Black Friday shoppers get an early start in the East Bay

Nearly 100 people were waiting in line outside Best Buy in Dublin before the doors opened at 5 o'clock Friday morning. 

John Pelayo was first in line, looking for a new computer. 

"I looked on their website a little bit, I see they have stuff on laptops and other Apple products but I don’t know, I’m just keeping an open mind to see what they have," said Pelayo. 

He said this is his first time participating in early Black Friday shopping. 

"Last year I was working at Game Stop and like I was more on the working side so this time I’m trying to see what it’s like being more of a customer," he said. 

There weren't as many people in line as we've seen in years past because a lot of retailers have expanded their Black Friday deals online and all week long, taking away the need for people to show up to stores early in the morning. 

The people who were shopping before the sun was up were often in and out of the store in just minutes. 

"I was looking for a PS5, and it was really quick. It was right next to the door and the guy directed me to the right location," said shopper Jagan Sadasuni.

There were about a dozen people waiting outside Macy's and JCPenney at Stoneridge mall too. 

"A lot of the stores are opening early for the big crowds. We also have inventory, so they’re making sure they have a lot of inventory in stock. I know Game Stop over here has a lot of PS5s, that’s one of the big in-demand items," said Jessica Carberry, Stoneridge mall's director of marketing.

The National Retail Federation estimates a record 166 million people will shop from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday this year, that's 8 million more than last year and the highest estimate since they began tracking this data 5 years ago. 

Black Friday is set to be the busiest day, with 115 million shoppers expected.

Despite online sales, a majority of Black Friday shoppers surveyed said they still plan to shop in-store instead of online.  

And a recent lull in sales over the last month could be because shoppers have been waiting and hoping for the best deals on Black Friday. 

"I hate to say we’re back to like normal, but we definitely are seeing the crowds coming back, people are excited," said Carberry.

Some people shopping weren't even there for the deals, they see waking up early to shop after Thanksgiving as a family tradition. 

"(We go) every year, but like I said it stopped when the isolation came about," said Ronald Flores who was shopping with his two children and wife. "The kids sometimes see more things, especially in the holiday season. They see more things, a lot of things that aren’t available on regular days. For us, it’s an adventure."