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Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday
There are subtle differences between these two huge shopping days, so you need a strategy.
This post comes from Melinda Fulmer of MSN Money.
In the holiday spending smackdown, there are two big shopping days when people start opening their wallets and crossing off their lists.
One is Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, when people have traditionally camped out in the cold for hot in-store deals. The other is Cyber Monday, a flurry of online-only sales three days later.
What's the difference? Increasingly, not that much, says Dan de Grandpre, CEO of dealnews.com, as retailers shift more Black Friday deals to the Web. But there are some subtle differences that can help you plan your shopping strategy. Post continues after video.
Big vs. little. Black Friday is when big-box chain stores such as Best Buy,Wal-Mart and Target offer some of their hotter holiday deals. Smaller online retailers that don't want to compete with the retail giants and their half-price TVs and washers and dryers often push their deals back to Cyber Monday.
"If you are a niche beauty store or a seller of iPod or iPad cases, you will be competing with less noise from the really big stores on that day," de Grandpre says.
Electronics. A few big retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Amazon.com follow their big Black Friday sales with some sweet Cyber Monday deals heavy on the discounted electronics. So if you don't see a TV or gadget deal that you're excited about on Black Friday, hold out. You'll find more the following week. The electronics deals on these two days, he says, are typically the best of the season.
Hold on for high end. Black Friday isn't exactly synonymous with chic, given its history of sweatpants-clad shoppers crowding parking lots for $20 doorbuster DVD players. That's why many luxury retailers -- think Coach, Kate Spade, etc. -- skip this big sale day and focus their promotions on Cyber Monday, de Grandpre says. The exception? Apple's Retail Stores, which have one sale a year on -- you guessed it -- Black Friday.
Last-minute deals. A little history for you: The term Cyber Monday was coined five years ago by the National Retail Federation's Shop.org unit to describe sales on this, the second-biggest online shopping day of the year.
It's typically not something people plan for weeks in advance like Black Friday, deal site operators say. Rather, shoppers can find more of these deals days before, via e-mails and websites, including NRF's own CyberMonday.com.
And it's not as heavily promoted as it was in years past, de Grandpre says, but it's still one of the better days of the year to start your shopping. Just don't finish it then. The steepest discounts on many items, he says, are still found in the first few weeks of December.
More from MSN Money:
Every day between now and Decemebr 31 will be a great day to love for a deal. Competition among the stores makes for good deals for consumers. An informed consumer knows where to get the info. I subscribe to http://www.BlackFridayAds2010.info They have posts and links on their home page to the current, during and after Black Friday sales at Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl’s, Wal-Mart, etc. They also post scans of the Black Friday ads so you can see for yourself the real Black Friday ads. They seem to have the most extensive list of stores - more than other Black Friday sites - more than 75 stores.