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Labor Day Shopping vs. Cyber Monday Shopping

Aug. 28, 2014
10 Extended Cyber Monday Sales
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For shoppers, Labor Day and Cyber Monday can lift the usual Monday morning drag with great deals on their favorite products.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, celebrates the American laborer and the labor movement. A hallmark of celebrating this historical event, which began in the 1880s, has been consumerism and shopping, marking the end of the summer season with blowout sales.

Cyber Monday, a recent addition to the American shopping calendar, is the online shopping day after Black Friday.  This “holiday” was created by the retail industry to keep the post-Thanksgiving weekend shopping rolling into the workweek.

While both Mondays offer steep discounts, each has distinct features that can affect the deals you can expect to find.

Labor Day

As a national holiday, most people have Labor Day off work for a weekend full of picnics, barbecues, and, of course, shopping. What better way to celebrate the American workforce than to consume its goods? Because many people have the day off, most of the shopping deals you’ll find will be in the stores rather than online. You can find deals on summer-related appliances and tools as companies make room for their fall and winter supplies. If you are looking for a new grill or plan to refurbish your outdoor patio area, Labor Day is the perfect time to capitalize on deals.

Shop It To Me, a shopping blog, found that Labor Day sales compared well to Cyber Monday deals. The 2011 data showed Labor Day weekend was the best holiday shopping weekend to find quality deals. Only 15% of items on Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend were marked down by 60% or more, where Labor Day had 30% of items marked down at 60% off or more.

Labor Day also falls quite close to the back-to-school shopping season, especially for college students. This year, many stores opted to drop their prices early for Labor Day weekend. If you haven’t done the big back-to-school wardrobe makeover, now is the time. Some stores will have additional markdowns of 70% to 80%.

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday focuses on online shopping. The term was first used in 2005, and as technology has continued to grow in the retail industry, Cyber Monday sales have nearly tripled since the day was first named. Cyber Monday offers predominantly online sales and deals.

Last year’s Cyber Monday was the biggest in history, and July’s E-Commerce rating by Custora, an e-commerce research site, was already up an estimated 15% since last year, so it is likely that this year’s cyber shopping will grow even more.

While Labor Day weekend caters to personal needs and desires, Cyber Monday has a huge holiday gift component. Many consumers sneak in purchases at work so that their gifts remain a surprise for their family and friends. One in three purchases last Cyber Monday was on a mobile phone or tablet. According to Custora, sales on Cyber Monday have skyrocketed 74% in the last four years, but still made up only 5.2% of total holiday sales in 2013.

Final Sale

If you have a lot of online purchases, you may want to wait until Cyber Monday to make them. The best Labor Day sales focus on in-store products and old models of appliances and cars. Remember to keep an eye out for deals as they emerge, though, so no matter what you can get the best price on the Monday sales.

Online shopping photo via Shutterstock.

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