FORT MYERS, Fla. - Shoppers are getting ready to snap up the first deals of the holiday season. Experts say shoppers are expected to spend more this year, but on fewer gifts.
Most stores are offering special deals for Black Friday, while a few other major retailers, including Wal-Mart and Kmart, will be open on Thanksgiving Day
"Got a couple chairs set up, books, my parents are going to show up later with most likely, caffeine," said Heath Miller, second in line at the Best Buy at Page Field, awaiting their Black Friday sale at 5am. "My Christmas list from Best Buy consisted exclusively of computer products."
Many of this season's most wanted items are similar to past years.
"The same thing that's popular every year: electronics, video games, toys," said William Miller, who runs the online mall website Lottastores.com with Marcia Wiggins from their Fort Myers home. "A lot of practicality things like clothing. That was big last year, seeing it again this year."
"People are buying things they need rather than things they want right now," Wiggins said.
Their website directs shoppers to a thousand retailers for the best online deals, especially for the upcoming "Cyber Monday," where retailers offer special deals online. But they say getting a bargain doesn't have to mean waiting until Monday, or even Friday morning at a store.
"There are even more deals that are available online that are not available in stores," Wiggins said.
William Miller says researching online can even be a benefit to those willing to brave the crowds in person.
"There's no reason not to be prepared," Miller said. "They should know exactly what they want, what its going to cost, who has it, and they should be ready on Friday morning."
To view William Miller and Marcia Wiggins' shopping site, visit www.lottastores.com.