There are two basic truths about this time of the year. First, holiday shopping is about to start in earnest. Second, you really can make the most of your gift giving budget by choosing the right deals and sales. And of course, that all starts with Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Both can help you stretch your hard earned cash — or maybe treat yourself to a little something while you’re at it! No judgement! But, which one is the better of the two? Ivy Chou, Content Marketing Manager at BlackFriday.fm, is an expert on deals. Here’s her breakdown:
THE PROS AND CONS OF BLACK FRIDAY
- Many deals are unbeatable, particularly for clothing, home items, toys, and technology
- Plenty of sale information, Black Friday ads, and up-to-the-minute news are available online at sites like fm, so it’s easy to compare prices and plan your shopping list ahead of time
- Spend and save, gift with other purchase and other perks are often part of special deals
- You can touch, test, and try products you’re considering in-store before you purchase
- In-store shopping also gives you immediate access to items on your list
- Doorbuster deals are in-store only and those prices are almost guaranteed to be the best price available
- Physical effort! Visiting stores, waiting in long lines, driving around, congested streets and shops, carrying purchases, and ranging temperatures/weather can be a serious pain
- Many items sell out quickly, and you won’t be able to check an item’s availability before you visit the store
- Doorbuster deals come in very limited quantity. Sometimes the store will only carry 2-4 of the best TV doorbuster deal, so it’s a slim chance of actually getting these items
THE PROS AND CONS OF CYBER MONDAY
- Online retailers really want to encourage shoppers, and so deals and perks can sometimes be better than Black Friday. It’s their last major push before the biggest shopping weekend of the year ends.
- Free shipping and returns make delivery and return/exchange easy
- You’ll know what is in stock or sold out with little effort, and can search via search engines to find what you want to buy elsewhere
- Online reviews of products can help with sizing, quality, fit, features, etc.
- No lines and much less limited-quantity deals. The chances of snagging what you want are much higher than with in-store doorbusters
- Shipping can be a hassle even when it’s free! The holiday season is congested for most carriers, but to help you out, here are details for this year’s Free Shipping Day & Christmas Delivery Deadlines
- You won’t get to test items before you buy, meaning sizing, quality, etc. may be hard to determine
- Items can have issues during the transaction process and shipment, even if you’ve completed the purchase — sold out, late shipping, etc.
Case out any news or promotions about deals and specials before Black Friday and Cyber Monday to weigh out which will offer the best prices for the gifts you need.
Or, shop both, spreading out your list across which has the best deals for the items you’ll be gifting this year.