For decades, Black Friday and Cyber Monday was the ultimate day for bargain shopping. But in the past few years, Cyber Monday has come to replace it as the biggest annual shopping event in the US.
Is Black Friday and Cyber Monday better for discount buyers? The short answer is that Cyber Monday has better deals overall — but it’s close.
What is Black Friday?
The term “Black Friday” was first coined in 1869 when two investors, Jay Gould, and Jim Fisk, caused a market crash by driving up the price of gold. As a result, the stock market dropped 20%, foreign trade stopped, and farmers witnessed a huge drop in corn and wheat value.
Much later, in Philadelphia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, the term was resurrected and used to refer to the day between Thanksgiving and the Army-Navy game. The event would summon large crowds of tourists and shoppers, requiring extra hours put in by law enforcement to moderate the traffic.
It wouldn’t be until the late 1980s that the term became synonymous with shopping. Retailers reinvented the “Black Friday” name to reflect the backstory of how accountants used different color ink — red for negative earnings, and black for positive earnings — to denote a company’s profitability. Black Friday became the day when stores finally turned a profit.
Of course, the name stuck, and since then, Black Friday has evolved into a season-long event that’s spawned more shopping holidays, like Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday comes three days after Black Friday — the Monday after, naturally — and revolves around online deals. This year, Cyber Monday is November 28.
Generally speaking, tech products are more widely discounted than anything else on this day.
Cyber Monday is actually now even bigger than Black Friday. Retail sales on Cyber Monday in 2020 soared to a record high of $10.8 billion online.
Is Cyber Monday better than Black Friday?
Historically, yes. However, we expect the difference between the two holidays to be negligible this year. Especially with many retailers encouraging customers to shop early and online with lingering pandemic related supply chain issues.
In past years, we found there to be a few differences, and the line between. The two deal days has blurred considerably, with many retailers offering. The same deals throughout the whole weekend (and even before and after). For items you’re likely to buy once a year or less often, you’ll probably find better discounts on Black Friday. Anything you’d buy as a gift is likely to have better discounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
That said, overall savings aren’t the only thing to consider. Different products receive better discounts on each day, and the deals that each retailer offers will vary.
“Black Friday equals big-ticket items,” said Steve Koenig, the vice president of research at the Consumer Technology Association. “With big deals on TVs, laptops, game consoles, and more during Black Friday week, many [people’s] purchases end up being for themselves or their own households.”
This year, we saw a lot of deals crop up weeks before Black Friday. Retailers encouraging shoppers to shop early and online. A stark departure from previous years. Black Friday and Cyber Monday used to characterized by long lines. Crowded stores, and the mad rush for bargains, but that, of course, impossible during the pandemic.
That said, shoppers can look forward to shopping for the very best deals without ever leaving their house, regardless of whether they choose to shop on Black Friday, on Cyber Monday, or right now.