At Target, the shopping frenzy started while most people were still eating Thanksgiving dinner.
While employees and shoppers balked at the retailer's decision to open its doors at 9 p.m. Thursday, the move seemed to have paid off for the company.
Spokeswoman Courtney Foster said customers stuck around longer than last year, and they went for the electronics first, followed by scarves and kid's pajamas.
At stores in Florida, the earlier start also lessened the chaos that usually accompanies the doorbusters at midnight. Managers reported a smoother flow of customers throughout the night.
And the sales will go on for a while. Stores aren't set to close until 11 p.m. tonight.
Among the best deals: The $40 gift card that comes with every Apple iPod Touch. At around $200, it's still expensive, but it's a discount of sorts.
Wal-Mart's tries to block protest with a complaint, but federal labor relations agency says it's unlikely to have a ruling in time to stop workers from protesting on Black Friday.