(3TV/CBS 5) - Traditionally, Black Friday has always meant bargains and crowds inside stores and malls, but from consumers we spoke with like Paul Wheatley, things are much different these days.
“We would be at my grandparents’ house and get the Sears catalog when it had a toy section. That was like our bible man."
For years, the day after Thanksgiving commonly known as "Black Friday" was a highly-anticipated tradition when consumers would storm the doors of a retailer for bargain prices.
"It's just crazy, it's crazy," said Desiree Encinas.
Other Valley consumers like Shirley Kramer tell 3 On Your Side they still remember those days.
"Oh, it was a joy, I would go with girlfriends, and we would go all day."
And these days, some consumers like Carolina Armenta still like shopping inside brick and mortar stores. Why?
"Because you get to see the products."
But others say Black Friday has really become a thing of the past. Now, instead of anxiously awaiting to see what a store might be reducing prices on, retailers are giving consumers a "heads-up" way in advance.
And in many cases, stores aren't making you wait for Black Friday to get those bargains as Charles Cornish observed; "Now everybody releases their stuff ahead of time, and the excitement's gone."
Some consumers blame technology. For instance, why drive to a store to shop when you can go online and have your items delivered, in many cases for free. Sean Goneau says; “Convenience, avoid crowds. I can do it from my couch."
And for some consumers like Wheatley, online shopping has taken away the true holiday spirit.
"It's all about the money now, it's not about the spirit of the holidays, it's about the money," Wheatley said.
And speaking of money, the National Retail Federation says the average consumer plans on spending just over $1,000 on gifts.
And whether you choose to shop online or in stores, here's the breakdown on when most of the action will take place.
Twenty-one percent of consumers plan to shop on Thanksgiving. Seventy-one percent are expected to shop on Black Friday. And 46 percent of people plan on shopping on Cyber Monday.
And then there are a few go-getters like Encinas; "I actually shop way before Christmas, I'm actually all done."