Black Friday vs Cyber Monday – What’s the Difference?


Nate Taylor

With Black Friday deals already rolling in, its counterpart Cyber Monday is just around the corner as well. While both days share a similar purpose, it’s important to know the differences to get the most out of the annual events.

Many shoppers look forward to Black Friday and Cyber Monday as they are a source of large discounts and sales. This year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are occurring on Nov. 27 and Nov. 30, respectively. Since the two days are close together and share a similar objective, young shoppers may be confused about the differences between the two.

Traditional Black Fridays would be extremely unsafe amid current COVID-19 regulations. While many stores will still offer in-person shopping, there will be modified hours and more online deals to prevent the usual doorbusting frenzy.

The following stores are available for curbside pickup in the morning, eliminating the need of going into the store: Best Buy, GameStop, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Target and Walmart.

Black Friday tends to have better deals because many stores will sacrifice profit to get customers through their doors, after which stores expect shoppers to leave with additional items, according to

My family buys big tech items like TVs or laptops on Black Friday, then waits until Cyber Monday for smaller items so we can do it from home.

— Aditiya Vemuri

“My family buys big tech items like TVs or laptops on Black Friday, then waits until Cyber Monday for smaller items so we can do it from home,” sophomore Aditya Vemuri said. “This year, we will wait until Black Friday to buy a family laptop.”

According to writer and editor Sarah Pruitt, Black Friday originated when “police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city.”

As a result of the influx of shoppers, police officers would have to work on the Saturday preceding Thanksgiving and work longer shifts to deal with additional crowds, traffic and inevitable shoplifters.

For Cyber Monday, Justin Moyer writes in a Washington Post article that the term was coined when online retailers noticed that “the Monday after Thanksgiving…was quickly becoming one of the biggest online shopping days of the year.”

The sales uptick was because Americans would return to their high-speed internet connections at work on Monday and purchase the items they liked in stores from Black Friday.

Overall, it is important to research and strategize which products to buy on which day if the best discount is a high priority. Black Friday has better deals on large tech items, while Cyber Monday is for smaller items like clothing. Besides that, it is simply a decision of travelling to a store or browsing online at home.