Can You Find Better Deals On Black Friday Or Cyber Monday?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend are one of the hottest times of year for sales on the hottest holiday gifts. But which deals can you get and are there better days for the things you need to buy? The answer is: it depends! Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re as prepared as possible for the ultimate holiday shopping weekend. 

What’s the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have merged into one extended holiday weekend full of deals, but it wasn’t always this way. 

Black Friday originally began as a day brick and mortar stores would see a steep rise in sales and customers looking to start their holiday shopping. The name comes from when a business goes “in the black,” an accounting term meaning the business is now earning a profit. A company that hasn’t turned a profit is considered to be “in the red.”

Cyber Monday began after the rise of e-commerce shopping. Online stores looking to capitalize on Black Friday without competing with in-person shopping came together to create a day exclusive to online shopping, though stores of all types now use both days.

In addition to these “holidays,” there’s also Shop Small (or Small Business) Saturday which focuses on small businesses and Giving Tuesday, which is for charity donations. There’s also Buy Nothing Day, which falls on the same day as Black Friday. It was popularized as a protest against the increase in consumerism to instead draw attention to the importance of spending frugally and paying  off debt.

What to buy on Black Friday

Black Friday is traditionally when you’ll see the biggest deals on major appliances and electronics. It’s also when brick and mortar stores will typically offer “doorbuster” deals that promise incredible discounts for early shoppers. 


Televisions are particularly popular items for doorbuster events, with many companies offering “Black Friday-exclusive” models at steep discounts. One word of caution: pay attention to which model you’re buying as some models made specifically for Black Friday may have cheaper parts that wear down quickly or shorter warranties.


Like TVs, major appliances are often heavily discounted for Black Friday doorbuster events. If you’re planning to get a new fridge or washer, start looking around your local big box stores to see what deals they’ll offer and wait until Black Friday to purchase them if you can.

Toys and gaming consoles

While toys and gaming console deals will also show up on Cyber Monday, the demand is so high for these holiday presents that you’ll most likely face some steep competition to get that must-have toy. If you’re free, check Thanksgiving night to see if any early deals are going on, or get in line as quickly as possible if you’ve worried about your gift selling out. 

What to buy on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday has moved on from being exclusively online-based and one-day-only, but there are still a few categories where you’ll find the discounts starting then.


Clothing stores previously focused heavily on Black Friday deals, but thanks to the rise in online shopping, they have stopped trying to fight for attention during the toy and limited-edition frenzy of Black Friday. Look for sitewide discounts that don’t require coupon codes or gifts with purchase on Cyber Monday.


Travel sites have started to focus more on their own holiday known as “Travel Tuesday,” but it hasn’t picked up steam just yet. Because of this, you’ll still find the best deals on Cyber Monday for airlines, hotels, cruises, and vacation packages. 

Online subscriptions

Streaming services, apps, and online-based services tend to release their best deals on Cyber Monday. You may see exclusive bundles, extended trials, or limited-time upgrade offers on this day.

Final thoughts

The best way to maximize your holiday shopping is by planning ahead and knowing what deals to look for during this crazy weekend of sales. If there are specific stores you want to keep an eye on, sign up for their mailing lists now to get notified of what deals they’ll have. Plus, you may get exclusive subscriber-only deals that offer you even more savings on your gift list. 

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