So what is Cyber Monday anyway – some kind of fabricated holiday by companies to get people to buy more products? Well, yeah, basically. It’s a little reminiscent of “Love Day” on the Simpsons:
Love Day was a Summer holiday made up by Mr. Costington when he wanted to increase Summer sales to keep Costingtons from falling into bankruptcy. The holiday was put together to scam people into buying Love-themed toys and gifts for no reason whatsoever. The scam turned out to be a success.
OK, that’s a little cynical because Cyber Monday actually does have some real value, but Cyber Monday was actually created by the National Retail Federation to get people to shop. According to Wikipedia:
Cyber Monday is a marketing term for the Monday immediately following Black Friday, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the United States created by companies to persuade people to shop online. The term made its debut on November 28, 2005 in a Shop.org press release entitled “‘Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year”.
So, yes, it’s kind of made up. But as the internet grows and more people look to shop online, the day is having more validity–so much so that it will not be entirely surprising if Cyber Monday comes to eclipse Black Friday in the future.
This video made the rounds on Black Friday and was met with reasonable amounts of bewilderment.
It’s not totally clear if the footage of Black Friday rampages are a new phenomenon in just the past couple of years—because if they are, this is extra demented as these days it makes less and less sense to have to brave these sorts of crowds to get a good deal.
I don’t want to turn this into an advertisement for shopping online, i.e.; Savings.com‘s M.O–well, scratch that, yeah I do. Because the idea of having to risk bodily injury to go shopping doesn’t make a lot of sense–especially considering it’s not necessary whatsoever.
This is not to say that shopping in a store doesn’t have its rewards. Of course it’s important to actually pick up an object and see how it feels in your hands, or to try on a piece of clothing. And shopping in a store surrounded by Christmas decorations and music can put you in the Christmas spirit. But if all you’re after is the lowest price on an item, there’s no real reason to rush through a crowd like the video above. Comparison shopping online makes way more sense than going to one store and hoping that’s the best price available. One method is to browse in-store, then make your purchases online.
All you need is a site with free shipping and % off and you can potentially save more than any Black Friday excursion starting at 4 am. And this is going to become more a part of Black Friday in the future–where it’s going to start looking like “Cyber Friday” more and more.
Take a look at this shopping app for Amazon, dubbed a “bookstore killer,” but it’s a game changer in general. The app scans the bar code of an item and then searches Amazon for the lowest price of that item. It’s pretty unfair to retailers as they’re effectively becoming a showroom for Amazon, but it makes sense for the savings-minded folks out there.
It points to how in-store shopping is actually taking second fiddle to online shopping. Sure, maybe there are some people who think of Black Friday shopping as some kind of sport, but if all you’re after is saving money there’s not a lot of reason to leave the house.
How about you–have you ever woken up at 4 am to do the Black Friday thing? Did you find deals that you couldn’t possibly find anywhere else? Or do you think day after Thanksgiving “SuperBowl of Savings” is going to become less and less common?