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The early-bird shopping paid off. Ms. Lynch found a suitcase at Macy's that usually costs $380 on sale for only $69.99. “This is a big deal, a really good deal,” she said.

Jennifer Vazquez, 24, of Chicago, was on the hunt for good deals at Disney, Target and Old Navy. She found a Xbox LIVE subscription card for her boyfriend that was on sale for $10, down from the typical $25.

She also bought Halo, and was looking at pajamas for kids in the family that were half off at $8 at the Disney Store.

“They usually come on sale around this time,” she said.

Meanwhile, Aurelio Garcia, 19, of Chicago, went shopping for both himself and Christmas gifts for others.

He hit Best Buy about 4:30 a.m., where he got a good deal on a wireless controller but paid more than he wanted to for NBA 2K13 at about $60.

“It was kind of expensive,” he said. “I didn’t get a good deal for that.”

Later on, he went Christmas shopping, where he planned to buy his sister five CDs at Target, and was also looking at stuffed animals of Pooh Bear, Mickey Mouse and the Muppets for kids in the family at the Disney Store.