The two biggest Christmas shopping days are almost here.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have long been associated with deep discounts and doorbuster deals, but which day has the best sales?
Both days have become intertwined as retailers offer virtual Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday discounts are not limited to online. And in recent years, stores have launched deals earlier and earlier, making the retail holiday practically a month-long event.
“If you’re really looking for a deal on something, it’s probably best to start tracking down a couple of places, and then figure out what you̵[ads1]7;re willing to do,” said Dallin Hatch, communications manager at e-commerce accelerator Pattern.
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Are Cyber Monday and Black Friday the same thing?
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, represents the traditional kick-off to the holiday shopping season, with many retailers offering deep discounts.
Cyber Monday, the Monday after the Thanksgiving weekend, emerged as an online alternative to Black Friday, which typically drew large crowds into brick-and-mortar stores.
Over time, however, retailers have mixed Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offering deals both in-store and online, and have started rolling out discounts earlier. This year, Black Friday sales started as far back as October.
“We have Black Friday, but it’s really extended almost over several months,” said Timothy D. Malefyt, a clinical professor at the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University.
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Is it better to buy during Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
The differences between the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals aren’t dramatic, although certain tech products may be the exception, Malefyt said.
For many items, if you see a good deal now, don’t wait to buy, Malefyt said. But it might be worth the wait if you’re shopping for electronic products.
Many shoppers wait until Cyber Monday to get products in part out of fear of missing out on deals entirely, Hatch said.
“Some online retailers may want to have their biggest online discounts on products on Black Friday and then continue to discount over the weekend through Cyber Monday, but kind of dial back the discount,” Hatch said, noting that the move could trigger consumer concerns that agreements disappear.
Last year, consumers spent $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, with toys, video games and electronics among the top-selling categories, according to Adobe Analytics.
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Cyber Monday has typically been associated with tech deals, and electronics continues to see deeper discounts at the virtual retail store, Hatch said.
“You can probably shop with pretty high confidence on Cyber Monday online and feel like you’re getting a really good deal,” Hatch said.
However, many retailers are sticking to the tradition of offering great TV deals on Black Friday.
What deals are Walmart, Target offering on Black Friday?
Major retailers Walmart, Target and Amazon are already offering early Black Friday deals on electronics, home products, clothing, toys and more.
JCPenney, Belk and Macy’s are offering some of the biggest advertised deals on Black Friday, with an average discount of at least 53%, according to personal finance site WalletHub.
Consumer Reports advises consumers to start shopping early, shop online instead of in stores, use websites and apps to track prices and stick to a budget.
An estimated 166.3 million people plan to shop from Thanksgiving Day to Cyber Monday this year, with 114.9 million consumers expected to shop during Black Friday, according to the National Retail Federation.