TODAY | November 23, 2013
>>> stores are likely to be busy this weekend. everybody getting ready, of course, for what they hope will be the biggest shopping day of the year, black friday.
>> but with more retailers announcing thanksgiving hours, earlier special and deals well in advance, is black friday becoming black november? gabe gutierrez takes a look at that and some very dedicated shoppers.
>> reporter: the first guy in line at this best buy in north carolina set up his tent wednesday afternoon, nine days bere black friday.
>> i decided black friday was the perfect vacation for me.
>> reporter: this group in ohio armed with microwaves and heat lamps camped out before that.
>> i can't claim to be the black friday king. am in line and taking charge.
>> reporter: this year, black friday is not only a day but a season. not only are shoppers camping out longer, some stords aes are oping earlier as early as 6:00.
>> they should be closed on thanksgiving. it's thanksgiving.
>> no work and shopping is my dream day on thanksgiving.
>> reporter: sears and amazon and walmart have already kicked off some black friday discounts.
>> i think it's worth it. good deals.
>> reporter: with that much competition, how can you find the best sale?
>> most retailers now are timing their deals and so you'll have a deal at 6:00, a deal at 8:00, you'll have a deal at 10:00 and depending on the product you're looking for, younow, you have to plan ahead.
>> reporter: this year try downloading these apps. you can use them to scan bar codes to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere. if you prefer to avoid the crowds and shop online, there are plenty of coupons at sites like retail me not.com and blackfriday.com.
>> you have the app for the retailers. you' on their e-mailing list and really have a plan for the day.
>> reporter: in an ever-growing shopping season, it seems timing is everything. for "today," gabe gutierrez, nbc news, atlanta.
>>> a lot to process.
>> it is. if you want to be a big part of th event, black friday rush, more power to.
>> that's what they kind of wake up friday morning.
>> i have a friend who goes with her mother every year at midnight.
>> it's a great tradition.
>> work off the turkey.
>> are you shopping on thanksgiving?
>> hardly. i will be working but i'll be shopping online .
>> when there is a break at the white house , you'll be on your phone.