The fun of “the hunt” for bargains

By now most people have heard of the fire sale for HP Touchpad tablets, right?

Let’s start with the summary. HP creates a tablet to try to rival iPads and others on the market, after a short seven week run, HP decided to kill the tablet and its inventory shot down to $100 per tablet. So… here comes the rush to get a discontinued model that originally retailed at $499.

Starting late Friday and Saturday, the frenzy began and local stores sold out quickly. I had been reading about the price drop and thought… hmmm… that could be convenient. My journey began.

Sunday morning, El Partner and I scour the Best Buys and Office Max and RadioShack and nothing. Sold out. So I kept an eye open and in a comment on an article, someone found one online at Barnes & Noble. Jackpot! I order three (because I am one of the nicest sisters ever, I ordered for my brothers too). I chirpily skipped along thinking – ha! got me a portable blog writing machine at a massive discount. At 3am I am talking to my techie friends and they order too. 24 hours later, B&N writes me to tell me my order has been canceled. Darn! Friend one says – what do you mean yours got canceled. Bam, 2 minutes later he writes that his was canceled also. Friend two tells me later his was canceled too. The techie friends of la Fregada are sad because they were dreaming of new tablets to hack and swap and switch and experiment with.

Meanwhile, brothers up North are saying, “We will search also, oh frugal sister, because we too are more elbow than wallet (Mexican expression meaning tightwad).” They scour the stores and even though they are not far from each other, one finds them but they sell only one per customer. Older brother gets to buy one, younger brother arrives just a few seconds late. Ni modo. (FYI – mom is in no hurry since she has an iPad – chiflada!)

Friend 2 calls on Wednesday (shortly after the ATT service failure that had stranded su servidora but that is a different story) and said “word on the street is that new shipments are heading to Best Buy – one at 1pm and the other at 5pm.” I am so there, I tell Friend 2.

Yes, readers, 5 minutes to 1pm, I was at Best Buy on Monarch. I approach tall pony-tailed Best Buy guy and ask if any Touchpads have come in. Alas, he says, you are so SOL. We only get stuff on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. He turned out to be… not a truth teller.

Patiently waiting in line behind those who arrived much earlier than I did

I was texting back and forth with Friend 2 when he says, “ask for this SKU but ask someone different.” Good lesson. Different employees give different responses. Other Best Buyer said there would be a ticket system for purchasing but they wouldn’t be released until 5pm but I could start making a line.

It was the middle of the day, I wasn’t prepared. I run home, grab something to eat, make sure I have enough money in my card, prep my work to finish and head back over to Best Buy.

The line behind me - faces blurred to protect those who should have been at work 😛

Guess what – I end up being #21 in line. From 3:10 to 5:00pm, I patiently waited in line, heard all the grumbling, worked on reconciling my records (glad I can work pretty much anywhere) and watched as a few people tried to line jump.

I met a nice man who told me about his UFO witnessing experiences (apparently this is more common that I imagined). I ask those around me how they knew to come – all of them were there because of word of mouth. Interesting how information travels. Friend #2 finally arrived with his sister and niece. Now it was getting to be more pleasant with friendlier faces around me.

So the clock struck 5:00pm and the “tickets” were finally passed out – check it out:

Yes Mano y Metal, that is your beautiful bracelet you made for me with the Sor Juana quote "Yo, la peor de todas" - thank you!!

Finally, SUCCESS!! After days of hunting and a few hours of patiently waiting, I now have my very own discontinued Touchpad to take here and there and everywhere. And quit telling me that it won’t have support and won’t have updates – I know that very well. There is where my techie friends come in, to help me through the rough patches or to tell me to give it up. I won’t be doing complicated tasks with it, I will simply be blogging like I am today. Yay to my first blog post from a tablet!! And yay to the fun of “the hunt” which El Partner can’t stand but I loved the challenge.

(although because I am not all that familiar with it yet, I did have to draft it to be able to add photos. I am learning though.)

Final note to fellow blogger Critters & Crayons – as you distance yourself further from technology, I am going in the opposite direction. But when we see each other, I will be sure all my gadgets are turned off and you have my 100% attention :).


About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to
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6 Responses to The fun of “the hunt” for bargains

  1. MaryHelen says:

    For a Touchpad newbie, you sure look pretty darned professional! Congrats on persistence!

  2. critters and crayons says:

    Hahahahahaha, QF! I know I’m a paradox giving up my smartphone- but I have four computers, a netbook, an IPOD, an IMAC, and 3 iTouches. I wouldn’t consider myself the hermit in the woods yet. Glad you got your tablet!!!! Funny, post.

  3. Congrats! I KNEW you could do it! But where is mine?

  4. carolyn says:

    Just shows persistants pays off , (never said I could spell, you know what I mean

  5. stxparrothead says:

    I am working way too much & missing out on all the good stuff… But I guess I won’t complain! The vacays are almost over & I’ll be back to working 4 days a month again shortly 😦

  6. Andres C says:

    Well congrats, i came home to my other touchpad that was delivered earlier. the faces of the best buy employees were priceless when we asked in my 3 year old niece could buy one also. she had her envelope of cash and asked “I get a laptop?” The discussion among the employees was whether or not she was considered “a person.” ??? excuse me? yeah one per person, per payment method, so is she considered a person? Needless to say she got one, and she didnt put it down all night. she was watching videos and browsing the internet. yesterday i installed “Hungry Birds” for her (Angry Birds, but she’s three so leave her alone lol) and she has been pretty good about taking care of the touchpad and putting it away when she is done with it.

    As for what to do with it now, there are all kinds of website dedicated to improving performance, installing new stuff, etc. has the forum post that has some good links.

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