The absolute best deals: Thanksgiving vs. Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday

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Confused at all the different retail promotions lately? Here's how to tell them apart (and find the best deals).
Confused at all the different retail promotions lately? Here's how to tell them apart (and find the best deals).
Photo: DealNews

Black Friday is held up as the ultimate shopping day, but Thanksgiving actually offers more awesome deals. Of course, there are great sales to be found throughout the Black Friday season, with Cyber Monday deals adding their fair share of savings to the mix.

However, if you’re looking for a specific type of product, it’s hard to know whether Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday will give you the best chance to score that bargain.

Because most shoppers will be looking for deals on these three days specifically, we gathered data from the past four years of Thanksgivings, Black Fridays, and Cyber Mondays to determine which day offered the best sales on any given product category. From TVs to toys to tablets, we’ve got the skinny on when you’re most likely to find a killer price low on anything.

But before we get to the results, let’s discuss the amorphous blob of time that Black Friday has become.

Black Friday is a Season

We often refer to this time of year as the “Black Friday season.” We’ve been tracking the expansion of Black Friday for years, and at this point the sales have grown to encompass nearly two weeks. Thanksgiving deals can start as early as the Monday before, Black Friday sales almost universally start on Thanksgiving, and we’ll begin seeing Cyber Monday sales on Saturday. In fact, Cyber Monday has become Cyber Week, with excellent offers still appearing as late as the Friday after Black Friday.

So as you’re reading the guide below, keep in mind that we’re discussing trends as opposed to hard and fast rules. The savvy shopper will keep an eye out for the best deals throughout the Black Friday season — no matter what the calendar says.

That said, on to the findings!

Black Friday sales

Ditch the Turkey, Get the Doorbuster

We can’t stress this enough: If you can only shop on one day this year, go shopping on Thanksgiving. Of all the product categories listed above, half show a higher concentration of Editors’ Choice deals on Turkey Day. This is especially true in the big-ticket electronics categories, where everything from TVs to iPads sees steep discounts. In fact, about 41% of all the deals we listed on Thanksgiving last year were hot enough to be marked Editors’ Choice.

Of course, these Thanksgiving deals are really just early Black Friday deals. With many stores choosing to start Black Friday sales on Thursday, there’s little wonder that this holiday has become a shopper’s dream. If you’d rather linger over your pumpkin pie, rest assured that many of these sales will be available online. And many will be live on Black Friday — even if the doorbusters are gone.

This post is syndicated from DealNews. It first appeared here.