Black Friday door-buster deals worth camping out for

From Florida to California, Black Friday fever has taken hold earlier than ever as dedicated shoppers camp out in front of major retailers, several of which are expected to open their doors on Thanksgiving Day. NBC's Diana Alvear reports.

From Los Angeles to Tampa, shoppers are already camping out in front of big-box retailers, determined to be among the first in line for door-buster deals. 

In Los Angeles, some hardcore consumers have been in line since last Monday, even taking vacation from work in order to save big money. 

An estimated 147 million Americans will take advantage of Black Friday sales, 4 percent more than last year. 

"This year's the earliest I've seen people line up,” said Jeff Cox, the Best Buy manager at a Best Buy store in Los Angeles. “I’m astonished. I've never seen that in my history in retail." 

Why would a person spend 10 days camping out in front of a store? Are the deals really that good? 

"People are like, why come, make a line. You're not saving that much. But we actually are," said Miriam Santamaria, who is proudly first in line at the Best Buy. 

By Friday morning, managers at the L.A. Beat Buy are expecting up to 5,000 people. That explains why Miriam says the worst part about Black Friday is getting out of the parking lot. 

In Tampa, shoppers starting waiting in line over the weekend at a Best Buy, hoping to get their hands on heavily discounted flat-screen TVs and computers. 

Good things come to those who wait. But this may be taking it too far.

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that was pointless. the title made it sound like it would be a list of deals worth waiting for, not the crazy people with 2weeks and nothing to do.

  • 42 votes
Reply#1 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:55 AM EST

Journalism is going downhill fast! Writers will do anything to get you to click on their title so they can flash their pop-up ads at you.

    #1.1 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:10 AM EST

    Hello folks, how many people will go out spend money they don't have on this corporate holiday and spend the rest of the year catching up and rinse and repeat the next "holiday" season?

    I have an idea, how about getting together this year with your loved ones over a nice festive meal with no gifts? No pressure, no stress, just basking in the love and company of your family and friends.

    • 22 votes
    #1.2 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:20 PM EST about this year we do what we want, when we want, and you mind your own business????

    • 5 votes
    #1.3 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:41 PM EST

    You aint kidding, this article is a bait and switch much like the people in line will go through.

    You have to be nuts, or crave attention to be in line.

    • 12 votes
    #1.4 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:03 PM EST

    Thanksgiving is EARLY this year.

    Enjoy the day... there are plenty more opportunities to shop.

    MA & RI have laws that prevent this nonsense... and I'm glad.

    No need to scarf down a mountain of potatoes drenched in gravy just to stand in a long line.

    • 5 votes
    #1.5 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:07 PM EST

    the article is total propaganda, a free advertisement. shopping addicts, go buy more thing you don't need. consume, pollute and obey.

    • 7 votes
    #1.6 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:38 PM EST

    I get whatever I want from Best Buy without standing in a line for days..I pay the sales price also.

    My neighbors son is a stock clerk at Best Buy and he with other co-workers always store 50-100 top items in the back for friends. Just wheel a cart by the receiving area door and they hand it out fast to you, then go to cashier. :)

    • 3 votes
    #1.7 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:38 PM EST

    This country is being hosed by the corporate machine. I'll pass on the insanity.

    • 2 votes
    #1.8 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:27 AM EST

    Good grief! This is so SAD. Thanksgiving is a time to spend time with friends and family. They are going to miss that to camp out for the opportunity to spend their money on THINGS?!

    • 6 votes
    #1.9 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:44 AM EST

    Must be a lot of homeless people. Who would put so little value on their time. You could spend the time picking up cans along the highway and be able to buy whatever you want at full price.

    • 3 votes
    #1.10 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:57 AM EST

    So like, here's the thing. People saying they're saving that much by waiting in line for 2 weeks. Is their time worth that little? Because the flip side is how much income one could make in 2 weeks, if they actually worked a job and made some income. Unless one really trusted complete strangers to not cut, or run off with one's tent while they were away, a 2 week hard commitment outside a store, would mean not going to work...

    Oh, and yeah, the ones they'd be trusting, would be the same sort who last year blabbed about how "great" they thought black friday was, when they admitted to knocking little old ladies, and disabled people over, to get at the $250 TV first. Then went on to say how "great it was". Yeah, those would be the sorts these people would be trusting, to not take their place in line, if they actually left it at all, to umm, well go to work, and actually make some money :o

    • 1 vote
    #1.11 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:12 PM EST

    Lulz. The biggest yet? more shoppers than last year? I can smell a lie like a fart in a car....

    $10 of fake, central-bank-manufactured money says we'll see lower sales this holiday season than last season.

    • 10 votes
    Reply#2 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:05 AM EST

    I really think children are more spoiled these days and their idiotic parents will give sales be up!

    • 3 votes
    #2.1 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:43 PM EST

    The deals are never good enough to camp out for a week ahead of time. These people must have no job to be able to do this or if they take vacation to do it they are nuts..

    • 29 votes
    Reply#3 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:15 AM EST

    It's well worth waiting days and camping out to save $200 on a flat screen TV.

    • 5 votes
    #3.1 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:23 AM EST

    How about go to work to make over $200 instead of wasting your time camping out for the deals? I honestly don't feel its worth spending days camping out to save a hundred or two. I have much better things to do with my time. Don't these people work?

    • 17 votes
    #3.2 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:54 AM EST

    You would use eight days of vacation to save $200. I call that a savings. NOT.

    • 10 votes
    #3.3 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:56 AM EST

    Well let's see, I could work two days and make $200. Or I could waste my time and camp out and save $200 for a new TV. I already have a TV by the way. You tell me if it's worth it?

    • 5 votes
    #3.4 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:11 PM EST

    what a crappy written article...but then this is NBC and the TODAY show...

    zero substance and ALL HYPERBOIL AND CRAP

    Here are all the black friday ads you can chew on...

    • 3 votes
    #3.5 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:13 PM EST

    Hey Shosyn, You write more "crappy" than this entire crappy article! I think you would mean crappily if crappily were a word. And HYPERBOIL - wow what is that? A really big boil? Cause it ain't a word! And your capitalization & punctuation is just, well, atrocious. Seriously. Perfect for NBC or Today Show!

    • 4 votes
    #3.6 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:01 PM EST

    At least he provided a useful link.

    Grammar police, please go away.

    • 5 votes
    #3.7 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:07 PM EST

    They are soccer moms armed with cell phones..hubby at work for 12 hours a day now...has to pay a wopper for the cell phone bills!

    Average family ( yes children have cells too) cell phone bills are hitting over $300 a month!

    • 2 votes
    #3.8 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:45 PM EST

    When children today get older and apply for employment..the application will ask education grades? They put in with ink on paper applications..OMG it's GR8.

    • 1 vote
    #3.9 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:54 PM EST

    they gotta spend those welfare checks as quick as possible, and then cry 'poor mouth' all month.

    • 1 vote
    #3.10 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:34 AM EST

    tbh, when I took a class in mass media studies in college, the teacher, who formerly worked in a news room said that many people would be surprised if they knew how many "stories" get published, which really amount to little more then a PR piece a reporter puts their name to. She went on to say that one hopes they fact check the press releases they get, but this isn't always the case.

    I don't think it's a stretch to suggest this article might fall in that category; though which company would be involved in the press release would be another matter entirely, and the more difficult part to figure out... Oh well, this is the quality of the news we get sometimes...

      #3.11 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:23 PM EST

      If they go to the bathroom do they lose their place in the Best Buy line?

      Occupy Target all day all week!

      • 2 votes
      Reply#4 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:22 AM EST

      Why you think they have on sale two weeks before Black diapers on sale?

      They make $$$ anyway they can!

      • 1 vote
      #4.1 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:06 PM EST

      They probably pee in the streets. If the south side of Philadelphia is any account, and it does have a certain odor on the south side, that is what many people do; just up and defecate on the roads :o

        #4.2 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:27 PM EST

        What a waste of web space what idiot editor thought this was a story? I figured by the title it would be a list of great deals.

        • 10 votes
        Reply#5 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:25 AM EST

        I want to know what kind of jobs and families these people have where they can camp out in front of a store for up to a week or more at the drop of a dime and if they're hiring. I'm sorry, but I have better things to do with my time than camp out in front of a store for a week to save $200 on a $700 TV that I wouldn't be able to watch often enough between traveling to and from work (and I wouldn't be able to fit it in my tiny little car, anyway).

        • 14 votes
        Reply#6 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:41 AM EST

        The poor reporter who wrote this story must be really desparate to get readership with that terrible bait and switch title. Won't be reading your stories again as they are just that 'stories' not newsworthy at all.

        • 7 votes
        Reply#7 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:48 AM EST

        The only ones who can afford to camp out for the opportunity to spend money on merchandise they don't really need, at prices they can't really afford are the ones who don't work for what they have.

        Gee I think I'll quit my job and go on welfare so I can get some of those deals.

        • 7 votes
        Reply#8 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:49 AM EST

        Did anyone watch the college and pro games this weekend in between all the car commercials? OMG, I woke up this morning wanting to get into a 60 month payment plan, higher insurance and a quick extraction of savings to pay taxes and down money. I know all the people seeing me drive this new car with intelligent up to date electronics and powerful enough engines to outrun the police will be enormously impressed. Yeah, right, sleep on the sidewalk waiting for a store to open. Not.

        • 4 votes
        Reply#9 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:51 AM EST

        Perhaps these people would be better spending their vacation time with their families than trying to camp out for deal. This just puts pressure on the retailers to open earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving and not allow their employees time off with their own families.

        • 6 votes
        Reply#10 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:00 PM EST

        Only in America are people stupid enough to do this !

        • 7 votes
        Reply#11 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:09 PM EST

        This is the greatest country on earth. What other country has black Friday?

          #11.1 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:12 PM EST

          Though I don't consider black friday to be all that "great", sadly, I have reason to believe one could end up seeing this sort of thing in China, and some other countries as well. It actually sadens me to have to admit this insanity is as wide spread as it is...

            #11.2 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:48 PM EST

            If they were doing something that you clowns thought was well worth it you'd be defending their every move. But since you yourself wouldn't do it they suddenly become idiots.

            What a bunch of whiny hypocrits you are. Who cares why they are camping out...

              Reply#12 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:11 PM EST

              Are you camping out in front of Wal Mart?

              • 2 votes
              #12.1 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:13 PM EST

              Ahem, for people who actually do have jobs; to not show up at work, and camp out for 2 whole weeks, to save $200 off a TV set, would be rather irrational. Certainly if one makes more money then that, while actually working.

              Reminds me of the person who went to see a Lord of the Rings marathon which was showing in another state. So the person up and drove off, never showed up to work, never called in, and watched a 16 hour movie marathon, only to then make the 2,000 mile or so drive back home to find out they got fired. Yeah, I'd call that pretty stupid too, and I had watched all 3 Lord of the Ring movies when they first came out. Not at 1 sitting though. But I wouldn't risk my career, or go driving cross country to go and see it.

              So yes, I think people could call a 2 week camp out, for a sale rather stupid, if one actually has a job, and a life that's worth living that is.... Which of course does beg the obvious question, how many of these black friday campers actually has a life?

              • 1 vote
              #12.2 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:53 PM EST

              I've already completed my Black Friday shopping at a few stores, including Best Buy...

              Waiting outside is for the crazies...

              • 1 vote
              Reply#13 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:19 PM EST

              If they were doing something that you clowns thought was well worth it you'd be defending their every move. But since you yourself wouldn't do it they suddenly become idiots.

              Ha ha, this is funny. Have we really lost the ability to see that something is just plain dumb? I give everyone the right to say that camping out on the street for days on end to save a few hundred dollars is stupid, even if I am doing it. Enjoy!

              • 3 votes
              Reply#14 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:11 PM EST

              Typo alert....or is "Beat Buy" Best Buy's largest competitor in LA?

                Reply#15 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:29 PM EST

                I have seen it every year. The people that camp out are the ones who go to the back of the line after the fact and sell to another person for a profit. Best buy used to give out tickets for items and people would get the tickets and go to the back of the line and sell the tickets for a profit. They are homeless or unemployed and it it all over the internet people how to do this.

                • 1 vote
                Reply#16 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:33 PM EST

                Let's do the math here... Camp out from last Monday (11/12 - let's assume starting at 12:00pm noon) until Black Friday (11/23 - let's assume 5:00am) to save $200...

                Hours waiting... 257 hours... Savings $200... Hourly rate (ignoring any overtime premium, strictly straight time)... 78 cents per hour...

                People working in Chinese factories that are making this junk are getting paid more than 78 cents per hour...

                • 5 votes
                Reply#17 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:37 PM EST

                yes but you get to avoid a holiday with your family and that's priceless

                • 5 votes
                #17.1 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:01 PM EST

                What do you do if you have to piss or @!$%#.

                • 2 votes
                #17.2 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:12 PM EST

                Ever wondered about that funky odor out by the dumpster, down the alley way, or in "the bad part of town"? You don't want to know :o

                And to be fair, an employee wouldn't work 24/7, but assuming a full time laborer, of around 35-40 hours per week, we're talking 70-80 hours here for 2 weeks. And yeah I know many can't find better then part time, and many end up working 2 or 3 part time jobs at once... But anyhow, you get

                $200/ 70 hours = $2.86 per hour


                $200/80 hours = $2.50 per hour

                And to that, there's no going home, no bed to sleep in, don't even ask about the showering or bathing after 2 weeks, having to rely on hand outs for food, unless one packed a 2 week supply and gaurds their stash against "fellow" campers who might steal. Oh, and unless we're talking a place like Tampa, it's friggen cold, with no heat. You know, the people put out by Sandy, who are without power, didn't chose to be without heat, as the cold came in; these people are chosing to be without it...

                  #17.3 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:06 PM EST

                  Why not join me and alot of other people and just make Black Friday into Buy Nothing Day. Who knows, you just might enjoy kicking back with friends and family and just spending time together.

                  • 6 votes
                  Reply#18 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:14 PM EST

                  "some hardcore consumers have been in line since last Monday". Really? Do these people not work? Does TGiving mean nothing to them? Are they absolutely without a life? Are they absolutely without a brain?

                  • 4 votes
                  Reply#19 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:48 PM EST

                  We're also the country so consumerist and greedy that we took a holiday dedicated to honoring dead soldiers and another one that honored those who served and turned them into Days Of Material Consumption. There's Christmas and Easter...both religious holidays that probably are attached to some kind of flier selling riding lawnmowers.

                  I suppose being a smart shopper and keeping eyes open for a good deal the other 364 days of the year isn't an option. That said, anyone who shops solely on price and aims at a shady brand of flat screen TV solely on screen size will rue it in a few months to a year when their Black Friday Special isn't all its cracked up to be.

                  • 4 votes
                  Reply#20 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:03 PM EST

                  As to value and quality, many of these people shop at China-Mart, erm I mean Wal-Mart; nuff said....

                  And if they also get their meat there, well if what I've heard about the use of green die to re-constitute the meat is any indication....

                  • 1 vote
                  #20.1 - Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:10 PM EST

                  "That said, anyone who shops solely on price and aims at a shady brand of flat screen TV solely on screen size will rue it in a few months to a year when their Black Friday Special isn't all its cracked up to be."

                  Exactly... getting a "good deal" on a crappy Vizio TV is just not worth it... I wouldn't use one even if it was free the picture quality sucks so badly compared to Samsung, Sony, LG, etc

                    #20.2 - Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:17 PM EST

                    Either you don't have a job and have the time to camp but can't afford to spend, or you have a job and can afford to pay your chauffeur to wait in line. I don't fall in either group so I'll skip waiting in line for two weeks and buy like a sane person.

                    • 2 votes
                    Reply#21 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:22 PM EST

                    Deja vu. Here we go again, as the songwriter stated. Black Friday, aka, the time when the greedy give a dime to the needy. When will Americans realize, what does it profit anyone to gain the whole world or for that matter, to shop until you drop merely to enhance the bank account of another? Call it what you must. For me, November 23, 2012 is the day after November 22 and the day prior to November 24, by 79th birthday. I will simply thank God should I realize it and for Blessing me to be able to have more in one hand than I can hold in two. The most important thing I have is a reasonable portion of health and strength, something no retailer can ever render, even for free. Someone please tell me, where can you shop for good health?

                      Reply#22 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:44 PM EST

                      Oh they are not worth camping out for. You can get the same items cheaper online with free shipping. Camping out is only for people who don't have computers or smart phones.

                      • 1 vote
                      Reply#23 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:56 PM EST

                      If you can camp out for days to save a few bucks on presents then you probably don't have a job and you probably shouldn't be spending your money on such presents.

                      • 4 votes
                      Reply#24 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:01 PM EST

                      I'm convinced people that shop on Black Friday are sisters included!

                      I'll wait til Saturday and support small businesses in my area, a lot less stressful!

                      • 3 votes
                      Reply#25 - Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:07 PM EST
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