What, Exactly, Is Cyber Monday?

by Miki Hayes

As Black Friday has received more and more attention in recent years, most have become familiar with this major shopping day. But what about Cyber Monday? Cyber Monday falls on the first Monday after Black Friday, and is the fourth and final day of the major post-Thanksgiving sales weekend. But whereas Black Friday entails endless lines and early-rising crowds to snag the best deals, Cyber Monday takes place, as the name suggests, entirely online.

If you're wondering how this virtual shopping day came about, the International Business Times reports that it started in the mid-2000s when retailers noticed that we Americans were not satisfied with a standard weekend of deals. So even when we had to go back to work or school the Monday after Thanksgiving, we were still in shopping-mode. According to Tech Times, the National Retail Federation noticed that online sales increased substantially on this day, and so to encourage and further increase these numbers, discounts and deals were offered. The extra day of promotions stuck, and thus extra, annual motivation for all of our inner-shopaholics was born. It's kind of nice to be rewarded for organized shopping, right?

But even though it might seem like Cyber Monday is just an online version of Black Friday, there are actually a couple of differences.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Besides the fact that you could be snagging crazy deals from your bed, Cyber Monday tends to offer different types of deals. Whereas Black Friday is more about $100 televisions and other electronics doorbusters from retail giants like Target, Walmart, and Best Buy; Cyber Monday gives the smaller and niche retailers that can't necessarily compete with these types of deals a fighting chance for jaw-dropping sales.

Especially if you're looking for fashion steals, Deal News suggests waiting until Cyber Monday as the day to shop. By using data from the past four years to track sale patterns, the site found that Cyber Monday offers some of the best clothing, shoes, and beauty deals. And while, as a sale aficionado, I can't recommend skipping Black Friday in lieu of Cyber Monday, there are a few deals and exclusives that I would hold out for.

1. Urban Decay Naked Vault II

$165 ($274 value),

The first time this coveted set of palettes went live, it sold out fast. So Cyber Monday is your chance to grab this limited edition set at an enviable price.

2. Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow Collector's Palette

$280 ($714 value),

This limited-edition palette contains 30 of Make Up For Ever's popular and pigmented Artist Shadows in a variety of colors and finishes. And it's quite the steal.

3. Bite Beauty Lip Lab Limited Release Set

$298 ($432 value),

This year, Bite Beauty released a limited edition lipstick for each month. Each color sold out within a couple of days. So if you missed out on any or all, on Cyber Monday, you could snag the whole lot at a discounted price.

I don't know about you, but I'm starting my mouse-clicking exercises now.

Images: Foundry/Pixabay; Courtesy of Brands