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Black Friday versus Cyber ​​Monday: what's the difference?



Looks nice – not.


Ron Pruitt / Demotix / Corbis

It is starting to look a lot like fall, and that means that we are facing three major American holidays: Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. You don't have to tell me what Turkey is about (duh: turkey), but maybe you have some questions about those other occasions? Because seriously, what's going on with Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday? It's just big sales that book the holiday weekend, right?

There is actually something more going on.

When did Black Friday start?

The origin of Black Friday is a bit vague, with a fairly apocryphal theory that was believed the most: 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.

But the real story is a bit 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 1

980s did retailers really embrace the day for selling purposes.

This year, Black Friday is on November 29 – but deals can be found earlier than that.

When did Cyber ​​Monday start?

It's hard to believe, but Cyber ​​Monday dates from just 2005. At the time, before it was normal to order anything online, shoppers 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 once had only dial-up modems at home.) In the early days of online shopping, Monday was a lucrative day for online stores – so they embraced it. [19659007] 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 would be in the shops on Friday, and then in cyberspace on Monday.

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

But it is not really going the other way: the physical sale usually takes place on Friday and that is all. Cyber ​​Monday is almost exclusively an online "vacation".


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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 on Friday or Monday, because stores are willing to break even a product or even lose money to get you in. 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, CM sales reached $ 7.9 billion in the US, a new record and a solid increase over 2017. It also delivered $ 6.2 billion to BF, which was also a record.

In addition, doorbusters usually have to stand 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 you just spend a little 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!" "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.

Ultimately, before you make a purchase, you must do your homework on any day and ensure that a bargain is really a bargain .

Note: Originally published two years ago. Updated to show new information.


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