Skipped Black Friday? Today’s Cyber Monday Sales Offer Second Chance

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Written by Tommy Tindall
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Edited by Courtney Neidel
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It’s the question of the holiday shopping season. Which is the more ‘dealtastic’ day: Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

After a year of tracking sales, we finally know the answer: It’s a tie. Well, kind of.

Retailers mostly recycle Black Friday deals on Cyber Monday, which means today could be your second chance at scoring low prices you missed on Friday. But, in some categories, Cyber Monday has an edge. For small kitchen appliances in particular, today’s deals are the lowest we’ve seen all year.

How do we know? NerdWallet monitored prices on 10 popular products at Amazon, Target and Walmart during every major sale period of 2023. Here’s what we learned.

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

Black Friday has taken on new meaning and length in recent years, with deals going on for weeks on just about anything you can think of.

Actual Black Friday (Nov. 24) came and brought the best prices we’d observed on six of the 10 items we tracked. And on Cyber Monday (today), several of the items are cheaper — by just a few dollars, or a bit more. The KitchenAid mixer we tracked, for example, costs $36 less today than it did on Friday. You can get the extra savings today in the form of a checkout discount at Amazon and Target.

Taken together, the blur of sales that happen over Thanksgiving weekend bring some of the best deals of the year. But it’s important to note that neither Black Friday nor Cyber Monday is consistently the best day of the year to shop for every single item. Four out of the 10 products we watched actually hit their lowest price during Amazon’s Prime Day sale in July.

Check the data below for full price-tracking details.

How to shop Cyber Monday sales

Shop for the stuff you need today and you just might snag one of the best prices of the year, particularly if you’re shopping for small kitchen appliances, which we found to be marked lowest.

Consumers plan to spend nearly $900 on holiday-related purchases this season to celebrate the winter holidays, according to the National Retail Federation’s latest consumer survey. Do your due diligence to compare prices across retailers before checking out — that way you can maximize your holiday budget, however much it may be.

If you’re not up for cyber spending today or can’t break away from work, these tips should help for the rest of the holiday season.

Cyber Monday doesn’t necessarily mark the end of deal season. Sporadic deals typically continue into December, but this holiday season could bring more.

Retailers may be more worried this season about consumers’ continued ability to spend on non-essential items, says Tom Arnold, a professor of finance at the University of Richmond. While a much-feared recession has yet to materialize, a long run of expensive times may have shoppers feeling the pressure to step back, he adds.

As a response, anxious retailers could be inclined to bring bargains up to the end.

Be mindful of the closing Christmas shipping window. The cutoff comes sooner for shoppers planning to ship gifts. When should your stuff be in the mail? You can use U.S. Postal Service deadlines as a barometer. Search “holiday shipping deadlines,” and pay attention to which shipping speed you select.

Sites with fast-shipping may give you a few extra days, but you can’t always count on delivery promises.

Don’t stay home this time. While it’s become second nature to quickly compare prices and add coupons online, don’t let deal hacks stop you from smelling the Christmas candles.

“I think retailers are making a greater effort to make it worthwhile to come into the store,” says Jane Boyd Thomas, a professor of marketing at Winthrop University in South Carolina.

Small businesses especially, which may depend on the seasonal business, are keen to do more for you. “They're going to wrap the package for you, they might keep the store open later,” she says.

There’s also the spectacle of shopping during the winter holidays.

“I wouldn't rule out the pleasure that comes from going into a lovely store that's beautifully decorated, playing Christmas music and has this cedar candle so it smells like a Christmas tree,” Thomas says.

Maybe you can find a deal online today that’ll free you up to take in the sights and sounds of the season in the weeks ahead.

How we tracked prices

For 2023, NerdWallet tracked online prices on 10 products at three of the biggest nationwide retailers — Amazon, Target and Walmart — focusing on major sales. We selected a range of items, including electronics, home goods, baby gear and toys that tend to be popular with shoppers year after year.

Some caveats:

  • Some products have upgrades or a new model introduced in a given year. In these cases, we continued to track the original item and not the newest generation.

  • Pricing can vary based on color. When possible, the most basic and/or universal color (black or white) was selected. If this color or model wasn’t available, we tracked another color and noted it in the chart legend.  

  • In-store and online prices sometimes vary. We used online prices to reflect changing shopping patterns and get the most up-to-date prices available.

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