What Is Cyber Monday?

The biggest shopping day of the year is online and offering you terrific deals

Did you know that Cyber Monday started as a hangover sale from Black Friday? Retailers noticed that the Monday after Thanksgiving began spiking in online sales. This led to Shop.org whipping out the "Cyber Monday" moniker as a hook to draw in even more consumers and the name stuck.

What Is Cyber Monday?

You'll be forgiven if you assume Cyber Monday is just a bunch of tech companies discounting their electronics. The truth is quite incredible. Cyber Monday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. In 2021, Cyber Monday sales were 11.3 billion dollars, according to SalesForce, topping sales from 2019 and 2020. Black Friday sales in 2021 were a bit higher at 13.2 billion dollars.

The sales extend well beyond electronics into every facet of retail, and the best part is that there is no lining up hours ahead of time to push and shove for one of the very few doorbusters retail outlets use to draw shoppers to their store. You can shop in your pajamas.

When Is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday always falls on the Monday after Thanksgiving. But because the deals can start days earlier, you may do a lot of your shopping on Sunday night.

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Don't expect to get the best deal on electronics just because it includes the word 'cyber.' While Cyber Monday is exclusively an online shopping day and will have some good deals on tech, Black Friday is still a great day to buy gadgets. Equally surprising, Cyber Monday is a great day for fashion.

And as you might expect, Cyber Monday also includes deals such as free shipping that you wouldn't ordinarily see at brick-and-mortar stores hosting a Black Friday sale. And of course, you don't have to wait in long lines.

How to Find Cyber Monday Deals

Checking social media is integral to finding good deals. Here's what we recommend:

  • Twitter can be a reliable way to find deals. Use the Search function on Twitter by entering #CyberMonday to learn all the buzz around the best deals. If you're looking for something specific, say, Cyber Monday TV sales, push the words together, add a hashtag to the front and see what shows up. You'll need to be attentive; #deals come and go quickly.
  • Check out the Facebook page of your favorite retailers to find some good sales. Some stores offer loyal readers flash deals, such as 'order online until 2 p.m. Eastern to save 40 percent off or 'the first 100 people to reply to this post will receive a special coupon code to redeem until midnight.'
  • Find your favorite brands on Instagram to see if they post any deals.
  • Before Cyber Monday, consider subscribing to newsletters from your favorite brands or retailers to catch deals. Many will offer at least a first-time email subscriber discount; others use the medium to communicate specific sales and pricing for newsletter members.

Remember that all these newsletters you sign up for and brands you start to follow could add to the number of emails and targeted ads you might see. You might find it a fair trade, but it's something to consider. Don't be afraid to unsubscribe as soon as the deals are gone.

What to Watch Out for on Cyber Monday

As with any sale, always remember to comparison shop. This advice is essential during so-called Flash sales. Just because something has a significant discount from the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) doesn't mean it's a great deal. The only real purpose of MSRP is for retailers to use it when convincing you they have a great sale going.

Because Cyber Monday happens online, you can quickly double-check prices. Amazon is a great place to verify a good deal. If you can get it just as cheap on Amazon, you aren't saving much on Cyber Monday.

Don't Miss Out On Green Monday

If you miss all the sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don't despair. The second Monday of December is typically the cutoff date for guaranteed shipping dates during the holidays. Called Green Monday; it's a great day to take advantage of more cyber sales.

  • How long does Cyber Monday last?

    While Cyber Monday is one day out of the year, some retailers choose to start their sales earlier and extend them for up to one week.

  • What store has the best Cyber Monday deals?

    Amazon is the largest online-only retailer, so it's a good place to start. If you want electronics, Best Buy and Newegg are sure to offer some nice deals, while department stores like Kohl's and Macy's are worth looking at if you're interested in clothing sales.

  • What stores are doing Cyber Monday?

    The retailers who participate in Cyber Monday change year to year, but you can typically expect the major chains to show up with some deep discounts. The Black Friday website keeps tabs on who's participating each year.

  • When do Cyber Monday ads come out?

    Cyber Monday ads usually come out in the weeks leading up to the event. Consult the Black Friday website for full ad scans as they become available.

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