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Why and how to shop Singles Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday

Do you know your shopping holidays? Singles Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday – the biggest shopping days of the season are upon us. With a long list of presents to buy, it’s time you brushed up on what these shopping holidays are all about and how to save the most time and money.

Singles day: November 11th

What began as an obscure “anti-Valentine’s” celebration for single people in China back in the 1990s has become the world’s biggest online shopping day. In 2009 the holiday was adopted by e-commerce giant Alibaba and turned into the commercial success it is today. It is often called “Bachelor’s Day,” referencing China’s gender imbalance as a result of its one-child policy.

In 2017 alone, shoppers spent USD 25-bn in 24 hours, making the shopping holiday four times larger than Black Friday. To encourage purchases, companies offer deep discounts and deals with limits, such as the 2017 promotion of the Chinese spirit baijiu that granted the first 33 customers the chance to purchase a lifetime supply for just 1,111 yuan (USD 1,680). And while the holiday is still primarily celebrated online in China, Single’s Day has become increasingly popular in the US, Singapore, Thailand, Australia, South Africa, and pretty much anywhere else where large populations of Chinese people live.

Shopping tip: If you’re looking to cross some names and gifts off your list, this may not be the holiday for you, but if you want to make sure you get what you actually want this holiday season, don’t miss Singles Day. Bookmark the pages you want to visit and get online early. These deals go quick!

Black Friday: the fourth Friday of November

In 1924, the Macy’s department store chain decided to use its famous New York Thanksgiving Parade to promote a new holiday shopping sale for the Friday after Thanksgiving. Little did they know, but Macy’s promotional blimp parading through Manhattan would go on to start one of the most popular shopping days of the year.

Black Friday is said to have earned its name by enabling businesses operating in the “red” (at a loss) to earn a profit and move “into the black” (profitable) in one day. With so much riding on one day, business and stores have turned the unofficial holiday into a real moneymaker by offering “early bird specials” and “doorbusters” to encourage crowds of people to line up outside stores for limited quantities of extra deep discount items. While Black Friday originated in the US, it’s reach is now global with most major retailers around the world offering special discounts during the fourth Friday of November.

Shopping tip: Do your research beforehand. Find out where the gifts you’re looking for are sold and plan the most efficient route from store to store, hitting opening times if possible.

Cyber Monday: the Monday after Black Friday

Looking to get in on the Black Friday in-store sales frenzy, in 2005, the US National Retail Federation coined the term “Cyber Monday.” The idea was to give online retailers a special celebration of their own. Since its launch, the holiday has achieved world renown and is celebrated by e-commerce stores around the globe.

Much like Black Friday, there are deep discounts on top gift items and a first-come-first-serve mentality. However, unlike the brick-and-mortar Black Friday sales, with Cyber Monday, there is no store open and close times, meaning that promotions often run for an entire 24-hour period. Also, since the sales are held online, there is no geographic limit to Cyber Monday. It is online and everywhere from San Diego to Shanghai.

Shopping tip: In the days leading up to Cyber Monday, you are sure to receive plenty of online ads and emails from your favorite brands. Bookmark the pages you want to visit and search for sites offering deals on the presents you need to buy for friends and family. Last, but not least, check your credit card limits!

Shopping during the holidays can seem a bit overwhelming, but if you make a plan, you’ll not only get your shopping done quickly, but you could save a bunch of money as well.

Happy holidays and happy savings!

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