They’re two of the busiest – and most hyped – shopping days of the holiday season: Black Friday and Super Saturday.
Black Friday, known as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Retailers are famous for hosting blowout sales that draw masses of deal seekers on the highly anticipated shopping day. This year, Black Friday is Nov. 27.
Super Saturday, on the other hand, is one of the final shopping days of the holiday season. It falls on the last Saturday before Christmas. This year, Super Saturday is Dec. 19.
How do these two retail powerhouses compare?
To find out, let’s break down these shopping events according to customer type, participating stores and, most important, deals.
Who Are the Shoppers?
While extreme bargain hunters dominate Black Friday, Super Saturday captures the Christmas procrastinators.
Black Friday takes place with nearly a month to go until Christmas, and scoring the best deal requires careful thought and planning, while Super Saturday is one of the last opportunities to finish (or – who are we kidding – start) buying gifts.
Thus, Black Friday is more about enticing savvy shoppers, while Super Saturday is more about capturing the last-minute crowds.
In the Stores vs. on the Internet
While Black Friday sales are now commonly conducted both online and in store, Super Saturday is much more about offers being hosted at brick-and-mortar stores.
The late-in-the-season nature of Super Saturday means it may be too late for online orders to be delivered in time for Christmas. Thus, shopping malls become packed with those who need to get their hands on everything they put off buying for the past month.
Mode of shopping aside, the retailers that participate in Super Saturday are many of the same that boast everyone’s favorite Black Friday discounts. In 2014, stores with promotions in the days leading up to Christmas included Sears, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Kohl’s, among others.
Super Saturday Savings
If you’ve never gone shopping on Super Saturday before, you may not know what to expect. Much like Black Friday, specials can be made up of generic percentage-off discounts or specific-item markdowns.
However, as Super Saturday is advertised dramatically less than Black Friday, the event seems to lack any of the huge ads its counterpart is known for.
Buy Early vs. Buy Late?
Even though this year’s Super Saturday sales haven’t been announced yet, you can still get a general idea of which items will be the best buys in 2015. All season long, we’ve been telling you which products to purchase early and which ones to wait for. Here’s a little cheat sheet on which departments you can save the most on and when:
Buy on Black Friday: Electronics. Black Friday is an excellent time to buy tablets and medium-size laptops. There also will be great deals on electronics accessories, such as DVDs, Blu-ray discs and video games.
Wait until Super Saturday: Toys. Gifts for the kids see big price cuts on Black Friday, but even bigger ones take place the nearer it gets to Christmas.
You decide: Christmas decorations. Garlands, wreaths, artificial trees and wrapping paper are cheapest immediately after or before Christmas (like on Super Saturday), but buying them on Black Friday will guarantee you a discount and plenty of time to enjoy your festive trimmings.
This post was updated. It was originally published on Nov. 6, 2014.
Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @courtneynerd.
Comparison image via Shutterstock