TODAY   |  November 23, 2013

Lines already forming for Black Friday deals

Black Friday is coming early this year, and shoppers are getting a head start. “I decided Black Friday was the perfect vacation for me,” said one Black Friday camper. NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez reports.

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>>> 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.