Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday—Which Is Better?


Check it out: when you think about just how many ridiculous deals get crammed into the busiest shopping days of the whole year, two holidays will undoubtedly come to mind: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.


Black Friday has been around forever. Well, at least since the 1950s, while Cyber Monday arrived casually late…to the tune of about a half-century later in 2005. Every year in the US, these two days generate an absolutely jaw-dropping amount of interest, as we are all so darn eager to get our hands on the biggest (i.e., the cheapest) deals of the entire calendar year.


Okay, this is not groundbreaking info., right? So what is the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Over the years, these two days have come to be known for different types of deals and bargains, so it is def. worth taking a closer look at exactly what each day is and how it differentiates itself from the other.


Overall, though, before we dive a little deeper, it is important to note that both events offer something different and something for everyone. So of course it is worth taking the time to compare different deals, discounts, sales, etc. No matter what your shopping needs are, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to give you all the incentive you need (and certainly more than is required, haha) to find all the holiday gifts you can shake a stick at…and prob. More items for yourself than you set out to buy. Ha! Look, just remember to keep your well-trained bargain eyes peeled and shop smart.


With that, let’s learn about Black Friday.



Black Friday


Black Friday is the shopping day nearly all retail stores can look forward to each year. On this day, shoppers can cash in on amazing discounts and other creative offers. The holiday has become so popular that some retailers have even adopted a policy to open their stores as early as midnight to accommodate the throngs of eager shoppers. (And trust me, you may need to wear your safety goggles when you embark on this harrowing journey, ha ha.)


But where did Black Friday come from and why is it such a big deal? 


Black Friday, as we know it today, is a fairly new phenomenon, however its origins start date back to the 1950s. It is the day following the Thanksgiving holiday in the US and traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas (and other winter holidays) shopping season.


And with the impending holiday season, retailers look for ways to attract and keep customers. In order to do so, stores cut prices on certain items, making them more attractive and allowing customers to purchase items at a far lower cost. Typically, they will drop prices to their lowest levels of the entire year…adding fuel to the shopping season, y’all. Customers take advantage of these deals, often using Black Friday as an opportunity to score the best prices before the holidays…”while supplies last.”


In the early days, the term "Black Friday" was initially used to describe the negative side of the holiday season—it was the day that retailers had to start turning a profit for the year. It was not until 1989 that Black Friday’s connotation started to transition into a more positively-charged thing. Ultimately, Black Friday became directly correlated to the beginning of the holiday shopping season. And stores, both online and in brick-and-mortar locations, began to offer discounted items and hold contests, promotions, & deals in an effort to lure customers in. Like a moth to a flame.


Today, in 2023, as I write this, Black Friday is now one of the largest and most important shopping days of the year. As the tradition has evolved over time, stores have started opening earlier, oftentimes now, even earlier than midnight during the day of Thanksgiving. (It keeps creeping back earlier and earlier each year, it seems.) The deals and discounts on Black Friday are often so attractive that people are likely to line up outside the store to get the best deals. (Like I said…safety goggles.) With the growing popularity of e-commerce platforms, retailers and brands now offer exclusive Black Friday deals for both in-store and online shoppers.


Because of its growing cultural significance, Black Friday means not only discounts but also epic shopping experiences. Online retailers will often roll out promotions and discounts throughout the day, offering shoppers the chance to save on popular items. Retailers and customers, alike, will plan the deals for the day beforehand, in order to maximize their savings. Some stores even organize live events and interactive activities to make the shopping experience more exciting. Black Friday is a phenomenon, folks.


Black Friday is now one of the biggest shopping days of the year. For stores, it is most def. an opportunity to attract new customers, while shoppers have a chance to take advantage of crazy, killer offers that they will not see for another year when Black Friday rolls around again. So…be decisive. Have a plan. Execute. (And wear those goggles…for safety, ha ha.)



Cyber Monday


What is Cyber Monday? Well, it is a shopping holiday, much like Black Friday, held annually on the Monday following Thanksgiving (and Black Friday). It is the time when shoppers from all around the world turn to the thralls of the web to save big scrilly on electronics, apparel, and pretty much everything else under the sun, at this point.


Cyber Monday was created by major retailers in the mid-2000s to encourage more holiday shopping online. (Yes, back then, if you can believe it, people were still somewhat skeptical about making purchases on the internet; oh, how times have changed.)


In a post-pandemic society, as you can imagine, online shopping has introduced even more individuals to the idea of shopping from the comfort of their own home (or anywhere with their phone). More retailers than ever are now offering online-only deals, so shoppers can still browse hundreds of these rad bargains without ever even stepping foot into the physical store, at all. Plus, many retailers are also offering free shipping or discounted shipping deals to further entice this kind of shopping behavior.


And that is why it is nice to take advantage of the Cyber Monday deals and save some money while we can. Even if you don't need anything, it is a pretty solid way to support small businesses and pick up a lot of their offerings via their website. And remember, without the extra charge of in-store shopping and sales tax, you can often save even more money on Cyber Monday than you would with the physical nature of traditional Black Friday-style shopping.


In fact, some of the biggest deals each year on Cyber Monday are on electronics. (Shocker!) Laptops, tablets, and TVs are all heavily discounted, and you can even find major savings on phones, gaming consoles, smart home products, and the list goes on & on. If you are in the market for a new device, Cyber Monday is the day to do it, hands down.


Other items you may find heavily discounted on Cyber Monday include apparel, shoes, jewelry, toys, furniture, and home appliances. If you are in the market for some new threads, for instance, you will likely find huge discounts of 30% to 50% off, with some sales offering items for as much as 80%+ off. Yeah, it’s nuts.


There are also plenty of deals available on Cyber Monday on everyday essentials. Think beauty products, cleaning supplies, groceries, etc. So if you are trying to cut down your household costs over the holiday season (i.e., literally everyone), these are fantastic ways to save on those kinds of things.


Finally, you will find lots of deals on gifts, too. If you still need to get presents for your loved ones, you can save big on everything from kids' toys to fashion items. And most retailers offer gift-wrapping services, so you can take one less task off your list in that arena, for sure.


At the end of the day, Cyber Monday is the best time of year to save some money on all of your online holiday shopping. So, before you start searching for the perfect gift, take a look at all the deals available on Cyber Monday. You might just find exactly what you need for yourself and/or for a loved one.



Final Thoughts


In conclusion, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are both phenomenal opportunities for shoppers to get once-a-year insane deals. Black Friday, the shopping event held the day after Thanksgiving, is the oldest of the two and includes retailers and stores offering their biggest discounts of the season. Cyber Monday, on the other hand, has gained significant traction in recent years as the online counterpart to Black Friday where online and digital retailers offer their own discounts & deals.


What sets Black Friday apart from Cyber Monday is the sheer amount of in-person interactions and experiences shoppers can expect. Shopping on Black Friday, in person, has even become sort of a favorite pastime for many people. Almost like a Christmas or other winter holiday tradition. From “doorbuster” deals to being surrounded by hundreds of other people looking to save money, Black Friday is an unparalleled shopping event. When coupled with Cyber Monday, where you can shop from the comfort of your own home and typically get better discounts, shoppers can maximize their potential savings there, too.


There is zero doubt that both Black Friday & Cyber Monday have their own benefits to offer and both can enhance the overall shopping experience for all who participate. So if you are looking for a more traditional shopping experience, then Black Friday should be your go-to event. On the other hand, if you would rather chill at home for the sheer convenience (and a wider selection of sale items, to boot), then Cyber Monday might be the better option. It all comes down to personal preference. And, honestly, as the years go by, these two holidays are blending into one another, anyway. Online deals on Black Friday, In-person deals on Cyber Monday; it is all becoming one gigantic consumer extravaganza immediately following Thanksgiving, ha ha.


No matter your preference of how you shop, be it in-store or online, be sure to do your research before you embark on this once-a-year adventure. That way, you can maximize your potential savings and make sure to grab the best deals while they are there to be had. With both of these shopping events, it is very easy to get overwhelmed by the many options out there. We advise you to make sure to prioritize, get organized, and set your budget before you start shopping. 


And, more than anything, just have fun. After all, this is a holiday event. Go at it with kindness and you will likely enjoy all the experience has to offer. Happy shopping!