Two Great Days to Shop Online During the Holidays

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holiday shopping days

As this is my first post on Frugal Rules, I first want to thank John for allowing me to be a part of his wonderful community. I consider John a good friend and I respect what he has done here.  I am also glad to be on the team with Cat and Laurie!

As you read the title of this post, I am sure you are yelling at your screen telling me that you know of the two best days to shop for the holidays. It’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, right? Wrong!

Most people get sucked into the hype of these two shopping days and think they are getting the best deals. We are, after all, getting bombarded with Black Friday ads weeks in advance and get excited for it.  A door buster here and a door buster there.  What more could you want? For me, I just want real deals and a chance to save money when I shop online during the holidays.

With my day job, I get a little more insight into how well some retailers do during the holidays. The numbers can be staggering and quite eye opening. I always love to try to predict how well some retailers will do.

One thing that I found over the years is that while retailers will make their most money on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they don’t usually offer their best deals. Why would they do this? Simple, they know people will be shopping. It is almost guaranteed that people will be shopping on those two days.  All you have to do is make it look like you are getting a deal. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that you are actually getting one.

Great Days to Shop Online During the Holidays


OK, enough of the the background into what two days that I feel are great to go shopping. These two days are really the best for online shopping, but you can also score some good deals at brick-and-mortar stores. It just depends on the retailer and the inventory they carry.  Over the past few years, I have noticed these two days come up time and time again with some really awesome and genuine deals.  I will explain.

  • Green Monday – If you have heard of this day, then good.  If not, here is a quick background. This day was coined by an eBay employee and has grown in popularity over the years. Green Monday is the second Monday in December. While the day is not as famous as Cyber Monday, you can get better deals when you shop online during the holidays. As Christmas gets closer, retailers are desperate to bring in sales. They will discount more items at deeper percentages.
  • Last Shipping Day Before Christmas – Now, this isn’t technically a specific day. The reason is because this day is different for each retailer. Many of the bigger retailers make the shipping cutoff close to 7-8 days before Christmas depending on what day of the week it falls. If you have a favorite retailer, then check them out online to find out their last shipping day. This is when you will score the best deals of the whole season. Why? Retailers need to rack up as many sales as they can and they need to get rid of the inventory they have on hand. It costs them money to hold inventory, so they will discount it deep in order to move it.

When I shop online during the holidays, I am almost positive that I am going to get people to share their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals with me. I get it all of the time when I share these two days. I am OK with that. I understand that some will score some good deals on the big shopping days. There are deals to be had every day, but you have to be willing to hunt for them. If you truly understand the retail environment and the law of supply and demand, then shopping on the days I mentioned would make sense.

Keeping the Buying Cycle Alive


The excitement of shopping dies down a little bit after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so retailers use Green Monday as another injection. They need that excitement to keep going each and every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

This is how they maximize their profit. The last shipping day exists for the procrastinators. While it doesn’t usually pay to wait, it can really work to your advantage if you do it with your holiday shopping. You can save a lot of money by shopping the last week before Christmas.


What do you think about my tips?  Do you shop on these days?  Would you want to wait until the last week before shopping for the holidays?


Photo Courtesy of Salvatore Vuono

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Grayson is the owner of Debt Roundup and Empowered Shopper. He also co-owns Sprout Wealth and Eyes on the Dollar. After going to battle and winning against consumer debt, he decided it was time to learn how to use credit wisely and grow his wealth. He discusses all things personal finance and is not afraid of being controversial. He also is a freelance writer and blog manager.

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  • DC @ Young Adult Money says:

    Very cool to see you on Frugal Rules twice a month now! I definitely can’t disagree with you because it sounds like you have more background into when the best shopping days are, but I would be absolutely shocked if I got a better deal at Kohl’s than I did on Black Friday. I essentially got boots for my wife, three dress shirts (and not the cheapest brand, the one I like), a nice sweater, and a winter coat for $156 including free shipping. Additionally I got $45 to spend at a future date, no strings attached. I just can’t help but think that Black Friday was the day to shop, at least at Kohl’s.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Now, I am not saying that you won’t get deals on these two days. They are typically the two largest shopping days of the year. You probably did get a deal that can’t be beat, but these retailers are not knew to this game. They don’t sell things below a certain profit margin. What they typically do is raise the price a few weeks before these days and then discount it back down.

  • Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way says:

    Great tips Grayson! I didn’t try to go shopping before the last week of Christmas but thanks for your tips I might save a lot for doing this. Unfortunately I already bought gifts for my family and friends, maybe I will do that next year.

  • Holly@ClubThrifty says:

    I think we’re done shopping this year thankfully! Greg still has to get something for his parents but that’s it. By the way, what do you buy a 55 year old couple that has everything?!?!

    • Grayson Bell says:

      That is a good feeling! I know the perfect give for someone that has everything….NOTHING! It is so simple, yet effective 😉

  • Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says:

    Slick, Grayson!!!! Thank you SO much for this post. I always knew that Black Friday and Cyber Monday weren’t the best shopping days, but I had no idea what days were the best shopping days. Now I know – thank you!!! Great to have you on the team, friend. 🙂

  • Matt Becker says:

    I like the idea of buying on the last shipping day. That’s definitely something I’ve done before, though not exactly intentionally, haha.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      You have to be careful with that day, but if you know the retailer and they have good reliability, then you should be good to go.

  • Dee @ Color Me Frugal says:

    Thanks for the tip! I had not heard of Green Monday before, but since I have not yet started holiday shopping that may be my day…

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Green Monday is relatively new compared to the others. You will usually get better deals as it gets closer to Christmas.

  • ChanceCallan says:

    I went to Michaels for wool on the day before Black Friday. I needed more so returned on Black Friday thinking I might save money on the last two balls of wool I needed. The price of the wool had been jacked up almost 3x the price I paid on the previous day. Yep……JACKED UP! I asked why and was told that there was a 50% off coupon for Black Friday. I did not receive a coupon at my house and they refused to apply the credit at the cash. Even with the coupon, it would have been 50% off the jacked up price which is still more than the price I paid the day before Black Friday. My eyes have been opened to the tactics used on Black Friday.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Sorry to hear about your experience. This is a very common practice for most retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They have to jack up the prices in order to discount them so much. They will want to make money, so that is the only way to do it. Considering how much money is spent, it is amazing that more people don’t realize it. That is the power of the word “Sale”!

  • Catherine says:

    Nice to see you here 🙂

    I loath shopping but if I have a list and plan of attack its a million times easier! I also like shopping online, avoiding stores all together!

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Thank you Catherine.

      I am not a fan of shopping either. Having a list is one of the best ideas. Know what you are looking for and only buy that. Doing research prior also helps a lot.

  • Budget and the Beach says:

    It seems like they have a shopping name for every day in December! lol! I have to admit to not paying much attention to any deal since I hardly buy anything at all. I think they should give that a name in December. “Don’t buy anything Thursday and spend time with your loved ones having coffee or going for a walk.” Too long? 🙂

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Yes, they certainly do. I do think you might have a long there and it might not work well as a promotion. That being said, they did just start a “Giving Tuesday” where it is just dedicated to giving instead of spending.

  • Kim@Eyesonthedollar says:

    My daughter really wants some stuff from the Frozen movie, but it’s all new and not really on sale. I am going to wait as long as I can, but shipping is so hit or miss where we live that I probably won’t wait until the last possible day. She would think she’s been bad and Santa skipped her!

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Understood. If you know that your shipping is hit or miss, I wouldn’t wait until the last week, but you can wait a little longer to see if a sale comes up. Not many newly released items go on sale.

  • Shannon @ The Heavy Purse says:

    Great to see you here, Grayson! Retailers and marketers have done a great job training us to believe the best deals can be found on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While I’m sure there are some great deals to be found on those days, they knew we’re in a shopping mode and definitely take advantage of it by luring us in with a few select deals. I can’t say that I’ve purposefully shopped on Green Monday before but now I may wait to do anymore shopping to see what kinds of deals I can find. Thanks for the tips!

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Thanks Shannon. Glad to be here. They know the game all too well. All they have to do is put Black Friday or Cyber Monday in their advertising and people start frothing at the mouth.

  • E.M. says:

    What you said definitely makes sense. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are *the* days to shop, and people will believe everything is a great sale and do less research. Might as well take advantage of the consumers. Retailers need to get rid of excess stock to make room for returns after Christmas, so it also makes sense they would have more discounts as the day grows closer. Green Monday sounds vaguely familiar, I will have to check it out as I still have some shopping left to do. Thanks for the tips!

    • Grayson Bell says:

      You hit the nail on the head there E.M.. When people hear these two days, they are expecting a sale, but that doesn’t mean you are really getting one.

  • Debt Hater says:

    I always knew that Cyber Monday could be tricky, a lot of times retailers will increase their prices on Saturday or Sunday only to put things on “sale” on Monday. That’s not to say that there aren’t deals out there but you need to do your research before purchasing something.

    I had never heard of Green Monday though, will be something to check out. The last day/few days before Christmas shopping ends does make sense though as they want to try and move a few more units of anything they can!

    • Grayson Bell says:

      You are absolutely correct. While there are some deals around, you can’t expect these retailers to push that many deals.

  • kelly @stayingonbudget says:

    I will have to mark my calendar for those two days! Thanks for the post!

  • Bryce @ Save and Conquer says:

    Nice tips. I had heard of the last shipping day to still make Christmas, but had not heard of Green Monday. I am still hoping that the price of the gift I want to buy for my wife will come down. It didn’t budge on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. I will keep my eyes peeled on Green Monday but probably just purchase it on the last shipping day to make Christmas even if they don’t lower the cost.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Green Monday is relatively new and just growing in popularity. While it is not a huge money maker for retailers, it doesn’t provide people with better deals or actual deals.

  • james @ says:

    Shopping before the Christmas and the closer to Christmas the better, online retailers know the season is slowing down and they tend to provide a higher discounts.

  • Cat says:

    First of all, love having you on the team!! Making it stronger for sure! Secondly, this is great to know! I have my eye on two things for our nursery, and the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals were super lame from this retailer so I didn’t get them!

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Thank you Cat. I am happy to be a part of the team. I can’t say that the particular retailer will put what you want on sale, but the odds are better as it gets closer to Christmas.

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life says:

    I didn’t know about either of these. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for deals now that I do!

  • Kyle | says:

    Good tips Grayson. Actually the last day to shop online before Christmas is an official day and this year it is December 18th. It is called Free Shipping Day and it is the day where several thousands retailers go in to offer free shipping on your purchase with guaranteed delivery by Dec. 24th. Here is the link: – great day to shop online.

    • Grayson Bell says:

      Hey Kyle. I am well aware of Free shipping day. Though it is official, I have found that it is not the true last shipping day for many retailers. They do participate in the day, but that is just because it is easy promotion. Most already give free shipping during the holidays, but doesn’t mean they will push you the best deals. You can place some orders a few days before Christmas and still get it. It just depends on the retailer.

  • says:

    I have never heard of Green Monday. The last shipping day is sort of a trade secret and is good for anyone looking for a good deal. Pay attention to their “last day to ship and still get it by Christmas” date as a guide.

  • femmefrugality says:

    I had never heard of Green Monday, either! I know what I’m doing in a couple of days…

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