The Difference Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Both are major shopping events. Here's what you need to know.
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Black Friday vs Cyber Monday

With Black Friday creeping up on us, the Slickdeals world is abuzz with new ad scans and rumored deals. But before you cut your Thanksgiving dessert short to cash in on doorbusters, take a second to ask yourself one key question: Are there better deals to be had on Cyber Monday? The answer is that it really all depends on what you're shopping for.

Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving) has exploded in recent years. Last year, Adweek reported a more than 8 percent uptick in sales compared to 2013. At the same time, Black Friday sales have dropped. Time will tell what this year will bring.

For those of us torn between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, here's a breakdown of how these two major shopping events are different.

Items to Snag on Cyber Monday

Apparel and Accessories: One reason Cyber Monday stands out is because it's associated with storewide deals. On Black Friday, a retailer will typically mark down a specific category (like major appliances or computers, for example). But on Cyber Monday, stores often offer storewide savings. This tidbit is especially handy if you're in the market for apparel. Compared to Black Friday, Cyber Monday usually touts deeper discounts on clothing and accessories.

Case in point: On Cyber Monday last year, Aldo marked down already-on-sale shoes, bags and accessories by an extra 50 percent. Similarly, J. Crew slashed prices by 30 to 40 percent off, reported Glamour.

Computer Upgrades and Add-Ons: Consumer reporter Matt Granite recently told Slickdeals that while Black Friday generally offers better deals on electronics, computer-specific add-ons and upgrades may actually be cheaper on Cyber Monday. (Things like additional RAM fall into this category.)

Home Goods: If you're looking to stock up on items for around the house, Cyber Monday is a great time to do so. Last year, Home Depot marked down Christmas trees by up to 50 percent. Select Keurig coffee brewers were also majorly discounted.

Regardless of where you do your Cyber Monday shopping, be mindful of high shipping costs (which may negate any deep discounts). If your shopping cart doesn't meet the free shipping threshold, consider in-store pickup.

And who says you have to wait until Monday to snag Cyber Monday deals? According to a 2014 Forbes report, more and more online retailers are kicking off their Cyber Monday deals on Sunday. Others are extending the event into what has now been coined as Cyber Week. Last year, Amazon offered deals for a full eight days.

In fact, Amazon is already prepping for this year. We recently reported that the online giant has already begun its countdown to Black Friday, featuring daily deals leading up to Thanksgiving weekend.

Things You're Better Off Picking Up on Black Friday

Black Friday is the absolute best time of year to buy electronics, especially TVs. Holding off until Cyber Monday increases the risk of losing out. For example, Walmart typically offers great Black Friday deals on select televisions. (Think 64-inch LED Smart HDTVs for under $650.) The catch? You had to be in the store on Thanksgiving evening, and you only had a one-hour window to snag one.

Black Friday also wins out for laptops and tablets. (And if you're on the market for an Apple product, the retailer isn't known for Cyber Monday deals.) As far as major appliances go, your best bet is to pull the trigger on Thanksgiving weekend. Last year, everything from refrigerators to dishwashers to washing machines were all majorly discounted for Black Friday.

With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, what's your strategy for saving big — Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

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About the Author
Marianne Hayes Contributor

Marianne Hayes is a freelance writer, wife and mother in Tampa Bay. After earning a degree in journalism and creative writing from the University of Central Florida, she spent nearly a decade getting lost in New York City and Los Angeles before making her way back home again in 2014. Marianne's writing has appeared in a variety of publications including The Huffington Post,, LearnVest, The Daily Beast and more. When she's not writing, Marianne is usually cruising her local bookstore with her two daughters.


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Thanks for your analysis. I will introduce it to our family. I will make a choice what buy on the black Friday and what on Cyber Monday.
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whats your suggestion/input on buying toys?
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Quote from AshleyM2539
whats your suggestion/input on buying toys?
Toy prices usually drop the first week of December and go back up a bit around mid December. If you can snag any of the doorbuster deals from Target, Kohl's etc. on Black Friday, you could probably get a good deal. Otherwise, toys tend to be cheaper the first two weeks of December.
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how about GPS watches? FridayorMonday?
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What about bicycles?
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what about an xbox
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