Some shoppers start Black Friday deal hunting early

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Some holiday shoppers spent Thanksgiving getting a head start on Black Friday deals instead of eating turkey and yams.

At the Best Buy in Westbury, shoppers huddled in the cold waiting for the store's doors to open at 5 p.m.

"This is my first time, and it was freezing," said Daniel Kim, who is from Flushing.

Phillip Tobias, of New Hyde Park, said he was looking for a deal in a 50-inch, 4K TV.

So was the first person in line, Glen Cove's Steve Geter, who said he arrived at the store around 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"It's a $500 TV for $179," Geter explained.

Jay Frazer, of Greenvale, wanted the iPad Mini 4.

Others, like Malachi Simmons, ate Thanksgiving dinner first before heading out bargain hunting.

"I eat first," Simmons said. "I come to the mall."

Estimates say about 154 million Americans shopped on Black Friday weekend last year. But this year crowds may be even larger thanks to a warming economy.

Still, the experts say there's a reason to get to the malls on Thanksgiving Day itself -- the best of the weekend's bargains are expected tonight. 

Additionally, about 60 retail chains are taking a pass on Thanksgiving hours to let their employees spend the holiday with their families. According to one survey, only about one in six Americans actually favors opening stores on Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, some families see an advantage in shopping together.

"I love to shop, and I love my family," said Phylicia O'Brien, of Hempstead.

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