Is Black Friday Better Than Cyber Monday? Here's What Savvy Shoppers Should Know

The countdown has officially begun for Thanksgiving, but as soon as you gobble up that turkey, there's something else you need to think about — holiday shopping. If you don't want to drain your bank account, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are definitely the time to buy your holiday gifts on sale and save as much as you can, but that begs the question: Is Black Friday better than Cyber Monday? Well, that kind of depends on what you're looking to buy (and maybe how much of a morning person you are), but I'll break it down for you and help you understand the differences between the two biggest shopping days.

Both days offer huge sales, though on Cyber Monday you can shop from the comfort of your own bed (read: Pants are totally optional), and Black Friday requires you rising at the crack of dawn, still in a food coma, and fighting your way through crowds. So it seems Cyber Monday might have an advantage — but what if everything from Black Friday is already sold out by Monday? Are the sales even lower on Friday? Is Monday just the leftover stuff no one wanted?

Before you decide which day is better for you to shop, it's probably a good idea to understand the differences between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here they are:

1. The Type of Items On Sale

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Generally speaking, electronics and home items have better deals on Black Friday, whereas Cyber Monday offers the best deals on clothing. If you're looking to score the latest smart phone or upgrade your TV, shop on Friday, but save fashion-related purchases for Monday.

2. Item Specific Versus Store-Wide Sales

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Black Friday offers serious markdowns, but it's usually just on individual items, so if you don't have a specific item in mind, Cyber Monday might be better because it has retailer-wide discounts.

3. The Duration Of The Sale

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Black Friday generally just lasts for the day (though it can start as early as Thanksgiving night), but Cyber Monday has kind of morphed into Cyber Week, so you have longer to take advantage of sales.

4. The Ease Of Comparing Prices

It's definitely easier to compare prices at various retailers online on Cyber Monday — if you're already at the store on Black Friday, you aren't about to leave to find out if your item is cheaper elsewhere.

5. Convenience

Joshua Lott/Getty Images News/Getty Images

This one speaks for itself — who wants to get up at 4 a.m. and fight hoards of eager holidays shoppers? If you don't like the thrill of waking up early to shop at the mall, Cyber Monday is definitely for you.

6. Seeing What You're Buying In Person

Buying online is always a risk because a lot of time, the items can look different in person, or they might not fit like you thought they would. Black Friday has the advantage of being able to see the item or try it on before you buy it, but if you already know the item is right, or don't mind returning, then it's no big deal.

7. Lower Prices

Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Honestly, both days have their advantages. Black Friday can definitely offer the lowest markdowns on popular items, but if items didn't sell out, Cyber Monday can mark them down even lower. It's kind of a gamble, so if there's something specific you have your eye on, then you might want to hit up Black Friday. If you're just browsing, then wait for Cyber Monday and get further markdowns on what didn't sell out Friday.

8. Competition

On Black Friday, if you put an item in your cart, it's yours — but that isn't necessarily the case on Cyber Monday. Just because you add it to your shopping cart, doesn't mean you're in the clear. It could have sold out by the time you go to check out.

So which one is better? It's kind of up to each individual person, what kind of item you want to buy, how eager/motivated you are to wake up early, etc. Both days will offer great savings and each has as many pros as they do cons. My advice? Shop on both days!

Images: Unsplash; Pixabay; Pexels