Fi, priced at $99.99 (down from $149.99) had already sold out. I was frustrated the entire ride to the airport. (It didn't help that the electricity went out at my house 10 minutes prior to departure.)

When I was back in New York City on Thursday (Thanksgiving) evening, I decided to check Best Buy's site again just to see if I had another chance. No luck. Foolishly, I even tried again on Friday morning at approximately 8AM ET, well after the doors had already opened at Best Buy stores in the Eastern time zone at 5AM.

Then, after a full day of shopping at stores that were far less crowded than places like Walmart, I plopped back down on my couch and decided to see what I could pick up online. For some reason, I just couldn't let the Best Buy Nook thing go...and I'm really glad I didn't. For the first time, there was finally a yellow button on the product page that read, "Add To Cart." I don't think I've ever bought anything online so fast without thinking. While the Nook wasn't available for shipment, it was available for pick-up in Manhattan. Thus, I finally got my prized Black Friday item.

So the lesson from this story is to check back on websites constantly for products you are looking for, even if they are listed as sold out. Sometimes the stores will get more in stock (or reveal that they actually had enough inventory to begin with), someone will return the item to the retailer so it is available again or something plain magical will happen. Whatever the reason, it's worth it to be persistent if you really care about getting a particular product.

Many Black Friday sales last from Friday through Sunday, so check out ZDNet's Ultimate Black Friday 2010 guide if there's anything you might still be interested in. Also, please feel free to share your own Black Friday tips and experiences in the TalkBack section below!