Thanksgiving's just a day away and it's officially game time. Between shoppers stocking up on last-minute needs for the holiday meal and those getting an early start on Black Friday deals, it's the most competitive time of year to do shopping of any kind, especially if you're hoping to grab some groceries before the big day.
While Costco is a beloved pick for Thanksgiving staples (and has some killer Black Friday deals), shoppers across the country are reporting massive lines outside their warehouses, while employees say holiday items are selling like hotcakes.
A shopper from Tucson, Ariz. shared a video of a line of people waiting to get into Costco that snaked all the way around the massive warehouse, noting that this was taken two days before Thanksgiving. Commenters were divided on whether or not they would wait in this line, with some sharing their own crowded Costco stories and others declaring that nothing would be worth the pain of being herded in with so many other shoppers.
"I was at a Costco in Lancaster California last Tuesday…Not a single parking spot. The entire parking lot!" one shopper commiserated.
Others had a different view: "There is nothing Costco has that would motivate me to stand in line that long," one comment read, with another adding: "The way I would simply cancel Thanksgiving."
Some expressed concern for Costco staff. "I could only imagine how much suffering the workers are experiencing at that warehouse," one commenter wrote. A Costco employee chimed in to note just how many Thanksgiving sales they're making this week: "The Costco I work at [sold] 650 pumpkin pies in an hour."
Other shoppers took to Reddit to try and hack the system and figure out when they might best be able to avoid super long lines. "Is there a time where you'd expect the lines to be lowest, among the several days surrounding Thanksgiving on both sides (before and after)?" one hopeful devotee asked.
There were a few different opinions on the best way to skip the lines, with one tip saying to show up "30 minutes before closing" on weekdays and another offering the super-specific advice to come "30-200 minutes after it rains heavily," especially if you live in a place where it doesn't rain often and people try to avoid running errands when it does.
One surprising tip from a Costco employee also mentioned that Black Friday itself isn't as bad as people might expect, since the store's deals generally run through the holiday season and aren't specific to that one day.
"We don't do a whole lot of specials because everything is such a low margin to begin with," they explained. "It's nothing like going to Target or Walmart on Black Friday. It's just a normal Friday during the holidays."
So, if you haven't hit up Costco's holiday sales yet it may be worth waiting until after Thanksgiving and scouting out some smaller shops with less daunting crowds. That being said, the original poster of the massive line in Tucson swears the wait wasn't as bad as it seemed. "The line moved pretty fast, they just had to organize the crowd," they wrote. "Only really 5 minutes of waiting, but I got worried there for a second."