TODAY | November 19, 2012
>> far are you willing to go for a deal? some black friday shoppers are already camping out. nbc's diana alvear is in los angeles with the latest. good morning.
>> reporter: good morning. if you wanted to be first in line at this particular best buy you had to get here last monday morning. that means the first guy in line, the first tent, he's going to have waited nearly two weeks to get the deals he came for. black friday has been a tradition for a lange time, but lately it's become a sport. jan nell bisner took vacation days from work to make sure she was the first in line. you're going to be here for another five days.
>> i'm reddy.
>> right behind here miriam santa maria .
>> people are like why come make a line? you're not going to save that much, but we actually are.
>> reporter: black friday fever has taken hold earlier than ever, from florida to california.
>> this is early. people line up. i'm astonished. never seen that in history in retail.
>> reporter: history-making in part because some major retailers such as walmart, toys "r" us, target and sears will give or their door buster deals before thanksgiving leftovers get a chance to cool down.
>> retailers are opening their doors earlier because they want to get the customer in and take away market share from retailers like amazon.
>> reporter: online retailers are planning their own black friday deals, hoping americans will prefer to point and click their way to a bargain and some companies will do a little of both.
>> they are hoping that if you walk into the store to pick up another item that you bought online that you'll actually go in and pick up a couple more items.
>> reporter: in all, an estimated 147 million americans will take advantage of black friday weekend sales. 4% more than last year. while some say the focus on christmas shopping takes away from thanksgiving's true meaning, these hard core shoppers say there's no better way to celebrate.
>> we do it as a family so it's kind of like, oh, we're not going to spend thanksgiving away from our family, we're actually bringing our family into this.
>> reporter: determined to prove that good deals come to those who wait, no matter how long. all that planning may come in handy because the manager here tells me he expects at least 4,000 people on friday morning, and that may explain why miriam tells me the worst part about black friday is getting out of the parking lot. last year she says it took her two hours. matt?
>> all right, diana, thank you very much.