We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: what’s the difference and which sales are better?

Two of the biggest shopping events of the year are coming up fast.

Black Friday

Once upon a time, Black Friday was just one single day of discounts but in recent years, the deals have been known to continually roll in for days, if not weeks. 

Advertisement

This, combined with the fact far more offers are now available online, means that Black Friday and Cyber Monday have begun to blur into one massive shopping event.

Big retailers like Amazon, Currys PC World and John Lewis all now hold their own Black Friday sales online with deals drop at intervals across the two week period. 

Now, while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing – after all, it gives shoppers a chance to bag some amazing discounts without the usual panicked 24 hour deadline – it can be a little overwhelming. After all, how are you meant to know which retailers to shop with and whether waiting until Cyber Monday will get you a better deal or not. 

Below, we’re going to do our best to answer any questions you may have about the shopping events including what the main differences are, if one has better sales than the other and what types of deals you can expect from both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

For those eager to get a discount, Amazon Prime Day is now due to be in October and will have a ton of products on offer for its own Amazon Prime members.

What is the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

The difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was traditionally that the former was only for discounts that you could get in-store, while the latter was wholly for online deals. 

In recent years, the distinction between the two has become blurred for two reasons. Firstly, significantly more people are now shopping online and therefore, most Black Friday deals are now available online, too. 

Secondly, Black Friday no longer lasts for just 24 hours. Falling on 27th November this year, deals will go live at midnight (i.e. late night Thursday) and usually continue through the weekend. 

Many retailers, including Amazon, Currys PC World and Argos, have also started doing shopping events in the week running up to Black Friday to give you more opportunity to spend.

Cyber Monday then follows on 30th November this year. Much like Black Friday, the discounts often flow into the next few days leading it to be dubbed ‘Cyber Week’.

Are online sales better on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

While you’re likely to find great deals across the weekend, discounts do vary during the long weekend. When you buy may largely depend on what you are looking to purchase. 

Conventionally, Black Friday is known for discounting big ticket products such as technology, home appliances and entertainment. Some say that this is also when big brands such as Apple, Amazon and Samsung slash their prices. 

This being said, technology is one of the biggest areas for offers so you will likely find deals on smart home, TVs, mobile phones and gaming throughout the discount season of November. 

If it is smaller or more lifestyle purchases you’re looking to make, shopping on Cyber Monday can be great. In recent years, this is when some retailers have had huge price drops in the fashion and beauty sectors. 

However, 2020 hasn’t been the most typical year for any of us, especially in the retail industry, so it is a little difficult to make predictions. 

Due to the pandemic, it has been suggested that there will be a lot more online deals, compared to in-store, to make the shopping experience as simple as possible in these social-distancing times. This can only be good news for those who prefer not to brave the crowds.

What deals can you expect at Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Mobile Phones
Getty

With Black Friday falling right in the middle of the Christmas shopping season this year, it could be a great opportunity to save money or afford those pricier items your family members have been asking for. 

We would suggest having specific items in mind though because it will help you filter through the noise and allow you to make the most of targeted discounts. 

As we mentioned above, technology often has its prices cut across the board. We’re already seeing Black Friday phone deals alongside Black Friday smart speaker deals and smart TV sticks dropped in price. There will also be consistent broadband deals going live in the pre-Black Friday sales, on the day itself and into Cyber Week. 

Last year, mobile.co.uk was slashing the price of the iPhone 11 just a month after it was released. With the iPhone 12 release date planned for later this year, these are definitely deals to watch.

Gaming is also an area that we are bound to see some deals in. With the PS5 and Xbox X Series both being released later this year, the older PS4 may face some considerable price cuts. 

And, if you were one of the many who didn’t manage to get your hands on a Nintendo Switch during lockdown, you may want to keep one eye on our Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals hub as we near November. We saw the Nintendo Switch’s price drop to a new low of £169.99 last Black Friday, so fingers crossed we see similar discounts this year, too. 

Finally, for those interested in something other than tech, there are also predicted to be decent offers across toys, making Black Friday a great time to stock up on Christmas presents and games for the day itself. 

If you want to get everything in one place, we’d recommend taking a look at Smyths Black Friday deals. Otherwise, it’s worth keeping an eye on LEGO Black Friday deals because the brand is always a crowd-pleaser. 

Read more on Black Friday

If you’re in search of deals from particular brands or stores, take a look at these articles:

Amazon Black Friday – the online giant has already launched early deals.

AO.com Black Friday – visit AO for discounted household appliances.

Apple Black Friday – while Apple doesn’t drop prices on its own site, we’re rounding up where you can grab a discount.

Argos Black Friday – Argos have already launched toy codes with products changing each week.

Currys Black Friday – if you’re in the market for a new TV or laptop, we expect good deals on tech at Currys.

Dell Black Friday – don’t miss Dell’s sneak peek Black Friday sale for a hint of what’s to come.

EE Black Friday – looking for a new phone? We expect EE to deliver.

GAME Black Friday – if you were successful with the PS5 pre-order, keep an eye on GAME for something to play on that new console.

John Lewis Black Friday – John Lewis is already offering discount on homewares as part of a seasonal sale.

LEGO Black Friday – you’ll find LEGO deals at multiple retailers, we’ve rounded up the best for you.

Nintendo Switch Black Friday – Switch deals are extremely popular, so keep an eye on this page for the latest discounts.

Samsung Black Friday – Prime Day saw discounts on tablets and Samsung smartphones, we expect more of the same on Black Friday.

Sky Black Friday – if you’re looking to upgrade, we’re keeping an eye on the best Sky TV offers.

Smyths Black Friday – Smyths is known for toys, but you can also find decent tech offers.

Very Black Friday – Very has a bit of everything and is already cutting prices in half on homewares, fashion and electricals.

Want more offers? Check out our Black Friday 2020 guide for the best and cheapest deals as well as the latest news in the lead up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For more tech deals check out the technology section.

Advertisement

Wondering what to watch? Visit our TV Guide.