Pitching a tent in the makeshift campsite outside the Best Buy store in Burbank has become a holiday shopping tradition for Ernesto Delacruz. He and his family will take turns camping out for the next five nights, braving chilly weather for Black Friday bargains.
"Last year we got a laptop for maybe a couple hundred only. We spent almost a thousand, but we got a bunch of stuff," said Delacruz.
"I was doing it a couple years ago, but I wasn't able to do it anymore because of the wind factor, the chill and the craziness once that door opens up," said Chris Tran of Glendale.
The mad dash for deals may start earlier this year. Facing lower consumer confidence, retailers are already offering more big sales events and discounts. Target, Wal-Mart and Kmart hope to lure shoppers by opening on Thanksgiving Day.
"There's a lot of people that might stand up from the table and come over here to get the good deals," said Marcos Jimenez of South Gate.
"We know last year 35 million shoppers were out in stores and shopping online on Thanksgiving Day, and we're fully expecting to see just as many people this year," said Kathy Grannis with the National Retail Federation.
Best Buy plans to match other stores prices even after customers have purchased items.
"I'm doing price matching, and prices actually go down like to do matches, so better matches than five days ago," said Joanne Lotz of Burbank.
For those who have no desire to camp out, some stores are already getting a jump on competitors, offering Black Friday sale prices online right now.