3 Sales Events to Help You Avoid Holiday Shopping Madness

We’ve all heard of Black Friday: the Friday after Thanksgiving when hoards of shoppers flock to malls and department stores at ungodly hours of the morning for dirt-cheap prices. I’m all for unbelievable sales prices, but I could pass on standing in line outside in the cold at midnight. Not to mention the fact that the sheer thought of the massive crowds of people gives me enough anxiety to make my skin crawl.

Black Friday crowd

Which would you prefer? This…

I know I’m not alone. Maybe you feel the same way. If only there was a way to snag some awesome deals without even leaving the house – better yet, without leaving the bed. Oh wait, there is: online shopping! Every year more people are getting their holiday shopping done online. So much so, that three new deal days specifically for online shoppers have been added to the holiday shopping calendar.

Whether you are a retailer or a consumer, you can benefit from these three online sales days.

Cyber Monday The Monday after Black Friday has become known as Cyber Monday. This day is equivalent to Black Friday, minus all of the things that make Black Friday a nightmare. Consumers can take advantage of incredible sales prices from their favorite retailers without leaving the comfort of their own home. To make things even easier, there are sites available that list all of the participating stores and map out all of the sales. According to comScore, online shoppers spent $1028 million on Cyber Monday in 2010. comScore reported even higher numbers last year, with consumers spending $1.25 billion on Cyber Monday. This year Cyber Monday falls on November 26.

Green Monday Green Monday takes place on the second Monday in December. The name of the event was established by eBay when they noticed that sales spiked on this day because it’s the last day that consumers can place an order online, take advantage of shipping deals, and still receive their orders in time for Christmas. Knowing that online shoppers will be on the prowl for last-minute gifts, this day would be ideal for your company to host a promotion. According to comScore, consumers spent $954 Million online on Green Monday in 2010. Last year, that number was up to $1.1 billion. Green Monday falls on December 10 this year.

online shoppers

… or this?

Free Shipping DayWe can thank the folks over at for establishing Free Shipping Day. It was created as a means of extending the online holiday shopping season by offering free shipping with a guaranteed delivery before Christmas Eve. Thousands of stores sign up to participate each year, and similar to Cyber Monday, there is a site that keeps a running list of all of the participating stores. comScore reported that shoppers spent $942 million online on Free Shipping Day in 2010. For 2011, they reported that consumers spent $1.072 billion. This year Free Shipping Day falls on Monday, December 17.

Over the past few years, each of these events has surpassed Black Friday in total online sales. With more and more consumers taking to the web for their holiday shopping, your business may want to plan a special promotion for one or all of these deal days.

What do you think? Have you participated in any of these deal days before? Will you be doing your holiday shopping online or braving the storm in stores? Is your company planning any online promotions for the holiday season?

Images courtesy of mia.gant and robert.barney.

Jenna Markowski

Jenna has a much easier time writing about the media and pop culture than she does writing about herself. She enjoys the simple things in life, like puns and typography. She is an avid fan of pop-punk, Halo 3, Spider-Man and origami, with a slight Taco Bell obsession. Her spirit animal is either a bulldog or a panda bear. You can also connect with Jenna on Google+.


  1. amy

    I’ve done the whole Black Friday experience, I don’t enjoy it in the least. Like you, the thought of large crowds of people all stampeding towards $50 TVs makes me break out in a cold sweat. I’d heard of the days you mentioned, but never knew what exactly they were and when they occurred. Now I do and I’ll be taking full advantage, of course not Cyber Monday though, you know “work” and stuff 😉

    It seems every year I buy more and more items on line versus going to the mall, but I still love shopping in brick and mortar stores around the holidays. I get my grande peppermint mocha and soak in the sights and sounds of the season happening around me. And now I just realized I have turned into a 57-year-old man apparently, sigh. Oh well.

    I can’t believe there’s only 58 days left before Christmas- yikes!!! At least I’ll be prepared now. Thanks Jenna!! Awesome post 😀

    • Jenna Markowski

      Yeah, I did Black Friday once, and I actually had to work at some crazy hour like 2 a.m. when I was working at Old Navy. It was cuckoo bananas. Never again.

      Haha, I do enjoy boppin’ around the mall during the holiday season, but not on Black Friday. There are plenty of other sales going on at normal hours of the day. You can’t really enjoy the experience when everything is that crowded and rushed!

      I can’t believe there’s only 58 days left, either! Where did 2011 go?! Thanks, Amy! 🙂

  2. Mandy Kilinskis

    Going into stores during Black Friday afternoon terrifies me, so I don’t even want to think about how awful it is in the morning. You can keep your early morning stampedes, I’ll be sleeping.

    I’ve found that lots of retailers will still give you fantastic prices on Black Friday, and online-only retailers like Amazon have started to match a lot of the advertised Black Friday prices. So I can submit and order at 12:15 and then go to bed. It’s a wonderful feeling.

    Though I’m still a fan of Cyber Monday. So much of my money has been lost to Cyber Monday deals. It really is nice to have great prices without having to fight other people in aisles for them. I’m very likely to shop around on Cyber Monday, so if anyone would like my business, take note. 🙂

    • Jenna Markowski

      I’m with you, Mandy. I prefer sleeping over shopping any day of the year, but especially on Black Friday.

      While I was researching for this post I read that a lot of people do the same thing as you — place an order at midnight, and then sleep in! That’s the way to go!

      I’d never heard of Cyber Monday until this year, but now that I have I will probably be joining everyone else and going crazy on Amazon. 🙂

      • Amanda

        Same here! I am doing more online shopping each year now, and enjoy it so much more than going to the store! I like the idea of Black Friday, but the lines are terrible, and everyone out at 5am is mean! I’ve found that places online, like offer deals on black Friday, just like the big box stores–and most of them have free shipping too. It’s a much better way to shop for the holidays. =)

  3. Jen


    Sorry for all the screaming, I’m just so very excited to know about these online sale days now. I had no idea these existed. Free shipping day sounds amazing!

    I will still partake in black Friday however, because there is just something about holding the deal in your hand, but I will also be taking advantage of the other great online sales too (I can’t get to every store at 5am the day after Thanksgiving).

    • Jenna Markowski

      I’m glad that this post helped you! When I started reading about these different sales days, I was like “hmmm, I have never heard of any of these…I bet other people are clueless, too!” So I’m happy to share the information!

      You are brave enough to go into a store on Black Friday? Good luck to you! I’m sure you’ll score some awesome deals!

  4. Joseph Giorgi

    I had NO idea that these events/days existed. Nice breakdown!

    Cyber Monday, huh? Sounds intriguing. I’ll definitely have to do some browsing that day to see whether the online deals are any good. And Green Monday is probably good to know about too (as I certainly wouldn’t want to miss any deadlines), so thanks for the heads-up there as well.

    I plan to do some of my holiday shopping online this year, but since I’m not a fan of waiting ’til the last minute, Free Shipping Day is probably not something I’ll take advantage of.

    Highly informative post, Jenna! 🙂

  5. Jenna Markowski

    Thanks, Joe!

    I’m sure you’ll be able to find some deals that you are a fan of on either of those days. Since you’re not a fan of procrastinating, even if you aren’t doing holiday shopping on Free Shipping Day, you could still indulge in some gifts for yourself! 🙂

  6. Eric

    Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I did my shopping in person. Seriously. All started when I was out-of-state performing for a regional theater where the nearest mall was 90 minutes away, and the only “store” in town was the Wal-Mart. Yep. That was more than enough to get me to shop online. If I want a ridiculous deal, and an adrenaline rush, I’ll go on Ebay and be the guy who bids with .0001 seconds left in the auction.

    Thanks for some great tips, Jenna! Knew about Cyber Monday, but “Free Shipping Day?” Really, the one and only downside of buying things online is paying for shipping, but if I can get it delivered to my door, for free? Chalk up one for the team, there. Awesome stuff!

  7. Amanda

    Great blog post Jenna! I would never go shopping on Black Friday again. It’s way too hectic and never ends up worth it! Thanks for giving us all the heads up!!! =)

  8. Jill Tooley

    Nice, Jenna! You read my mind. Holiday shopping makes me crazy! Last year I bought all of my presents on Amazon or other online sites, and I’ll do the same this year. I took advantage of Cyber Monday last year (I got some kick-ass deals) but I’ll have to check out Green Monday and Free Shipping Day as well. The more saving, the better! 🙂

    I get stressed out just looking at those pictures of packed crowds…Black Friday is truly the stuff of nightmares!

  9. Eric

    It’s crazy how much more “Black Friday (i.e., Thursday night)” has taken off in a year’s time, but really, it has. Simply to stay competitive, most stores offer free shipping with a minimum purchase amount, and most even offer free shipping. I know – one of my favorite stores – REI just offered free shipping on any order for the holiday season.

    My biggest advice? Shop around. Use the “Shopping” tab on Google. Use Ebay. Find it for the lowest price, and pay as little for shipping as possible. It’s easier than ever, now, to find the best price possible…without ever having to leave home!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Though take an extra bit of time if you use the shopping tab on Google. They started prioritizing vendors who pay Google to be listed first. You’ll have to do a little extra digging to make sure you’re getting the best price. 🙂

      • Eric

        Sort by price, low-high.


        Solutions? I’ve got ’em.

  10. Cybernetic SAM

    This is good to know as I have NEVER participated in Black Friday nor do I ever intend to not to mention I hate shopping. I am a huge fan of shopping online though, so this was awesome that you shared this! Thanks!!!!

  11. Rachel

    I am SO not on top of Christmas shopping this year — how is it that time already?? I’ll be avoiding those Black Friday crowds no matter what, though, and probably will take advantage of lots of these online shopping days!

    I’ve also noticed a lot of online outlets have deals on Black Friday itself, or in the week leading up to it. So it seems you can get your Black Friday fix even without leaving the comfort of your bed or waiting until Cyber Monday. 🙂 I’ve been bombarded with emails from stores these last few days telling me about all their deals … yeah, really need to get those shopping lists started. Thanks for the info, Jenna!

  12. Jill Tooley

    Yep, nothing has changed since my comment from last year! I still detest shopping because it gives me massive anxiety, I still practically direct deposit my paychecks to Amazon, and I’ll keep my eyes peeled on Cyber Monday. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get all of our Christmas shopping done before December even begins?

    Many thanks for the update!

  13. Mikey

    This is definitely some useful information for our seasonal shopping. While I’d heard of Cyber Monday, I hadn’t heard of the others and those sound like some awesome deals themselves. And you can count me among those that always tried to avoid Black Friday. I’m not much of a shopper, anyway, but the huge crowds and the horror stories you’d hear each year made sure I wouldn’t leave my house if I didn’t have to on that day. So, of course, I had to work Black Friday at Macy’s last year. Ludicrous amount of people, it seemed like they literally filled the store. Glad I don’t have to repeat that experience this year. In any case, thanks for the informative article! This knowledge is greatly appreciated.

    • Jenna Markowski

      I’m glad you found this post useful, Mike! There are definitely plenty of sales online where you can get deals just as good as the stores without even leaving the comfort of your own home or having to worry about getting stabbed in the aisles! Yikes, working at Macy’s on Black Friday sounds like a nightmare. Congrats on getting the heck out of there before Black Friday this year! 🙂

  14. keith

    I can’t believe people still participate in Black Friday Shopping. I do not have the patience to wait in line that long that early in the monring! Almost all of my shopping these days is done online. I’ll be scoping out Amazon for sure on Friday and Monday!!

    Great Post!

    • Jenna Markowski

      Seriously. I don’t know why anyone even bothers! Most of the deals you can get online, especially on Amazon, are even better deals than the ones in stores, anyway!

      Thanks for commenting, Keith! 🙂

  15. Jana Quinn

    A friend of mine and I went out two years ago for Black Friday. We stood in line for 20 minutes, holding a $5 board game. I realized I wasn’t even sure if it was a line or just people standing around. I put the board game back, went to IHOP for some chocolate chip pancakes, and I was in bed by 1:30. I shopped online in my pajamas at 10:00 the next morning. Way better choice. Like Amy, I love the season itself and being in stores with the Christmas music and decorations, but I’ll bypass the stampeding hordes, thank you very much.

    • Jenna Markowski

      The idea of not being sure if you’re standing in line or just in a crowd of people standing around is exactly what I hate about being in crowded stores on Black Friday. Enjoying pancakes and shopping at home in pajamas sounds like a MUCH better plan than trying to tackle the crowds in stores this weekend! Good call!

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