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Black Friday versus Cyber ​​Monday: what is the difference anyway?


Looks nice – not.

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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019 your source for the best gifts and deals for the season, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.

We are days away from Thanksgiving, which means we also count down to Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, two of the biggest shopping days of the year. You don't have to tell me what Turkey Day is all about (duh: turkey), but you might have some questions about the other two. Seriously, what's the matter with Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday – it's just big sales that book the holiday weekend, right?

There is actually something more in the story.

When did Black Friday start? 19659008] The origin of Black Friday is somewhat vague, with a rather apocryphal theory that is most commonly assumed: since the day after Thanksgiving was typically a day off, Christmas customers could immediately start buying gifts. Stores took advantage of this opportunity by holding large sales, which in turn helped them to place their annual sales in "the black" (meaning "out of the red", which means accounting for losing money). It certainly sounds plausible enough.

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But the real story is different. According to History.com, the Philadelphia police used the term & # 39; Black Friday & # 39; as a reaction to the chaotic traffic that was not caused by large sales, but by massive participation in the army-navy football competition that is held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. (Apparently everyone came to town a day earlier.) Only in the 1980s did retailers really embrace the day for selling purposes.

This year, Black Friday is on November 29 – but deals are already in full swing .

When did Cyber ​​Monday begin?

It's hard to believe, but Cyber ​​Monday dates from just 2005. At the time, before it was normal to order anything and everything online, shoppers still needed encouragement. Online stores started selling their own big to compete with the physical juggernaut that was Black Friday.

Why "Cyber ​​Monday"? Because in the past, the internet was often referred to as " cyberspace ." Strange, no?

Why Monday and not Saturday? Because it appears that people like to shop while they are in the office, using fast computers and fast connections. (Remember, most people at home ever had dial-up modems.) In the early days of online shopping, Monday was a lucrative day for online stores – so they embraced it. [19659015] Read more: 7 tips to score the best deals on Cyber ​​Monday

Are they not really the same?

Yes and no. Black Friday was born in the retail trade. Cyber ​​Monday was the answer of the online world. So in the beginning you were in the shops on Friday and on cyberspace on Monday.

Black Friday is just as much an online event as it really is – perhaps even more so. Although many stores are still carrying & # 39; doorbuster & # 39; sales for which shoppers really need to appear (see this 2017 Kohl & # 39; s advertisement ), the online world has fully embraced Black Friday.

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Sarah Tew / CNET

But it doesn't really go the other way: brick-and-mortar sales usually run on Friday and that's it. Cyber ​​Monday is almost exclusively an online & # 39; vacation & # 39 ;. The deals can also differ as a way for retailers to keep different deals fresh.

Which day has the better deals?

It depends on what you are looking for. The aforementioned doorbusters will usually surpass everything you find online, whether it is on Friday or Monday, because stores are willing to even break a product or even lose money to get you in, where you are believed to be there more inclined to buy other goods and gifts. That said, modern shoppers prefer online shopping, and while the deals themselves may not be as good on Cyber ​​Monday as on Black Friday, the former tends to generate more real revenue for sellers. In 2018, Cyber ​​Monday sales reached $ 7.9 billion in the US, a new record and a solid increase over 2017. It also reached Black Friday & $ 39 billion, which is also a record used to be.

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In addition, doorbusters require standing in line, fighting crowds and a limited amount of inventory – often for relatively modest savings. So the "better" deal may be the one that requires a few clicks instead of a few hours, even if it means spending more.

What you should know about both days

Don't get caught up in the hype. Stores get everything out of their closet to let you experience FOMO: fear of missing. "Best prices of the year!" Http://www.cnet.com/ "This sale will not be repeated!" Hogwash. I earn my living as The Cheapskate, and I am here to tell you that every day is Black Friday – and Cyber ​​Monday. There will be some solid deals in November, no doubt about it, but I see similar all year round. Sometimes better. For example, here is one of our best tips for scoring excellent Amazon deals every day of the year .

Ultimately, before you make a purchase, you must do your homework every day and make sure that a bargain is really a bargain .

Editor's Note : This story is updated annually with new information.

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