LOS ANGELES -- Black Friday is here and the rush is on to grab some holiday deals.
There are several websites site devoted to Black Friday deals.
For those not interested in fighting the crowds, online shopping is expected to be bigger than ever.
A website called www.freeshipping.org is taking inventory of online retailers that offer free shipping.
The website owner has also helped organize Free Shipping Day.
On December 17th, many online retailers will join together to offer free shipping to customers with guaranteed delivery by Christmas.
A great way for those last-minute shoppers to avoid the crowds.
Roughly 77 million Americans are expected to head to stores Friday, the day after Thanksgiving and often considered the start of the holiday shopping season, and the frenzy will continue through the weekend.
But whether it's worth participating depends on who's shopping, what they want and all the costs involved.
Here's what to keep in mind.
-- THE SHOPPER: This is the biggest factor. Some people love the thrill of the chase. They want to score a deal, and they like the tradition. To them, Black Friday is worth the effort no matter the hassle.
"There is a visceral excitement to going to stores on Black Friday; it's almost like a sporting event," said Dan de Grandpre, editor in chief of online shopping and discount guide dealnews.com.
Even though promotions pervade the season, the ideal Black Friday Shopper responds to the sense of urgency and exclusivity that retailers create for that day with early openings and a limited number of items discounted, said Steven Hoch, a marketing professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton business school.
Others want nothing to do with it. And for some it's a default tradition, a means to get out of the house after overeating on Thanksgiving, a break from bad weather and an activity every family member can participate in.
"I think it's out of total boredom," Hoch said.