Black Friday tech tricks
Apps, websites and browser extensions can show you the best deals, apply coupons and often give cash back on purchases.
Marc Saltzman, Special to USA Today
The two biggest holiday shopping days are almost here.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have long been associated with deep discounts and doorbuster deals, but which day has the best sales?
Both days have become intertwined as retailers offer virtual Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday discounts aren’t limited to online. And in recent years, stores have rolled out deals earlier and earlier, making the retail holidays practically a month-long event.
“If you’re really looking for a deal on something, it’s probably best to start sort of tracking a couple of places, and then figure out what you’re willing to do,” said Dallin Hatch, head of communications at e-commerce accelerator Pattern.
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Are Cyber Monday and Black Friday the same?
Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, represents the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season, with many retailers offering heavy discounts.
Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend, emerged as an online alternative to Black Friday, which typically attracted large crowds into brick-and-mortar stores.
Over time, however, retailers have blended Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offering deals both in-store and online, and have started rolling out discounts earlier. This year, Black Friday sales started as far back as October.
“We have Black Friday, but it’s really expanded almost over several months time,” said Timothy D. Malefyt, clinical professor at the Gabelli School of Business at Fordham University.
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Is it better to buy during Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
The differences between the deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t dramatic, though certain tech products may be the exception, Malefyt said.
For many items, if you see a good deal now, don’t wait to buy, Malefyt said. But it may be worth waiting if you’re shopping for electronic products.
Many shoppers wait until Cyber Monday to get products in part because of fear of missing out on deals altogether, Hatch said.
“Some online retailers will maybe have their biggest online discounts for products on Black Friday and then still discount over the weekend through Cyber Monday but sort of dial back the discount,” Hatch said, noting the move may trigger consumers’ worries of deals going away.
Last year, consumers spent $10.7 billion on Cyber Monday, with toys, video games and electronics among the top-selling categories, according to Adobe Analytics.
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