It's minus four degrees outside and it's the middle of the night. In the small town of Longmont, Colorado, 65 kilometres north of Denver, 150 people have queued outside the American equivalent of Dick Smith with the hope of obtaining an incredible deal on a computer, television or digital camera. They're a determined group of shoppers, willing to sleep all night on concrete which was covered in snow and ice earlier in the day, shivering in camping equipment designed to get a climber through a night on Everest.
This is the day after Thanksgiving in America, otherwise known as Black Friday, the unofficial beginning of the Christmas shopping season. For bargain seekers the stakes are high. Sony VAIO laptops are $399US ($506NZ) and 106 cm Panasonic plasma televisions are $899US($1141NZ).
Robert Cronch is first in the queue. He has been here nine hours and will spend another six hours in the cold before he is given a ticket for his turn in the store.
"Last year I was 25th in line and they were selling 25 computers for $400. At the last minute someone cut in front of me and I ended up being 26th. I missed out by one person after waiting in line all night. This year I decided not to take any chances and decided to wait in line all Thanksgiving day too."
Julio Quiroz and his friends were offered money for their 5th, 6th, and 7th places in line. "A guy came by and offered me $50, but I wouldn't think about it for less than $500."
Desiree Machado is visiting America for the first time. In her hometown of Rio Di Janeiro, she watched news coverage about Black Friday and is here to score one of the $400 Sony laptops. Knowing that the 100 people in front of her also want the same deal, I tell her that I think her chances are slim. She shrugs and explains that turkey and TV's are only part of the reason she's here. "I'm learning English and learning about America. And this, Thanksgiving and shopping, this is part of experiencing America and it's fun."