All savvy shoppers out there are aware that each year Black Friday comes, and it is the best time of the year to score fantastic deals on all the hottest new items such as toys and electronics.

Regardless of getting a head start on all your Christmas shopping, or simply because it is fun to save money and take advantage of all the terrific sales, it is now increasingly common to see a lot of shoppers lining up outside their favorite stores extra early on the first Friday morning after the Thanksgiving day.

More than that, this sales phenomenon has also spread to the Internet, where many merchants offer special coupons and their special discounts. Not to mention the extra attraction of being able to avoid the big crowds and save big bucks from the comfort of your own home, without crazy lines and cold weather. But what is the deal, after all, is said and done, with the Black Friday and the Cyber Monday? Here are some facts you might not be aware of, as well as the top tips on how to get the best of this year’s deals!

The History Of Black Friday And Cyber Monday

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, retailers began making increasingly big advertising pushes to stimulate their Christmas sales shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday to maximize and elongate their shopping season. As a result, Black Friday became known as the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. And since many workers are given the Friday off on the day after Thanksgiving Thursday for a long weekend, it soon became the biggest shopping occasion.

The earliest reference to the “Black Friday” term was in a 1966 Philadelphia newspaper, which quoted the Philadelphia Police Department using it negatively when referring to the mobs of shoppers and massive traffic jams plaguing the city on that Friday.

An alternative theory refers to two accounting terms. Retailers would soon either be profitable (“in the black”) or incurring losses (“in the red”) according to how good the beginning of the Christmas shopping season is.

Recently, as online shopping became increasingly more popular, Cyber Monday turned into the day when it was the turn of the online retailers to offer lots of great deals and discounts, as an alternative to the crowds present during Black Friday at the brick-and-mortar stores.

Any reasonable person is interested in doing some shopping during Black Friday and also looking for options to avoid the crazy lines outside the stores, as well as the manic rush of people and cars on Black Friday.

So, what are ways to save some money without leaving the comfort of your own home?

Black Friday Shopping Tips

Start With a List

Regardless of shopping for someone else’s Christmas gift or you giving ideas to someone else about your own Christmas present preferences, starting with a shopping list helps to organize your mind. It is always a great idea because it helps you save time and money. Plus, you avoid buying dud gifts that will need to be returned later.

Research Prices Beforehand

Unless you track prices, how will you evaluate the deal in front of you? Doing some online research will also help your list become even more useful. You will get to see the normal prices and realize whether it is worth it getting up early to take advantage of an actual sale.

Pay The Lowest Price

Compare prices at different stores. Some retailers also offer a price match or a best price guarantee – take advantage of them.

Cash Back Programs

If you are making a big-ticket purchase, such as a big-screen TV or some expensive electronics, find yourself a reward to get back some of your expenses.