Black Friday Camper Evicted From Best Buy Parking Lot

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 19, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Shoppers excited for Black Friday sales have already started camping out at their favorite stores in preparation. Or at least they've tried to.

Rhiannon Buckingham of California was No. 17 in line last year when Best Buy opened for Black Friday. She'd stood in line since the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, but she still missed out on a TV. This year, she wants to do better.

So Buckingham got in line outside a Best Buy in El Cajon, Calif., eight days before Thanksgiving. But her camp-out for a great deal didn't last long.

Just one day into her wait for a new TV, security officers asked Buckingham to leave the premises, telling her she looked "homeless." "I mean, may be trailer trash but I'm not homeless," she told San Diego's KGTV.

While excited shoppers may be good for Best Buy, they're apparently not what mall management wants.

Buckingham didn't protest, and even if she had, it wouldn't have helped. While citizens do have the right to assemble in public areas, a store isn't public.

Camping outside of store in preparation for sales isn't necessarily a right. Most of the area around the store is private property, and the property owner can control access to it.

So long as the decision doesn't discriminate against certain groups, a mall or store can prevent people from camping out for sales.

But that won't stop you from trying a new location.

That's exactly what Buckingham did when her plans were thwarted in El Cajon. She packed up and moved to another Best Buy in nearby La Mesa, KGTV reports.

There, employees were happy to have her. One even took her photo for the corporate newsletter.

If you're planning to camp out for Black Friday sales, keep in mind our tips for avoiding legal trouble while you do it. Listen to security officers, stay off public sidewalks, and keep it clean while you wait in line. Remember, you can't enjoy your new purchases if you're in jail.

Related Resources:

Copied to clipboard