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10 Pros & Cons of Shopping on Black Friday & Cyber Monday: Where are the Deals?

A Consumers Affairs Dilemma: Shop the Malls versus Online Shopping at Home

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It's a Face Off! Black Friday versus Cyber Monday!

We’re living in the middle of a sea change in commerce, and in response to the big Black Friday sales events, online retailers have retaliated with aggressive discounts on “Cyber Monday,” which started as online sales offered on the Monday after Thanksgiving. (Black Friday started as a huge sale day on the Friday after Thanksgiving).

So assuming that you weren’t born to shop on both days, then when is the better time to shop, on Black Friday or on Cyber Monday? Is it more fun and economical to go to the Atlantic Center Mall or Kings Plaza or the Fulton Mall on "Black Friday" in Brooklyn? Or sit out the sales and wait till Cyber Monday? Hmmmmm..... it would be a bargain shoppers dilemma.

Except, as even Time Magazine points out, Cyber Monday has morphed into Black Friday. Sales began even before Thanksgiving.

Call it huge competition for a buck, whether you spend that buck online or in a store. When is Cyber Monday This Year?

What's Black Friday?

When is Black Friday This Year?

When & Where to Look for the Deals

As the two streams of commerce - retail stores and online stores - converge, it's hard to say where the best deals will be. And, of course, many of the stores that consumers might visit in person are the same brand names that one might visit online.

But who ever said bargain hunting was easy? You have to do some homework.

To scope out Cyber Monday, definitely check the CyberMonday website, and also the sites of any of your favorite stores or brands.

For Black Friday, check out the local newspapers, TV and radio ads, as well as looking online, on Thanksgiving Day.

5 Pros: Reasons to Shop Cyber Monday Rather Than Black Friday Sales

  1. It’s easier and faster.
  2. If you were busy with family or travel on Thanksgiving Friday and missed the in-store sales, Cyber Monday gives you another opportunity to take advantage of reductions.
  3. You can easily compare prices online.
  4. You can shop in your pj's, from work, or while waiting for the plumber.
  5. You don’t need a babysitter.
The five cons of Cyber Monday? You can't "kick the tires" and see the merchandise, it might be hard to access a computer for shopping purposes, you'll have to wait for shipping, and some people hate returning purchases by mail. Most importantly, your boss really might not love it if you spend Cyber Monday shopping at your desk!

5 Pros: Reasons to Shop Black Friday Rather than Cyber Monday

  1. You can actually see what you are buying — measure it, try it on, see if you like the color.
  2. The prices might be better.
  3. Not everything that’s on sale on Black Friday will be available on Cyber Monday.
  4. It's an outing. You can bring a friend or spouse for fun and advice.
  5. If you don't go, you might miss some great bargains!
The five cons of Black Friday? Some of the merchandise is lower-end; prices may continue to drop as the holiday season approaches; it's too easy to over spend in the midst of a buying frenzy, it's crowded, and the real bargains may be limited in quantity and sold to earlybird shoppers.

So, when to shop? Whatever your personal answer is, the smart thing to do is decide beforehand not just what you want to purchase, but also your budget parameters.

That way, come post-Thanksgiving Tuesday (a day for which, gratefully, there's no retailing name yet), you won't feel like a turkey with a hangover of buyer's remorse!

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