Cyber Monday and Black Friday Shopping Guide

Christmas Tree Lights

The first thing that you may notice about this Cyber Monday and Black Friday shopping guide is that Cyber Monday is mentioned before Black Friday. There is a reason for that. I will explain that later in this article.

Since the 1960s, the term Black Friday has been used to identify the day after Thanksgiving when the Christmas shopping season was officially launched by retailers. Prior to the 1960s, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the day after Thanksgiving was the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, but had not yet received the title of Black Friday. Instead, it was the day when prominent department stores would begin advertising their holiday sales. It was traditionally linked to when Santa Claus would make his first appearance in a department store parade.

With the growth of the internet and modern technology, Cyber Monday became a way of extending the Thanksgiving weekend Christmas shopping. Cyber Monday, initially, benefited internet marketers the way Black Friday benefited brick and mortar retail marketers. This year, Cyber Monday will mark its tenth year of existence.

Differences between Cyber Monday and Black Friday

You might be wondering if you can basically get the same discounts and deals on Cyber Monday and Black Friday. According to Wikipedia, there is a difference; although more and more over the years the larger department stores are offering some great deals online.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say:

“The deals on Cyber Monday are online-only and generally offered by smaller retailers that cannot compete with the big retailers. Black Friday generally offers better deals on technology, with nearly 85% more data storage deals than Cyber Monday. The past Black Fridays saw far more deals for small appliances, cutlery, and kitchen gadgets on average than Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday is larger for fashion retail. On the past two Cyber Mondays, there were an average of 45% more clothing deals than on Black Friday. There were also 50% more shoe deals on Cyber Monday than on Black Friday.”

As the years progress, we are now seeing some retailers expanding their “great buys” beyond the two special days and even to all of November and December.

Researching Online for the Best Cyber Monday and Black Friday Deals

In order to get the best discounts and deals, you will first want to make a list of everyone you need a holiday gift for. Don’t only put down names; add an amount you feel you can afford to spend on each gift. As you find the gifts, keep a list of what items you bought for each person on your list. You will want to keep that list in a file to reference for next year.

So much research and comparison shopping can be done online now. To make your shopping easier, there are mobile apps available for iOs, Android and Windows phones.

Now you are ready to comparison shop:

– Invisible Hand can show you if the item you are looking at is cheaper someplace else.

– Amazon may not be the least expensive, but it is a great place when comparison shopping.

– Google Shopping will show you the items you are searching for, the price and how many stores are listing the item.

E-mail Promotions:

You may want to sign up with your favorite stores to receive notification of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. If you do, you should consider setting up a special e-mail address for just that purpose.

These sites will also alert you of special promos that the different stores are featuring: (a cousin to the site mentioned above)

If you really get into searching for the best deals, there are two sites that are super special for that. They are both deal forums:
Fat Wallet which is devoted to deals and helping you with great tips, tricks, price alerts and coupons.

SlickDeals which constantly updates a list of the best deals around the web.

If you follow our guide, you should be on your way to becoming a shopping pro this Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Happy shopping!

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