Black Friday and Cyber Monday Offer Deals for Savvy Shoppers

Black Friday is traditionally one of the busiest shopping days of the year, when stores attract customers with extended hours and severely reduced prices. Last year, 24 percent of Black Friday shoppers were already filling their carts at 4 a.m.

But there are signs that in 2011, even the day’s blowout sale prices won’t be low enough for some shoppers. One in four shoppers plan to be “thrifty” this holiday season, according to a study on 2011 holiday spending. Only 44 percent of consumers surveyed said they’ll go deal-hunting on Black Friday, down from 46 percent in 2010 and 52 percent in 2009. Just 6 percent of consumers say their holiday spending will be “extravagant.”

A recent study by Google found that Black Friday is still a popular search term for 2011, meaning there are probably a number of consumers still planning to take advantage of post-Thanksgiving deals.

DailyFinance points out that the biggest discounts will most likely be on consumer electronics. Many stores – especially big-box retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy – offer deals on laptops, HDTVs and high-end phones. Consumers should also watch for sales on tablet computers and e-readers, although as DailyFinance points out, it’s unlikely that Apple’s popular iPad will see any plunge in price.

Jewelry is looking to be another popular item for 2011 holiday shoppers. Google found that 57 percent of shoppers have something sparkly on their shopping lists, with watches being a particularly hot item.

If the thought of braving crowds on Black Friday doesn’t appeal to you, you may want to take advantage of Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Cyber Monday is typically the year’s busiest online shopping day. In 2010, Cyber Monday sales topped $1 billion, thanks to online retailers offering deals like those found in stores on Black Friday.

There are signs that online holiday shopping could once again be a popular trend in 2011. Forty-six percent of tablet owners say they’ll use their device to buy holiday gifts. Fifty-three percent of smartphone users say they will use their device to purchase presents, do product research, redeem coupons and use apps to help with their shopping decisions.

If you plan on doing any holiday shopping on Cyber Monday, you make want to take extra steps to ensure your online safety. The event is a prime opportunity for scammers to cheat unsuspecting customers. It might also be wise to read the fine print on any deals, so you’re sure you’re getting the price and the product you want.

Will you be taking advantage of any sales on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Will you be spending more or less on gifts this holiday season?

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