Between console launches and Black Friday sales, I'm a veteran.Originally Posted by wongasta
#1 Rule of Thumb: Honestly determine the longest you are willing to camp, and add 1/2 an hour. If your max is 3 hours, get there 3.5 hours before the store opens. If you show up at that 3.5 hours before opening and are 60th in line for a store that might only get 30, then you know that you simply weren't willing to do what it takes to get one at this time. But... if you were willing to wait 5 hours, but only show up 3 hours before opening and you're 60th in line for those 30, you will be 2nd guessing yourself and kicking yourself for not getting out earlier.
I have never regretted camping out LONGER than necessary to get the item I'm looking for. And I have always regretted camping out LESS time but getting skunked out of what I wanted.
The Wii is awesome. If you end up camping out 5 hours before the store opens, are 3rd in line and get a Wii (and any extra remotes/nunchuks), I guarantee that you won't think, "gee, I could've showed up 2 hours before opening and still have gotten one." You will be so delighted you got one that it really doesn't matter after that. I hear that it is similar to giving birth to a child.
Scope out the stores in your area. Know which ones will have orderly voucher systems (avoid any stores that have dash-n-grab free-for-alls). Get an idea of how many units each store will have.
Target seems to have had a decent supply. I scored one on launch day at the local Target (plus extra Wiimote, nunchuk, and classic controller)
Try to hit the store with the earliest opening time. You'll have to camp out a bit earlier for it, but that turns off a lot of the less determined campers. The local Target opens at 8am, getting there at 3am would give you a good shot at one without going nuts.
A previous poster said to avoid liquids. Absolutely. refrain from liquids at least 2 hours before you go, and try not to drink anything on line. If you need to camp outside, dress for it. thermal underwear, gloves, face mask, layers. Better to be too warm and shed some layers than to freeze.
Bring a good attitude. If you are camping at a store with a voucher system, then the people on the line with you are more of a comrade than a competitor. Be friendly to those that are on line around you. It makes the time go by faster (and it will help you determine if they are going to try and sneak a friend into the line right before opening).