Black Friday vs Cyber Monday: Which one has better deals?

Cyber Monday is here, but are the discounts as good as they were on Black Friday? Here's everything you need to know

Mother and daughter sitting together on the sofa while looking at Black Friday sales on an iPad
(Image credit: Getty Images)
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As we head into Cyber Monday, we have checked the prices of the deals mentioned in this article and made sure all products are still in stock.

When it comes to the Black Friday vs Cyber Monday debate - which day actually has the better discounts? Every November, families are given the opportunity to snap up a whole host of bargains in the lead-up to Christmas, but it will be especially important this year as the cost of living remains high. 

Black Friday has been and gone for 2023, but Cyber Monday is here, which signals the last day of discounts for many retailers. According to research by Finder.com, Brits are expected to spend £900m less over Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2023, compared to the 2022 sale. However, they are still predicted to spend a whopping £3bn. 

Historically, Cyber Monday is when retailers take the in-store discounts of Black Friday and offer them online. But are the discounts as good as Black Friday?

Quick links to Cyber Monday sales

If you haven't got time to scour the sales, don't worry, we've done it for you. We've found the deals that offer the best value so you don't waste your money on a dud deal:

What's the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

The difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is largely a thing of the past. Historically, the main difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday was the type of products that retailers were discounting and where the discounts were available. Cyber Monday used to be for smaller electronics, appliances, and clothes while Black Friday was for bigger ticket items, like TVs or Apple products. And while the shopping on Black Friday was traditionally done in-store, the shopping on Cyber Monday was online only. But this isn't really the case anymore, especially when retailers start slashing their prices well in advance of Black Friday itself.

A study from Credit Karma found that Brits prefer shopping online, with 70% saying that buying online and via mobile is their preferred shopping method, up from less than half before the pandemic. With the trend moving more towards shoppers buying online, retailers tend to prioritise online discounts where they are not limited by opening hours or in-store stock levels. 

There are also a whole host of popular retailers that don't have shops on every high street or in your local shopping center, such as Amazon, Asos, Cult Beauty, and Ao.com. But these retailers love to get in on the discount action when Black Friday rolls around.

However you choose to shop, make sure you understand your consumer rights and how to get your money back if you need to.

Which day has the better deals - Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

The level of discount you can get on Black Friday is usually pretty similar to Cyber Monday but, ultimately, it depends on the retailer. Many will switch up the products that are discounted throughout the sale, and you don't always get a heads-up. But others might offer extra reductions towards the end of the sale, especially if they have seasonal stock they are looking to get rid of - but it's not guaranteed. A study undertaken by money.co.uk, reportedly found that shoppers only really consider a discount to be a real bargain if it is a reduction of 25% or more - highlighting that consumers are expecting genuine deals at a time where their finances are stretched thanks to the high cost of living. 

The best way to approach the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales is to be prepared. Come up with a list of the items you are looking to buy, which retailers sell them, and make a note of their pre-sale price. You can also use tools like Camel Camel Camel and Kelkoo to get alerts of discounts, and in the case of Camel Camel Camel, check historical prices of Amazon items to see how low the price has been before and when items tend to be cheapest - which, importantly, may not necessarily be over Black Friday or Cyber Monday. 

If you see something on your list at a discounted price you are prepared to pay, then whether you snap it up or hold off hoping for a further discount is a bit of a gamble. So it's worthwhile framing it in your mind as to whether it is a need or a want. Needs are worthwhile getting when you see a price you are willing to pay. Your wants might be worth holding out for.

If you find that it's later discounted by significantly more, you may be able to buy it again at the cheaper price and return the more expensive one when it arrives. 

Our pick of the best Cyber Monday deals

These prices remain largely unchanged from Black Friday, but you'll need to be quick as many retailers end their sales at midnight tonight. 

Barbie Dream Boat | WAS £79.99, NOW £29.99 | Amazon

Barbie Dream Boat | WAS £79.99, NOW £29.99 | Amazon

There's more than 60% off Barbie's Dream Boat this Cyber Monday, making it a great price for a Christmas pressie for the Barbiemaniac in your life. But you'll need to be quick - as the Amazon sale ends at midnight.

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet | WAS £114.99 NOW £54.99 at Amazon

Amazon Fire 7 Kids Tablet | WAS £114.99 NOW £54.99 at Amazon

There's a huge 52% off the latest edition of this Amazon Fire 7 Kids tablet (aimed at kids aged 3-7), meaning it's less than £55 in the Cyber Monday sale. Better still, it's not just the least popular coloured case that's discounted - the blue, purple and red colourways are all discounted by the same amount. Result!

COSORI Air Fryer Lite 3.8L air fryer | WAS £99.99, NOW £79.99 at Amazon

COSORI Air Fryer Lite 3.8L air fryer | WAS £99.99, NOW £79.99 at Amazon

This air fryer made it into our list of the best air fryers for families so it's great to see it discounted on the last day of Amazon's Black Friday Week sale. It's exclusive to the online giant so you won't get it anywhere else - and £79.99 is the cheapest it's ever been. I'm also seeing an option to apply a voucher and get an extra 30% off. Go, go, go!

Still not quite sure, you can read our COSORI Air Fryer Lite review here.

LEGO Harry Potter The Battle of Hogwarts Castle, WAS £74.99, NOW £54.99 | Very

LEGO Harry Potter The Battle of Hogwarts Castle, WAS £74.99, NOW £54.99 | Very

Adults and kids alike will love this LEGO Harry Potter set, especially if they already have other Potter-themed LEGO. With £20 off, it's one to snap up before it's gone!

Burberry Touch Eau de Parfum 100ml - WAS £83, NOW £41.50 (Save 50%) at Look Fantastic

Burberry Touch Eau de Parfum 100ml - WAS £83, NOW £41.50 (Save 50%) at Look Fantastic

There's still a huge 50% off this designer fragrance for Cyber Monday, so if you are looking to bag an early Christmas present for a loved one, or yourself, then don't sleep on this mega discount.

LEGO Disney Princess Moana’s Wayfinding Boat | WAS: £29.99, NOW: £22 at Amazon

LEGO Disney Princess Moana’s Wayfinding Boat | WAS: £29.99, NOW: £22 at Amazon

Moana fans will adore this LEGO version of her Wayfinding boat, that comes complete with figures of Moana and her mother. Have the soundtrack on in the background and you can almost feel the sea air! If you're wondering if it's cheaper elsewhere, Argos is selling it for £22 too - but remember to factor in any delivery costs (or parking charges if you want to pick it up in person!)

Barbie Dreamhouse WAS £349.99, NOW £174.99 | Amazon

Barbie Dreamhouse WAS £349.99, NOW £174.99 | Amazon

Barbiemania continues well into the festive season, with 50% off this latest version of Barbie's iconic Dreamhouse - this is also the cheapest it's ever been on Amazon. 

How to find the best discounts over Cyber Monday?

Follow these tips to make sure you get the best bargain and avoid overspending in the Cyber Monday sales:

  1. Look out for the previous price so you can check how much of a discount you actually get on Cyber Monday.
  2. Check which retailers sell the products you want to buy and check them all before you purchase.
  3. Sign up for email newsletters for your favourite retailers so you can be notified as soon as their discounts become available. It's also worth following them on social media too. You might even find you get offered special extra discount codes or early access to offers before the general public.
  4. Avoid just trawling through pages and pages of deals if you are shopping online, it's a surefire way to spend money on stuff you don't really want or need.
  5. Sign up for a cashback site in advance to earn a little bit of cash while you spend. Read our simple guide if you're not sure how cashback sites work.

Retailer tricks to look out for over Cyber Monday

It's important to remember that while Cyber Monday gives customers opportunity to get some serious discounts, the main aim is for retailers to make money. And according to credit card company Capital One UK, there are a few hidden tactics that retailers use to get you to spend more:

  1. Retailers using cookies online to show higher prices on the same item depending on spending behaviour
  2. 'Last chance to buy' labels make shoppers feel pressured to buy now before missing out
  3. Some retailers will put prices up in advance of Cyber Monday so that the discount seems larger when the sale rolls around
  4. Prices changing depending on time of day and day of the week
  5. In store, most popular items are quite often harder to find so you have to look around the whole shop and are likely to see something else you want to buy and spend more money.

Commenting as part of Capital One UK's One Good Thing campaign that aims to improve consumer trust, retail analyst Natalie Berg says: “It’s easy to get swept up in the Black Friday frenzy, but it’s important to remember that it’s only a bargain if you need it. 

"Retailers often inflate prices just before Black Friday so as to create the illusion of jaw-dropping discounts, so it’s essential that consumers do their homework.”

While you'll find loads of major retailers slashing their prices for Cyber Monday, it's a really difficult time of year for smaller, independent businesses who can't afford to offer discounts in the same way. To help, Not On The High Street is challenging shoppers to buy nothing this Cyber Monday, unless it's from a small business.

How to avoid Cyber Monday scammers

With the popularity of Black Friday and Cyber Monday meaning a rise in the number of people looking for discounts and offers online, that unfortunately also means that the risk of being scammed increases. 

To keep your money and your personal information safe, only buy from reputable websites you recognise, check reviews using Trustpilot, and be cautious before clicking on any windows that might pop up while you shop online offering something too good to be true. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

Be savvy about any calls you may receive claiming to be from your bank about unusual activity too. These scammers instil fear in you, to force you to act quickly without thinking. Instead, hang up and, if you are concerned there might be some truth to it, call your bank via the telephone number on your bank's official website or pop into your local branch. 

Is Cyber Monday worth it?

Cyber Monday is only worth it if you manage to get something you were going to buy anyway at a discounted price. Otherwise, it can provide huge temptation, with lots of 'hurry, less than five items left' or 'deal ends in two hours' messaging that piles the pressure on to encourage you to shop and spend money unnecessarily. 

However, if you are prepared with a list, and you've done your research, and you shop around to check sale prices at different retailers, it can be a really savvy way to get your Christmas shopping done at a fraction of the price. 

If you are after a gift for yourself, or maybe even a gift for a new mum, check out our guide to the best perfumes of all time to see what kind of discounts are available in the Cyber Monday sales.

Consumer Writer & Money Editor, GoodtoKnow

Sarah is GoodtoKnow’s Consumer Writer & Money Editor - which means she writes about everything from this year's top toys and the newest toy releases, to discounts on days out and childcare costs. Sarah is passionate about helping mums save money wherever they can - whether that's spending wisely on the right toys and kidswear or keeping on top of the latest news around child benefit, the motherhood penalty. A writer, journalist and editor with more than 15 years' experience, Sarah is all about the latest toy trends and is always on the look out for toys for her nephew or Goddaughters so that she remains one of their favourite grown ups. When not writing about money or best buys, Sarah can be found hanging out with her rockstar dog Pepsi, getting opinionated about a movie or learning British Sign Language.