Consumer Alert: Which has better deals - Black Friday or Cyber Monday?

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For decades, Black Friday was the busiest shopping day of the year – until it was recently overtaken by Cyber Monday. But which of those days actually offers you the best deals?

Some experts say that the Friday after Thanksgiving still offers better overall savings -- but you have to be willing to put in more effort.

"If you’re the kind of shopper who can clip coupons, use coupon apps, sign up for newsletters from major retailers, then Black Friday tends to be the better option," says Janet Alvarez, executive editor of Wisebread.

GUIDE: Stores open on Thanksgiving | Black Friday Deals

You’ll also need to be ready to brave the Black Friday crowds instead of shopping from the comfort of home.

Analysts say that Black Friday has historically offered the best savings on big-ticket items like TVs or computers. Cyber Monday has been best for gadgets and smart home devices.

And Black Friday is good if you shop at major retailers, while Cyber Monday offers great discounts from online sellers.

If you're shopping for technology, analysts say that Black Friday tends to offer better savings for this year's models. Cyber Monday, meanwhile, can get you huge savings on last year's technology. And a year or two old isn’t bad!

"Last year’s technology was still quite great -- even two years ago was quite great," says Leslie Rohrbaugh, with the Consumer Technology Association. "Think of all the smartphone developments, even with smart watches as well, the advancements have been huge, but they’re all top tier products."

Analysts also say that this year, the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be less noticeable than usual because the shopping season is so compressed with the late Thanksgiving. By the time those two events are over, December will be here -- and that means retailers will have to offer their best deals right away.

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