Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday? Our guide to getting the best deals 

3 min read
November 08, 2023

With these huge sales kicking off the Christmas shopping season, it’s time to get to know what the difference is and which will offer you the best price reductions.

What even is Black Friday? 

Black Friday originates in the United States of America. It is the Friday which follows Thanksgiving day and also marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. 

There are a few competing versions of its origin story: from a financial crash caused by two bankers buying up all the gold; the day when shops went from being ‘in the red’ to ‘the black’ thanks to post-Thanksgiving spending; or the term used by police officers to refer to the chaos of overcrowded streets and out of control shoppers the day after Thanksgiving in 1950s Philadelphia.

Today, Black Friday is associated with amazing deals (and sometimes, unruly shoppers). 

Since it’s been popularised in the UK, Black Friday has become one of the biggest spending days for British shoppers. On Friday 24th of November, big and small companies will be offering huge price reductions and special offers on all kinds of goods and services. 

So what’s Cyber Monday? 

Cyber Monday is the Monday which follows the weekend after Black Friday – somewhere between November 26th and December 2nd. It was created by retailers to encourage people to shop online. It also coincides with the time that companies can guarantee pre Christmas delivery.

So if it’s the high street and brick-and-mortar stores that do Black Friday, then Cyber Monday is for online retailers, who offer big discounts, sales and special promotions. Not that traditional retailers don’t participate. Rather, they will offer exclusive website-only deals on Cyber Monday.

Since its inception in 2005, Cyber Monday has become the busiest day for online purchases. Research suggests that Brits will spend £2.4million a minute – making Cyber Monday even bigger than Black Friday. 

What’s the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday

There are a few major differences between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday deals only apply to online shops, whereas Black Friday is in-store as well. 

Black Friday is no longer a one-day event. Nowadays many big companies kick off their Black Friday sales a week or even a whole month early. Cyber Monday, however, remains just a 24-hour shopping window – so it’s often your very last chance to bag a bargain. 

How to make the most of each?

There isn’t really a day which is best for discounts overall. It all depends on what you’re wanting to buy. 

Typically, if you’re looking for deals on tech, home appliances, kitchenware or Apple products, Black Friday has the best deals. 

Cyber Monday tends to offer even bigger reductions across beauty, fashion and toys.

Make a list

the first way to make the most of these reductions and special offers is planning your purchases in advance. That way you can get the best deals while ticking off your Christmas shopping list.

In a nutshell, the key is to avoid buying a lot of things and focus on saving on the items that you really want.

Do your research

If you have your eye on something, do your research and check the prices now. See what the recommended retail price (RRP) is across different sites and platforms. That way you’ll be sure when a big reduction really is one. 

There are all kinds of resources to help you with this. Check out the guides made by those like MSE or Which?.  Their guides to the best Black Friday deals showcase the biggest discounts from reputable brands and retailers. 

Be careful of scams 

Unfortunately, the excitement and chaos of Christmas shopping can leave us especially vulnerable to being exploited. Cyber crime increases immensely over the Christmas shopping period. 

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has shown how, in 2021, consumers were scammed out of £15.3m with an average loss of £1000 per person! Shoppers ages 19 to 25 are the most at risk.

So make sure you bolster your cyber security measures and research the sites you are buying from. Check out our tips for staying safe while shopping online


Want to know more about your rights? Check out our complete guide to online shopping.

If you have any thoughts on this topic, or any other consumer issues you would like us to cover, feel free to get in touch with us at

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