Black Friday vs Singles Day – What’s the Difference & What to Buy When

Last Updated on 06/11/2023

The holiday shopping season is finally on the horizon, and it is time to take a close look on the the two biggest shopping days of the year – Black Friday and Singles’ Day.

An overwhelming number of deals is expected this year, running from the beginning of November, through to Monday, Nov. 29 (aka ‘Cyber Monday’).

Black Friday deals usually include major discounts on TVs, laptops, headphones, speakers, and smartphones, as well as fashion, toys and home goods.

However, Alibaba’s Singles Day has become the biggest online shopping event in the world, dwarfing digital sales in the U.S. for Black Friday, Cyber Monday combined.

Black Friday and Singles Day: What’s the Difference?

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Black Friday

Black Friday is, traditionally, the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving, and the time when retailers begin the holiday shopping season with steep discounts on a huge variety of items.

Black Friday is often the busiest shopping day of the year in the USA and in Europe, with thousands of leading retailers and hundreds of millions customers.

In recent years there was a clear migration from brick-and-mortar to online shopping on Black Friday, a phenomenon accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Singles Day

Singles’ Day is a holiday that started in China in the 90s as a kind of anti-Valentine’s Day, but was rebranded by Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant, as a mega-shopping day – “the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival”.

Alibaba’s sales on Singles’ Day 2021 have reached more than $75 billion, when shoppers in 225 countries snapped up goods from over 200,000 Businesses.

Singles Day has become even bigger in recent years, as Alibaba’s e-commerce archrival as well as international brands like Gap, Nike, and Macy’s joining in with deep discounts.

So is Black Friday 2021 or Singles Day 2023 Better for Deals?

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A solid rule of thumb is that Singles Day is a better time to buy appliances, electronics and clothes that are made in China.

This includes most of the items that are sold on the popular websites AliExpress and SHEIN, as well as on thousands other Chinese based websites.

Black Friday is usually better when buying on the major western websites – Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, Walmart, Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Asos, iHerb, and in stores.

What to Buy on Black Friday

  • Electronics – Black Friday is usually better for buying computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and other electronic goods by US, European, Japanese and South Korean brands, including: Apple, Dell, HP, Samsung, Sony, Toshiba.
  • Small Appliances – NutriBullet, Vitamix and other leading brands will be cheaper on Black Friday comparing with Singles Day.
  • TV – Most leading TV brands are expected to be on sale on Black Friday, including Sony, LG, and Samsung.
  • Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers – Apple Watch, Samsung Watch, Fitbit and other leading brands.
  • Video Games – Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch.
  • Earbuds – Airpods have been the stars of Black Friday 2020, and are expected to be very popular this year as well.

What to Buy on Singles Day

  • Electronics – Major Chinese brands – Xiaomi, OnePlus, Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO, ZTE.
  • Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers – Amazfit, Xiaomi, Willful.
  • Home Appliances – Vacuums by the Chinese brands: JIMMY, Xiaomi, ILife and Roborock.
  • Gadgets – There is no end to the variety of Chinese gadgets available on Singles Day. Just visit AliExpressBanggoodTomtop, and Geekbuying.

Stores you should check

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