Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: what’s the difference?

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday 2020

It’s that time of year again; Black Friday and Cyber Monday are just a month away, and while the Covid-19 pandemic means that proceedings may be a little different this year, we’re still expecting to see some fantastic tech deals come November.

Black Friday, which now takes up most of November, is one of the best times of the year to find great deals on TVs, laptops, headphones, speakers, smartphones, and just about any kind of tech you can imagine – and just about any time we talk about Black Friday, you’ll see us mention Cyber Monday, too.

So, what’s the difference between the two sales events – and most importantly, on which day will you find the best deals?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: what’s it all about?

Let’s start with Black Friday; traditionally, Black Friday is the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving when retailers begin the holiday shopping season.

It’s based around retailers making such impressive discounts that bargain-crazed customers will try to break the doors down before the shop opens – although recent years have seen Black Friday morph into an online shopping phenomenon.

Online shopping is going to be even more important this year, as the pandemic means social distancing measures will be enforced in many stores, and buyers will be more reluctant to shop in person.

The actual date shifts every year, with this year’s Black Friday date falling on November 27. Despite this, retailers seem to start releasing their Black Friday deals earlier and earlier, with some discounts appearing at the beginning of the week, and in some cases, taking up the whole of November.

Cyber Monday, on the other hand always falls on the Monday immediately after Black Friday, which means it will take place on November 30.

As you’ve probably guessed from the name, Cyber Monday is a purely online affair, The term was coined by Ellen Davis and Scott Silverman of the US National Retail Federation and, and it was a deliberate move to promote online shopping back in 2005 when the Internet was in its infancy.

It was intended to help smaller retailers compete with the big names who were harping on about Black Friday, although those big names promptly jumped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon, too.

Because of this, it can be hard to discern an actual difference between the two dates; after all, with deals happening all through November, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can feel like one homogenized monster sales event.

That’s not completely untrue, either – however, there are a few key differences between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which are useful to know before you go on your yearly buying frenzy.

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

Aside from the dates, the main difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that Black Friday deals can be found online and in physical stores, whereas Cyber Monday is purely dedicated to online discounts.

Both sales events will have plenty of fantastic tech deals, whether you’re looking for a new laptop or a pair of swish noise-cancelling headphones. However, there are some instances where it might be better to wait for November 30 to make your purchases.

For example, if you’re more interested in fashion than tech, some online retailers are expected to offer site wide discounts on Cyber Monday, meaning it’s well worth waiting.

Cyber Monday is also typically a good time to find deals on small appliances and white goods, so if you’re looking for a new microwave, it’s a good idea to hold off until then.

Most retailers offer a continuation of their Black Friday deals into Cyber Monday, occasionally dropping prices even further; whether you wait all depends on how much you’re willing to risk the item selling out completely. Hot ticket items like the AirPods and AirPods Pro, for example, are very likely to sell out quickly.

If you see a fantastic Black Friday deal that ticks all your boxes, we’d recommend going for it – products can sell out in a matter of minutes, and you can usually return the item if you see a better deal on Cyber Monday.

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What deals can I expect on Cyber Monday 2020?

While we can’t predict exactly which products will be discounted, we can make a few educated guesses based on last year’s Cyber Monday deals.

For example, the Apple AirPods dropped from $199 to $169 in the US and from £199 to £158 in the UK – and this year, we’re expecting the discounts to be even deeper now that the 2019 AirPods are a little older.

We’re also expecting to see discounts on the noise-cancelling AirPods Pro, as well as great deals on older generation iPads.

Cyber Monday is usually a great time to buy home appliances and last year was no exception, with great deals on coffee machines, air fryers, and pressure cookers on both sides of the pond – you can expect more of the same this year, too.

TVs are also a good bet on Cyber Monday, with last year seeing fantastic deals on 4K TVs worldwide.

Amazon is usually a good place to find Cyber Monday deals – and while we’re expecting to see some great discounts this year, you may find that stock is in lower supply than previous years.

This will mean the Black Friday and Prime Day existing in close proximity in the calendar, and could have a gravitational pull on the sales that are snapped up when buying holiday gifts.

How can I prepare for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020?

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail; if you want to make the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020, it’s important to have an idea of what you want to buy, and where you want to buy it from.

The best way to do this is to make yourself a Wishlist; it doesn’t have to be retailer-specific – just have an idea of what you’re looking to buy this November. For example, do you need a new sound bar to complement your entertainment system? Are you looking for a budget-friendly work laptop?

Most of the big retailers will publish their Black Friday deals from midnight on November 27, so you may want to stay up on Thursday night to ensure you don’t miss any of the big discounts.


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