Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Is there really a difference?
Cyber Monday is a marketing tool created in 2005 by online retailers. Making the day following the long Thanksgiving weekend a retail holiday was an attempt to sustain the hype of Black Friday sales a bit longer. Mission accomplished.
At first, Cyber Monday was a way for retailers to differentiate between in-store Black Friday sales and online deals, but that’s no longer the case. Most retailers offer the same bargains on both days and Black Friday sales are now breaking out up to two weeks before the official day.
Will in-store Black Friday deals eventually go the way of the dodo bird? Do you really want to wake up at 4 a.m. to score those can’t-pass-up deals? DealNews.com reports that 70 percent of the in-store deals its researchers found at Target and Walmart were also available online at comparable prices or even cheaper. Many online sale items also included free shipping with a minimum order.
Now that Black Friday has crossed over to the online universe, what practical differences remain between the two days? Fashionistas may do better waiting until Cyber Monday when more apparel choices pop up but tech addicts will find less of a selection on budget electronics. In general, shoppers are more likely to find discounts on luxury brands on Cyber Monday because the Black Friday tradition is wrapped up in blow-out sales on lower end merchandise. According to Dan de Grandpre, editor in chief of Deal News, smaller brands generally don’t offer big promotions on Black Friday because mega-retailers, such as Target and Walmart, drown them out.
Bottom line: From the consumer’s perspective, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are converging. The range of discounts offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are essentially identical, ranging from 30 percent to 75 percent, reports CNBC. Deal News further notes that Black Friday boasted only five percent more deals than Cyber Monday in 2010.
Regardless how many “lowest price” or “best deal” advertisements call to you for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, such inducements are not always the best deals. Below is a list of items that are worth passing up on these days of shopping mayhem.