Tech

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday: Which day is better for shopping?

UPDATE: Nov. 26, 2023, 3:00 a.m. EST This post has been updated with the latest top picks for early Cyber Monday deals, including new Hydroflask and Stanley discounts.

Once two distinct deal shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have basically merged into one massive shopping extravaganza. The lines really began to blur when the world shut down in 2020 and brick-and-mortar stores hosted online sales in lieu of in-person Black Friday events. In 2023, those lines are practically nonexistent. We certainly can’t see them.

Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday — what’s the difference?

Way back in the age of MySpace and AIM — aka 2005 — the National Retail Federation debuted the term “Cyber Monday” after realizing that the Monday after Thanksgiving saw a flood of online sales. This was likely due to shoppers using their faster internet connections at work on Monday morning to snag deals, or at least that’s what they credited it to. That, of course, and the fact that online retailers wanted some of that holiday shopping bread, too. Thus, two distinct deal shopping days were born: Black Friday, for those who wanted to shop in stores the day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, for those who liked shopping from the comfort of their homes.

These days, there’s little — if any — real difference between the two due to the alleged “death of retail.” Everyone and everything is online, so why wouldn’t Black Friday be? Based on our years of experience covering both, we can truly say neither is a “better” day to shop. It really comes down to what you’re looking for and how much demand there is for it.

How long is Black Friday?

It’s honestly silly at this point to even call it Black Friday. It’s no longer just on Friday — it’s a full two-month affair. Major retailers like Walmart and Best Buy started dropping official Black Friday deals as early as October and will continue until the clock strikes midnight at the close of the Friday following Thanksgiving. At that point, it’s Cyber Monday (yes, even though it’s actually Saturday). We don’t make the rules. The deals won’t change too much, but the search terms and official site banners will.

When do Cyber Monday deals start?

Officially, Cyber Monday starts on Monday, Nov. 27 in 2023. Unofficially, you’ll see sales coined “Cyber Monday” as early as Saturday, Nov. 25. It’s all very confusing, but if you think of the Cyber Week language as interchangeable, it helps.

Cyber Monday sales will more than likely continue throughout the week. Like Black Friday, it’s more than just a single day of savings at this point.

Are there better deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

If you see a solid deal, grab it, no matter which sale title it falls under. There’s not a tremendous amount of distinction anymore in terms of discounts on particular products as there has been in previous years. Historically, Black Friday was the day to buy a TV or a popular toy and Cyber Monday was the day to buy a laptop or PC. This is still a solid rule to follow, as TV deals tend to be more dramatic and widespread for Black Friday and laptop deals for Cyber Monday. But with the blurred lines of Cyber Week, many of these deals may cross over. As noted at BlackFriday.com, “Some TV deals will feature flashy discounts during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but they might not have the specs you’re after.” TL;DR: The deals will be great for both shopping days, but it all depends on what you’re after. Have your specs in mind and when you see a deal, grab it. You don’t want to run the risk of it selling out.

The best Black Friday deals so far: Mashable editors’ choice

If you’re searching for a massive list of Black Friday deals across all retail behemoths, check out our giant Black Friday deals post. We’ll be updating it throughout the weekend and into Cyber Monday to keep you in the know of all the best deals. Below, we’ve curated a list of the Mashable editors’ favorite Black Friday deals for 2023:

Best early Cyber Monday Apple deal


Our pick: iPad Air (WiFi, 64GB)
$499.99 at Amazon (save $99.01)



Why we like it

If you’re looking for the “sweet spot” of iPad models, you’ll find it in the iPad Air, according to Mashable’s Stan Schroeder. It has an M1 chip, which will power you through tasks like gaming and audio editing without a hitch — and it won’t cost you the $800-plus that an iPad Pro with the same chip would. This base model is slightly on the smaller side when it comes to storage, but luckily, the 256GB Air is also on sale for $99 off — which still puts it a good $150 below the 128GB iPad Pro. Basically, if you want something a bit less basic than the standard iPad but don’t want to shell out, the Air is your perfect in-between. And at $499.99, it’s back down to its lowest price ever — and the price we saw it sit at for the entirety of Prime Day.

Read our full review of the 2022 iPad Air.

More early Cyber Monday Apple deals

AirPods

Apple AirPods (3rd generation) with Lightning Charging Case$139.99 $169 (save $29.01)

AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with USB-C Charging Case $189.99 $249 (save $59.01)

Apple Watches

Apple Watch Series 9 (GPS, 41mm)$329 $399 (save $70)

Apple Watch Series 9 (GPS + cellular, 45mm)$459 $529 (save $70)

iPads

2021 iPad (WiFi, 256GB)$399 $479 (save $80)

iPad Air (WiFi, 64GB)$499.99 $599 (save $99.01)

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

Vacuums

Dyson V8 Origin — $249.99 $429.99 (save $180) + free $25 Target gift card

Dyson V11$399.99 $569.99 (save $170)

Dyson Outsize Plus$449.99 $599.99 (save $150)

Best Black Friday 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.

More early Cyber Monday Amazon device deals

Fire tablets

Amazon Fire 7 tablet$39.99 $59.99 (save $20)

Amazon Fire 7 Kids tablet$54.99 $109.99 (save $54.99)

All-new Amazon Fire 10 Kids tablet$124.99 $189.99 (save $65)

All-new Amazon Fire HD 10 Kids Pro tablet$124.99 $189.99 (save $65)

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet$74.99 $149.99 (save $74.99)

All-new Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet$79.99 $139.99 (save $60)

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus tablet$94.99 $179.99 (save $85)

Amazon Fire HD 10 Plus tablet (no lockscreen ads)$109.99 $194.99 (save $85)

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet and Stylus Pen$114.98 $174.98 (save $60)

Amazon Fire HD 8 tablet$59.99 $99.99 (save $40)

Amazon Fire HD 8 Plus tablet$69.99 $119.99 (save $60)

Echo devices

Echo Pop with TP-Link Kasa Smart Color Bulb$17.99 $62.98 (save $44.99)

Echo Dot (2022 release)$22.99 $49.99 (save $27)

Echo Dot (2022 release) Kids$27.99 $59.99 (save $32)

Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) with clock$34.99 $59.99 (save $25)

All-new Echo Show 5 (2023 release)$39.99 $89.99 (save $50)

All-new Echo Show 5 (2023 release) with Blink Mini$44.99 $124.98 (save $79.99)

Echo Show 5 (2023 release) Kids$44.99 $99.99 (save $55)

Echo Show 8 (2021 release)$54.99 $129.99 (save $75)

Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)$159.99 $249.99 (save $90)

Fire TV sticks

Amazon Fire TV Stick$19.99 $39.99 (save $20)

All-new Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max$39.99 $59.99 (save $20)

Eero devices

Amazon Eero Mesh WiFi router$44.99 $69.99 (save $25)

Amazon eero 6+ mesh Wi-Fi system$194.99 $299.99 (save $105)

Amazon eero Pro 6E mesh Wi-Fi System$399.99 $549.99 (save $150)

Kindle

Amazon Kindle$79.99 $99.99 (save $20)

Kindle Kids Essentials Bundle$132.97 $152.97 (save $20)

Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition$139.99 $189.99 (save $50)

Amazon Kindle Scribe with Premium Pen (32 GB)$279.99 $389.99 (save $110)

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

iHome AutoVac Juno$85 $199 (save $114.99)

iRobot Roomba 694$159 $274.99 (save $250)

Shark Matrix$199 $299.99 (save $100.99)

Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1$249.99 $449.99 (save $200)

Roborock S8$599.99 $749.99 (save $150)

Self-emptying robot vacuums

Shark Matrix$299.99 $499.99 (save $200)

iRobot Roomba i5+$349.99 $549.99 (save $200)

Roborock Q5+$399.99 $699.99 (save $300)

Shark Detect Pro RV2820AE$449.99 $599.99 (save $150)

iRobot Roomba s9+$599.99 $999.99 (save $400)

Self-emptying mopping robot vacuums

Yeedi Vac Station$299.99 $499.99 (save $200)

iRobot Roomba Combo i5$229 $349.99 (save $150.99)

iRobot Roomba Combo j5$348.99 $599.99 (save $251)

Ecovacs N10+$399.99 $649.99 (save $250)

Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1$399.99 $699.99 (save $300)

Yeedi Cube$499.99 $699.99 (save $200)

Ecovacs T9+$499.99 $799.99 (save $300)

Roborock Q5 Pro+$479.98 $699.99 (save $220.01)

Ecovacs Cube Pro — $599.99 $799.99 (save $200)

Roborock Q8 Max+$599.99 $819.99 (save $220)

Roborock Q Revo$679.99 $899.99 (save $220)

Eufy Clean X9 Pro$649.99 $899.99 (save $250)

Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni$699.99 $1,099.99 (save $400)

Roborock S8+$799.99 $999.99 (save $200)

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 early Cyber Monday headphone deals

Over-ear and on-ear headphones

JBL Tune 510BT$24.95 $49.95 (save $25)

JBL Live 460NC $64.95 $129.95 (save $65)

JBL Tune 760NC$64.95 $129.95 (save $65)

Marshall Major IV$99.99 $149.99 (save $50)

Beats Solo3$99.99 $199.95 (save $99.96)

Beats Studio Pro$169.95 $349.99 (save $180.04)

Bose QuietComfort 45$199 $329 (save $130)

Sony WH-1000XM4$248 $348 (save $100)

Bose QuietComfort headphones$249 $349 (save $100)

Sennheiser Momentum 4$270.23 $379.95 (save $109.72)

Sony WH-1000XM5$328 $399.99 (save $71.99)

Bose QuietComfort Ultra — $379 $429 (save $50)

AirPods Max$449.99 $549 (save $99.01)

Earbuds

JBL Vibe Beam$29.95 $49.95 (save $20)

Echo Buds (2023)$34.99 $49.99 (save $15)

JBL Tune Buds$49.95 $99.95 (save $40)

JBL Tune Flex$49.95 $99.95 (save $40)

Google Pixel Buds A-Series$59 $99 (save $40)

Jabra Elite 4$59.99 $99.99 (save $40)

Echo Buds with ANC$64.99 $119.99 (save $55)

JBL Endurance Peak 3$69.95 $99.95 (save $30)

Samsung Galaxy Buds FE$69.99 $99.99 (save $30)

Jabra Elite 4 Active$68.50 $119.99 (save $51.49)

JBL Live Pro 2$74.95 $149.95 (save $75)

Jabra Elite 5$79.99 $149.99 (save $70)

JBL Reflect Aero$89.95 $149.95 (save $60)

Beats Studio Buds$89.95 $149.95 at Amazon (save $60)

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2$99.99 $149.99 (save $50)

Google Pixel Buds Pro$119.99 $199.99 (save $80)

LG TONE Free Earbuds T90$129.99 $229.99 (save $100)

Logitech G Fits$148.93 $229.99 (save $81.06)

Beats Powerbeats Pro$149.95 $249.95 at Amazon (save $100)

UE Fits$149.99 $299.99 (save $50)

Beats Fit Pro$159 $199.95 (save $40.95)

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro$159.99 $229.99 (save $70)

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II$199 $279 (save $80)

Sony WF-1000XM5$248 $299.99 (save $51.99)

Bose QuietComfort Ultra earbuds$249 $299 (save $50)

Speakers

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3$59.99 $99.99 (save $40)

Ultimate Ears Boom 3$99.99 $149.99 (save $50

Bose SoundLink Flex$119 $149 (save $30)

JBL Boombox 3$349.99 $499.99 (save $150)

Best early Cyber Monday laptop deal


Our pick: 14-inch MacBook Pro (M3, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD)
$1,449 at Best Buy (save $150); extra $50 off for paid My Best Buy members



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 laptop deals

HP Pavillion x360 14-dy2050wm (Intel Core i5-1235U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)$449 $599 (save $150)

Apple MacBook Air, 13.3-inch (Apple M1, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) + 3-year Apple Care+ plan — $888.99 $1,178 (save $289.01)

Lenovo Legion Slim 5i Gen 8 (Intel Core i5-13500H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) — $979.99 $1,349.99 (save $370)

Dell XPS 15 9530 (Intel Core i7-13700H, Intel Arc A370M, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) — $1,099 $1,499 (save $400)

Microsoft Surface Laptop Studio 2 (Intel Core i7-13700H, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) — $2,092.99 $2,399.99 (save $307)

Best early Cyber Monday TV deal

Why we like it

Of the bunch of 85-inch Samsung TVs on sale this week, we think the deal on the Q80C is the best bang for your buck. An 85-inch Samsung QLED for less than $2,000 should speak for itself, but let’s quickly get into why this is such a steal: The Q80C is Samsung’s most advanced QLED (before meeting the Neo QLED side of the family), packing 96 precisely-lit local dimming zones for the meticulous brightness necessary for watching sports in the daylight. Also present are advanced gaming features like a 120Hz refresh rate and VRR support.

More early Cyber Monday TV deals

Amazon 43-inch Omni 4K TV — $279.99 $399.99 (save $120)

Amazon Fire TV 55-inch Omni QLED Series 4K$439.99 $599.99 (save $160)

LG 70-inch UQ70 4K TV$498 $648 (save $150)

Toshiba 75-inch C350 Series 4K Fire TV$499.99 $799.99 (save $300)

Samsung 55-inch The Frame QLED TV — $977.99 $1,497.99 (save $520

Sony 55-inch A80L OLED TV$1,399.99 $1,699.99 (save $300))

LG 77-inch B3 Series OLED TV — $1,799.99 $2,899.99 (save $1,100)

Best Cyber Monday kitchen deals

Why we like it

Is it the Stanley cup that became internet famous? No, it’s not. But is it double insulated, able to keep warm drinks hot for up to 10 hours, cold drinks cold for up to 18, cup-holder friendly, and overall more practical for on-the-go use? Absolutely.

More Cyber Monday kitchen deals

Hydro Flask All Around Tumbler (20 oz)$20.96 $27.95 (save $6.99)

Stanley the Quick Flip Go Bottle (36 oz)$21 $28 (save $7)

Yeti Rambler Straw Cup (26 oz)$26.25 $35 (save $8.75)

Hydro Flask All Around Travel Tumbler (40 oz)$33.71 $44.95 (save $11.24)

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth water bottle (32 oz)$30.62 $44.95 (save $14.33)

Ninja Air Fryer XL (5.5-quart)$89 $129.99 (save $70.99)

Ember Mug 2 — $109.99 $149.95 (save $39.96)

KitchenAid 5.5-quart Stand Mixer$249.99 $449.99 (save $200)