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Will Cyber Monday outdo Black Friday in 2016?

It is the season to be jolly; and in the United States, that translates into holiday shopping! While the shopping season has already started, the two important shopping festivals – Black Friday and Cyber Monday – have put on their gloves and are in the ring to fight for the most popular shopping day title. Media is rife with predictions and marketing agencies with their surveys.

While the terms still are a talking point, they haven’t been unleashing a shopping frenzy yet. In fact, many retailers have now spread out their promotions over the entire months of November and December, making it a mini gift-buying season with new deals released periodically, rather than concentrating them on a single shopping day or weekend.

What is Black Friday?

The day following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Since 1932, on the fourth Thursday of November, most major retailers in the US open very early – as early as overnight hours – and offer promotional sales. This year, Black Friday is on November 25.

Touted as the busiest shopping day of the year since 2005, the term Black Friday was coined in 1961. It represented the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”.

And what is Cyber Monday?

The Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, Cyber Monday is a shopping festival created by marketing companies to boost online shopping. In 2005, senior vice-president of the National Retail Federation Ellen Davis coined the term and Cyber Monday made its debut on November 28, 2005.

This year Cyber Monday will be observed on November 28.

Black Friday Vs Cyber Monday

Traditionally, Cyber Monday deals are online-only and offered by smaller retailers. Amazon Black Friday Specials is organised by big retailers, and generally give better deals on technology.

Black Friday sets itself apart from Cyber Monday with a stronger focus on flash sales, doorbusters, and individual product deals. While Cyber Monday is more product-centric, Black Friday has a focus on storewide sales.

According to a newswire report, this year Cyber Monday will become the top shopping holiday of the year by dethroning Black Friday in popularity. Quoting an online survey conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs on behalf of Offers.com, the report indicates that a whopping 89% of respondents are searching for deals or coupons online while holiday-shopping. Consumers are increasingly opting for convenience of online shopping, rather than jostling the crowds for deals.

Holiday numbers

Earlier, Adobe Digital Insights had shared optimistic 2016 holiday predictions. According to the prediction, Black Friday sales are expected to exceed $3 billion, an 11.5% increase over last year. Cyber Monday’s sales will exceed $3 billion, an increase of 9.4% over last year. About 5% of customers will drive 35% of the revenue.

However, there is a twist. A recent news article says that Veterans Day – the first peak of several peak spending days during the holiday season – failed to kick off holiday spending. It reports that the sales were $380 million lower at $1.16 billion. The report, quoting Adobe Digital Insights, indicated that the sales registered a measly one per cent growth year-on-year, when the predicted growth was 16%.

But at end of the day, these are still predictions. Both the events will attract consumer attention during the ultra-competitive holiday shopping.

Upshot of the shopping holiday

When it comes to the faceoff between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there is no clear winner. Both can offer huge savings to the informed shopper, and both can now be navigated online. According to experts, there is a simple way to look at it. If a consumer is keen on tech or doesn’t have time on Friday, then he can shop on Monday. At end of the day, the two shopping holidays still offer the most spectacular discounts and deals.


45 Black Friday deals of 2016 you can’t afford to miss

The one thing that all Americans are eagerly waiting for and are ready to jump in is the Black Friday sale. With trade analysts worried about how Americans are going to spend their shopping weekend for the start of the holiday season, retailers have already opened their doors to some of the biggest and most amazing sales of the year, in stores as well as online.

From shopping directly at the stores and counters to buying online, the crowd will be present in huge numbers, and retailers are prepared to seduce them with the best of deals. So here are some of the biggest and best deals of 2016 that deserve your time over the mega shopping weekend:

45 Deals You Have To Grab On Black Friday

1. H&M has announced up to 80 percent off on select men, women and kid’s clothing, as well as home goods. For every purchase over 60 dollars, the brand is offering additional 20 percent whether you buy in store or online.

2. Target has begun its 10 days of deals for Black Friday and is offering up to 30 percent off on select clothing, accessories and shoes. Some of their best deals are on the iPad Air 2 available at a discounted price of $274 (originally priced at around $400), the Xbox One 2 Console Bundle available at a discounted price of $250 (originally priced at around $300), along with a free gift of a $40 gift card, Powerbeats 2 Wireless Earphones available at a discounted price of $90 (originally priced at around $200) and Hoover Quest 700 Robotic Vacuum available at a discounted price of $200 (originally priced at around $350). In addition, it is also offering a buy one get 50 percent off on various Disney, Star Wars and Marvel toys.

3. Apple has reduced the price for its Apple Watch Series 1 to $198 at Target, from its original price of $269.

4. MAC has announced the sale of its special annual shade that is going to be available only on the 24th of November. The deep purple Vamplify lip gloss will come as part of a kit, complete with a lip liner and gel liner while stocks last.

5. Skin Inc. has announced a flat 25 percent off on its customized serum that promises to take care of your skin’s need this holiday season. All you have to do is, take their quiz, check the three ingredients that you feel will work best for your skin type and place an order. The 25 percent off is also available on all its products on the site.

6. Cover FX has started its deals right from Thanksgiving, with 25 percent off on all purchases that are over $20. You can also grab their special buys that are exclusively available for Black Friday. Some of their best deals are on their CC creams, BB creams, primers, foundations and more.

7. Stila has announced 25 percent off on all its makeup as well as free shipping for its Black Friday deals.

8. Tonymoly has a buy 5 get 5 free face mask offer, where you buy 5 of their face masks and get 5 face masks absolutely free. Make sure you use the code BLACKFRIDAY to get the best of deals.

9. Amazon is offering some must-grab offers for Black Friday, with a flat 50 to 60 percent off across brands such as Disney, Fisher Price, Hot Wheels, Barbie and more.

10. Cabela’s is offering some interesting deals with prices slashed down to almost 50 percent across select merchandise. Grab their hoodies at more than 50 percent off and make use of their mega discounts across a range of outdoor and hunting gear.

11. J.C. Penny is offering a staggering 60 percent or more off on almost all its products. Some of their best deals are on the cookware sets, with Cooks 12 piece cookware set available for $30 (originally priced at around $100), Pyrex eight piece bowl set for $10 (originally priced at around $56), Farberware 15 piece knife set available at $20 (originally priced at around $80) and a range of blenders, coffee makers and griddles available at $8 (originally starting at around $50).

12. Kohl’s is selling some of its small appliances for as less as $7, while their big hits for Black Friday seem to be the deals on the Sony Playstation 4 and Xbox One S Minecraft game consoles, each priced at $250. For every $50 that you spend, you get an additional gift of $15 worth of Kohl’s Cash that you can use to buy anything at their stores between November 27 and December 5 2016.

13. Staples is offering all its sales exclusively on Black Friday, with some of their best deals being an Amazon Fire Stick TV for $30 (originally priced at around $40), Google Chromecast for $25 (originally priced at around $35), Canon Pixma MG3620 printer for $30 (originally priced at around $80) and the Amazon Kindle Fire 7 inch tablet for $33.33 (originally priced at around $50).

14. Toys R Us is giving a 30 percent to 70 percent off on various toys through the weekend, both in their stores as well as on online shopping.

15. Walmart is offering some amazing deals, with their best buys being the Samsung Chromebook 3 available for $119, almost 750 DVDs and Blu-ray movies starting from $2, almost 90 video games starting from $8 and their pajamas and slippers available from $4.75.

16. Office Depot and OfficeMax are offering huge deals on their purchases made in store for Black Friday. Some major deals are offered on their Virtual Reality headset that is available for $10 (after an 80 percent off on original price), between 50 to 60 percent off on their computer monitors, Kenneth Cole luggage and bags, Bluetooth headphones and speakers as well as office furniture.

17. Sears is offering mega discounts on their Kenmore appliance pairs that are available at a discount of 49 percent or more, an offer to choose between NordicTrack treadmill or an elliptical machine for $600 (with a saving of about $900 to $1,000) and jeans available for $10 (originally priced at around $24 to $39). They are also offering mega discounts across various snow blowers, mowers, Craftsman tools and more.

18. Michael’s has offered huge deals on various products, with discounts of up to 70 percent or more, and even some more on the Black Friday ad coupons. Some of their biggest crowd pullers are going to be the 7 foot pre-lit artificial Christmas tree available for $80 (originally priced at $230), scented jar candles available at $2 (originally priced at around $6), ornament frames available for $2 (originally priced at around $5), between 60 to 70 percent off on various picture frames, and all watches available at a flat price of $5 (originally priced at around $10 to $15).

19. Dr. Brandt is offering a staggering 45 percent off across all products on their site till the 27th of November. In addition, they are also offering a 40 percent off on all eye creams, as well as free shipping on all orders.

20. Wander Beauty is giving a flat 25 percent off on all purchases on the 25th of November, if you use the code BLACKFRIWB, and a flat 30 percent off on all purchases on the 28th of November, if you use the code CYBERMONDWB.

21. Anastasia Beverly Hills is offering a 40 percent off on contour kits as well as a 20 percent off on their most popular brow products, in addition to many more discounts.

22. Glossier is offering a flat 20 percent off on all its makeup and skin care products across the site.

23. Josie Maran is giving a flat 25 percent discount on all its products across the site.

24. H2O+ Beauty has announced a flat 40 percent off on all its products when you buy on their site, in addition to a surprise gift. It will also offer free shipping for orders that are $35 or more.

25. Soap & Glory is giving a buy one get 50 percent off on the next offer, when you buy their products at Target.

26. Avon is giving a 20 percent off on all purchases worth $45 along with a free Tote Bundle on all purchases worth $60 after the discounts. It is also offering free shipping for all orders made online.

27. BrowGal is kicking off its Black Friday deal with a flat 25 percent off on all online orders when you use the promo code HOLIDAYBROWS. The deals are on till December.

28. Make Up For Walmart Black Friday Ever is giving away its products at huge discounts, with the AquaMatic Shadow available at a discounted rate of two for $15 and the Lash Show Kit available at $22. Their deals are on both online as well as in store and counters.

29. Urban Decay is offering a flat 20 percent off across the entire site on all its products.

30. Disney has come up with up to 40 percent off on its select styles as well as an additional 20 percent off when you use the promo code THANKS.

31. GAP has announced a flat 50 percent off on all its products on Black Friday.

32. Marc Jacobs Beauty is releasing three of its limited edition beauty gift sets only as part of its Black Friday deal, till stocks last.

33. Old Navy is giving a 50 percent discount on all its products across the stores as part of its Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

34. Victoria’s Secret is giving a flat buy one get other at 50 percent off discount, along with a free tote and mini bag on all purchases on $75 or more. For Cyber Monday, you get a flat 20 percent discount on your entire order.

35. Marks & Spencer is offering its Black Friday deals in stores as well as on online purchases, with a flat 50 percent off across various M&S fashion collections, home products and more.

36. Currys PC World is offering huge discounts in store as well as on online purchase, with some of their best sellers being the Samsung Galaxy tablets, Nespresso coffee machines and Dyson vacuums.

37. Coldwater Creek has come up with a flat 20 percent off on all its products on the entire site as well as free shipping with no minimum order value. Make sure to use the promo code CHEER20 at the time of checkout.

38. Donnatienne is offering a flat 30 percent on its entire range of handbags available on the site, but only on the 28th of November. Make sure to use the promo code GONESHOPPING at the time of checkout.

39. Fitbit Flex 2 has announced its lowest sale price yet, with a price tag of $69 available only at Walmart. It was earlier priced the lowest at $80.

40. Google is offering its Google Home for $39.99 only on Amazon, with a straight $30 drop in price.

41. Canon is offering a price tag of $229.99 for its Canon PowerShot SX530 16MP HS Digital Camera in Black plus a $30 gift card, along with a 32 GB memory card available only at Best Buy.

42. Apple has come out with a $449 price tag for its iPad Pro 9.7” 32 GB WiFi Tablet which will be available at the discounted price only at Target.

43. Sally Beauty is giving you a flat 30 percent off on all purchases worth $50 or more at all its stores across the nation. In addition, for any purchase you make on Black Friday worth $49, you will get a free Power IQ 2 in 1 Ceramic Hot Brush & Flat Iron, which is originally priced at $40.

44. Soko Glam is offering mega discounts as part of its biggest sale of the year. Avail a 30 percent off on all your online shopping (not applicable on sets) and free shipping for any order worth $35 or more. Orders that are $75 or more will also receive a free gift.

45. HP has announced its HP 15-ay068nr 2.5GHz 15.6” Laptop with Microsoft Office 365 at a price of $430 available only at BJ’s Wholesale Club.

12 Black Friday tips and tricks to get you best deals at best price

It’s time for Black Friday 2016 already, and even as you are starting to panic in anticipation of the long queues and the endless noise that is part of the shopping crowd, we tell you how you can ease your woes and make the best of your energy, time, and of course, your money!

12 Tips That Will Ease Your Black Friday Shopping Plans

Try out these expert shopping tips that will help you shop smarter on Black Friday, and let you make the most of your time and effort.

1. Make That Wishlist – Even as you browse through various online catalogues to find out what deals are about to come up, keep selecting your favourite items and add them in the wish list. The best part is that you can always access them on your phone, even as you wait in the queue or run about from store to store.

2. Grab The Apps – Almost all your favourite brands and stores have an app that you can carry with you in your smartphone. So, instead of waiting to be surprised at the store and losing out on precious time, scan the apps and stay updated about what items are going to be available as part of the best deals. It will really help you plan out your shopping time accordingly.

3. Check Specific Black Friday Sites Or Apps – Instead of trying to find out about deals from various brands and stores, go to specific Black Friday sites and apps that can offer you curated information about the most happening deals across stores and sites. You can also take a look at our list of the 45 hottest Black Friday deals for 2016. Some such sites that can offer you all the information on Black Friday deals are RetailMeNot.com and TGIBlackFriday.com.

4. Compare And Hunt – Even before you go all gaga over that particular Black Friday ad that you saw about something you were meaning to pick up, make sure to do a little homework and compare the prices. Use a price comparing site, such as PriceGrabber, to help you compare the prices of the products you are planning to buy. If nothing else, it will show you whether or not you are really getting a good deal on something as part of a Black Friday sale, or if you can skip it and pick up later instead.

5. Go Online – Believe it or not, some of the best deals are even better when you shop for them online. In fact, you will see that the online deals are open even before the deals in store are on, so it is a good way to check for your specific shopping list online first, and then head out to the store. Look out for lightning deals and online ads that will showcase upcoming deals for Black Friday. Not just that, some online sites also allow you to book a particular Black Friday item online and avail the discounts, and later collect it from your nearest local store. In case you do not find it online, you can head out to the store on the main day.

6. Plan Your Electronic Shopping – Some of the best deals on electronic items are always available on Black Friday. So, if you are a gadget freak and love your gaming consoles, tablets, smart phones, smart watches and all of these wonderful goodies, make sure to get your electronic wish list ready and prepare to grab them during the massive sale weekend. The Black Friday deals that you get on electronics are undoubtedly the best you can expect to get through the year, so focus, plan and shop accordingly.

7. Be An Early Bird – If getting more out of the best deal is what you are looking for, make sure to queue up at the store before dawn, or even better, around midnight before the sale is officially even open. Some of the big brands are known to add extra gifts for their early customers by offering additional discounts or free gifts. It could be anything from a gift card to coupons that give you additional discounts on your overall purchase.

8. Split Up To Shop (With Your Group) – It is almost impossible to grab everything alone on your list on a Black Friday. Instead of missing out on great deals and not being able to find what you are looking for, a good way to do this is to plan an outing with friends. Make a list of which person goes to which store and who has to pick up which item Black Friday 2016 Ad. The more people you have in your group, the easier it will be for you to spread out and reach for more.

9. Get A Gift Receipt – Considering the fact that much of the items you buy will also be shared as gifts, it is important that you remember to ask for a gift receipt. A gift receipt will mention the item you bought, as well as the date of purchase, but will not mention the price, as it is a ‘gift’ item. The receipt will make it easier to return the product in case it has to be returned or exchanged for any reason.

10. Start From Thursday, Not Friday – If you are looking to maximise your Black Friday deals, the best day to start hunting is Thursday, and not actually Friday. Even though the biggest and most exclusive deals may be available on the main day itself, most stores have started to open their doors to the special deals a day in advance, which is, Thursday. Also, Black Friday will have the maximum number of shoppers at any given store, so if there are some items that you know will not be on huge discounts but that you still need to buy, you could well pick them up on Thursday. Also, most online stores will start their Black Friday sale from Thursday itself. So make sure to check those out as well.

11. Make Best Use Of Gift Cards – A lot of the brands offer huge benefits in terms of gift cards, when you shop for a particular amount or product. While doing your overall spending, calculate the amount on the gift card and try to use it at the same time, as it can help to bring down the price even further. Not just that, if certain brands or stores do not allow using the gift card on the same day or on the same purchase, you can always exchange it for another gift card at a gift card exchange site, such as Raise.

12. Stay Energised – While this is not really a shopping tip, it is definitely going to help you shop better. Remember that shopping on Black Friday means going without real food for hours, as you stand in queues or run from one store to the other. In such a scenario, make sure you have an early start and stock up on something filling to eat before you head out for your shopping. Remember to carry enough water or fluids to last you for some time, as well as stock up on some fruits, nuts or granola bars to munch on when you feel hungry. After all, it won’t really make sense to stand in a queue for hours, only to faint with hunger or exhaustion just when you are about to reach out for that item.