When does Cyber Monday start?
Cyber Monday officially starts on Monday, Nov. 27 in 2023, but the online push for shopping holidays over the last few years has meant that they all kind of blur together. We wouldn’t be surprised if retailers began using Cyber Monday or Cyber Weekend language as early as Saturday, Nov. 25.
Black Friday versus Cyber Monday — what’s the difference?
The National Retail Federation officially coined the term “Cyber Monday” in 2005 after it noticed that in previous years, the Monday after Thanksgiving saw a massive uptick in online sales. It credited the phenomenon to two factors: Online retailers were starting to vie for a slice of the Black Friday pie, and shoppers were waiting to peruse the deals on their faster work computers come Monday morning. (At the time, office PCs had better broadband than home setups.)
There’s little difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday these days because of the former’s shift online, and based on our experience, neither is a categorically “better” day to shop. Sometimes it’s worth waiting to see if an item you find on sale during Black Friday goes on sale at an even cheaper price on Cyber Monday — but again, you also run the risk of it selling out.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is a shopping holiday that takes place every year on the day right after Thanksgiving. It used to be synonymous with late-night stampedes, viral fistfights, and long lines of tents pitched outside of department stores because the best doorbusters were available exclusively in person. But many retailers have made their Black Friday deals available online in recent years, turning it into a hybrid event; you can score great deals by camping out on a store’s website instead of its literal doorstep nowadays.
Modern Black Fridays have also tended to spill well beyond the bounds of their traditional single-day slots. It’s not abnormal to see retailers offering “early Black Friday deals” and “Black Friday preview deals” even before Halloween to keep things ultra-competitive.
When does Black Friday start?
Black Friday technically falls on Friday, Nov. 24 this year, but holiday sales began as early as mid-October at several stores.
Best Buy, the first retailer to announce its Black Friday programming back in October, is taking the most aggressive approach. Its four-part holiday calendar began on Oct. 27 with Black Friday Early Access for Members, a weekend of exclusive access to select deals for paid members of its My Best Buy program, then moved into a general Black Friday Deals for Everyone event on Oct. 30. The full Best Buy Black Friday sale began on Friday, Nov. 17, and will be followed by its Cyber Monday Savings Event on Sunday, Nov. 26.
Best Buy’s early Black Friday deals will be supplemented with short sales and hard-to-find releases on its smartphone app as part of its new Best Buy Drops program for the holidays. It also hosted a new series of livestream shopping events featuring popular gift ideas and limited-time deals on the first three Wednesdays in November.
Target came up to bat next, just before Halloween, unveiling its plans to offer four weeks of early Black Friday deals ahead of the actual holiday. Exclusive discounts and Deals of the Day for members of its free Target Circle loyalty program will be peppered in throughout the holiday season.
Walmart ran two Black Friday Deals events in Nov.: The first sale started online on Wednesday, Nov. 8, and continued in stores on Friday, Nov. 10; the second one went live on Wednesday, Nov. 22 before popping up in stores on Friday, Nov. 24. Both events include three hours of early access for paid (non-trial) Walmart+ members.
Meanwhile, Amazon geared up to host its own extended Black Friday sale which began on Friday, Nov. 17, and will shift into its Cyber Monday sale on Saturday, Nov. 25. According to its press release, new deals will drop “as often as every five minutes during select periods” during the events, and a handful of limited-time doorbusters will be available during the New York Jets/Miami Dolphins football game on Black Friday (available to stream on Prime Video).
Are things actually cheaper on Black Friday?
The Mashable Shopping team researches and reports on deals constantly throughout the year, and while we see many items go on sale at deep discounts in the weeks leading up to Black Friday, we always encounter new record lows on the day of. That said, an item on your wish list may be worth buying during a pre-Black Friday sale it’s a popular gift or already abnormally cheap: Products that sell out ahead of time aren’t always restocked for the actual event.
How to find the best Black Friday deals
Price-tracking sites and coupon-hunting browser extensions can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you — our favorites include Honey, SlickDeals, Keepa, and camelcamelcamel. We’ll also be keeping track of the best Black Friday deals ourselves right here on this page once they start bubbling up, so bookmark it for future reference.
If you want to seek out deals yourself, keep an eye out for dedicated Black Friday landing pages on retailers’ websites. These serve as hubs for their best offers.
How long does Black Friday last?
If you ask the reporters and editors who have been covering this event, the answer is 84 years. In truth, Black Friday is no longer just on Friday — since retailers started rolling out their deals in October, we can honestly say that Black Friday is now a two-month affair.
Once the clock strikes midnight on Black Friday though, see ya later. After that, everything switches into Cyber Monday mode. The deals are largely the same, but the search terms are now totally different.
Mashable Editor’s Choice Black Friday deals
If you’re looking for the monster list of all the Black Friday deals we could find across all the biggest retailers, head over to our Black Friday mega post. Below, you’ll find a curated selection of the Mashable editors’ favorite Black Friday deals:
Best early Cyber Monday Apple deal
Why we like it
The M3 lineup of Macs and MacBooks was announced just a few weeks ago, and at $150 off, this is the entry-level M3 model’s lowest price to date. (You can technically get it for even cheaper if you’re a paid member of the My Best Buy program, but $1,449 is the all-time low for the general public.) With this MacBook’s upgrades, you can expect lightning-fast speeds, a spacious 14 inches of display that doesn’t come with a $2,000-plus premium, and finally, no touchbar. If you’re into an even higher-powered machine, you’ll also find the 14-inch and 16-inch M3 Pro MacBook Pros on sale.
More early Cyber Monday Apple deals
Best early Cyber Monday Dyson deal
Why we like it
Sitting at $200 off at both Walmart and Dyson, the V15 Detect Absolute is one of our favorite vacuums. It’s right in the sweet spot of price and suction power and features the coveted laser technology that shows you how disgusting your floors really are. The “Absolute” in this model means that it comes with a full slew of accessories: the Fluffy Optic laser head, the Digital Motorbar cleaner head, the hair screw tool, and three others, in addition to a wall dock.
Read our full review of the Dyson V15 Detect vacuum.
More early Cyber Monday Dyson deals
Best early Cyber Monday Amazon device deal
Why we like it
Amazon is notorious for putting out great Echo bundles on Black Friday, and this year is no exception. This bundle would normally cost you about $113, but was marked down to just $39.99 at the time of writing. You’ll score the 2023 version of the Echo Show 5 plus a Kasa Smart Color bulb. This bundle is the perfect budget-friendly way to test the smart home waters, but would also make an excellent white elephant gift.
Echo vs. Echo Dot: Which one should you buy on Black Friday?
More early Cyber Monday Amazon device deals
Fire TV sticks
Best early Cyber Monday robot vacuum deal
Why we like it
You can bring home the triple threat that is automatic emptying, mopping, and small obstacle avoidance for less than $500 with this stellar deal on a mopping Roomba that just came out in September.
Compared to the Roomba j7+, the j5+’s obstacle detection cameras aren’t quite as precise, and still may require you to pick up things like towels or socks, or put a virtual barrier around pet bowls. But to be able to skip skimming the floor for rogue cords and enjoy automatic emptying for less than $400, you can probably deal with ensuring laundry gets into the basket. As for the mopping, this is one of iRobot’s new Swap and Mop models, which does require you to be home to physically click on the water tank when you want to mop.
More early Cyber Monday robot vacuum deals
Standalone robot vacuums
Self-emptying robot vacuums
Self-emptying mopping robot vacuums
Best early Cyber Monday headphones deal
Why we like it
Narrowing down a headphones upgrade from so many on-sale options is less overwhelming when you’ve confirmed that you want to stick with a super premium, super reputable brand like Bose — but also that you want to stick to a budget. There’s only one pair of Bose over-ear headphones you can grab for just under $200, and that’s the QuietComfort 45s at a record low price of $199. This classic pair secures top-of-the-line ANC, 20 hours of battery life, and all-day comfort for less than half the price of the AirPods Max.
More headphone deals
Over-ear and on-ear headphones