First there was Black Friday, which has been around for a long time, but wasn’t a huge epic world’s bestest ever deal until about a decade ago. Then came the internet, and three years ago Cyber Monday was born. This year it’s been expanded to Cyber Week. You guessed it: that makes me stabby.

Let’s Stop the Fake Hype
I get it. Retailers are desperate. They got used to people buying too much stuff and spending too much and going into too much debt. Now we’ve stopped cold turkey and retailers don’t know what to do with themselves. So, the deals they are a comin’.

But why do we have to put a fake name on it? Why call it “cyber week,” which might as well mean, “Hey, it’s December, with three weeks to go before Christmas and you have presents to buy. Can we entice you with a sale?” But that’s too long and clunky, so they make up this fake story that this is the week when everyone is shopping and every store is offering deals, and you should be taking them up on it.

The truth is Cyber Monday isn’t the busiest online shopping day of the year. Green Monday is (the first Monday in December.)

But, Yes, You Can Find Good Deals on Cyber Days
Yes, you can find good deals on these “cyber days.” We didn’t take advantage of any Black Friday deals because we value our lives, but we did snap up a $400 laptop to replace our 7-year-old laptop at a Sunday “pre-Cyber-Monday” sale. That same laptop was still on sale for the same price yesterday. I also took advantage of a Cyber Monday deals to snag discounts and free shipping on gifts people wanted, as well as on necessary software for that new laptop at more than 50% off. I didn’t, however, go on an online shopping binge or spend more than I budgeted to take advantage of the deals. And I still only bought the items on my Christmas list and household needs list, but for less than I would have in the store.

The Trick is That the Deals Go On
The Free Shipping offer is already good for the whole month. True, the hottest items won’t be marked down, and the markdowns may be smaller as the season progresses. On the other hand, the hot items were never marked down and you shouldn’t be buying something just because it’s marked down. Cyber Monday has been extended to Cyber Week to bring you new deals every day. Next year it will probably be all month long.

The Best Holiday Shopping Strategy
Find the right gift, find the best price you can during the time you’ve chosen to shop, and then stop. Don’t go back to the mall or back to the online stores hunting for more, better deals. You got the right gift, the recipient will like it, you’re done. I’ve bought roughly a third of my gifts already. I’m just waiting on a few gift lists, and should be able to complete my shopping online the next day. I aim to be done by December 13.

Did you get sucked in by Black Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? Did you log on and shop on Cyber Monday, Cyber Tuesday or Cyber Every Other Day of the Week? Don’t you wish we could just go back to calling it the “holiday shopping season” and forget the hype? Really, do the retailers make more money with these huge deals and the push to shop early? I stop shopping when I’m done, but maybe other people return to the stores for more deals.

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