Crowds of Western New Yorkers got an early start to one of the biggest shopping days of the year at major retailers and area malls. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti reports many of them opened hours before Black Friday actually began.
AMHERST, N.Y. -- Dedicated shoppers cut their Thanksgiving holiday short to line up for deals. Sears was among the earliest stores to open at 8 pm.
"I didn't even eat dinner yet!" said one shopper.
Another said, "I've done this for years, and seriously, it's totally worth it."
Target was the next to open at 9 pm.
And that's when a tailgating party started outside the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls before its 10 o'clock opening.
"It's kind of an experience as well as you know, getting good deals, even if you don't buy anything, it's still fun to come out," said Steven Gangloff.
It was a midnight opening for Best Buy, where shoppers lined up for what's become a Black Friday staple: electronics.
Keith Lewis said,"I'm here to grab a TV, a laptop, a couple of hard drives and a couple of flash drives."
As usual, lots of Canadian shoppers crossed the border to take advantage of what they say are better deals.
"The discounts, the electronics are really cheap here. In Toronto you get 40 inch TV for maybe 1,000 bucks, here you get it for 200 bucks. It makes more sense," said Raj Arora from Ontario.
"We love it, and have lots of fun while we're here, meet lots of people, talk to lots of people while you're standing in line," said Linda Cassidy, also from Ontario.
These savings during unusual store hours come with another price.
"It's hard getting up in the morning, but I got a lot of deals," said Joanna Beers.
Cathy Kern said, "It's a tradition, I've been coming out and doing this for decades, just to pick up some gifts, if not for this year, mostly for next year because my shopping is done and wrapped already."
And aside from the sales, shoppers say there's something else that brings them out for Black Friday.
"The adrenaline, the rush that you get when they're about to open the doors in about 15 minutes, you don't get that anywhere else," said Tahsin Farooq.
Retailers big and small count on holiday shoppers to help keep them in the black.
The National Retail federation estimated up to 147 million people would shop this weekend, a slight decrease from the 152 million who planned to do so last year.