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How to make the most out of Cyber Monday 2021

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Cyber Monday, Nov. 29, has morphed into Cyber Week, or even Cyber Month for many retailers. Halfpoint Images / Getty Images

First comes Black Friday, then comes the coziest shopping day of all: Cyber Monday. Every year, the shopping event offers the opportunity to find deals on holiday gifts, apparel, tech and more, all from the comfort of own your couch or desk. Last year's Cyber Monday was the biggest online shopping day in U.S. history, raking in $10.8 billion. So get your game plan ready now for Cyber Monday 2021, because if last year is any indication, it's going to be big.

Get ready for Cyber Monday 2021

Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, falls on Nov. 29 this year. Many sales start at midnight, but some retailers have scrapped the idea of a one-day sale in favor of an entire Cyber Week instead, or an even longer sales period than that. Most retail sites, from Amazon to Best Buy, typically offer discounts for Cyber Monday, with specials on TVs, appliances, toys, Apple products and more.

Know how COVID-19 will impact Cyber Monday sales

Black Friday has traditionally focused on in-store shopping, while Cyber Monday has traditionally focused on online shopping. But this year, the lines between Black Friday 2021 and Cyber Monday 2021 will likely be blurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, just as they were in 2020.

Last year, many stores offered their best Black Friday deals online only, shipping products directly to customers' homes to avoid crowding in physical stores. Some stores extended these deals through to Cyber Monday, while others offered limited-time deals much earlier than Black Friday.

Expect major retailers to offer holiday deals early in 2021 as well. Target has announced it will bring back its Deal Days sales event Oct. 10-12, with deals on Beats products, fleece, kitchen gifts and more. The company also announced a holiday price match guarantee -- if a lower price becomes available on a purchase made between Oct. 10 and Dec. 24, Target will offer a price adjustment (restrictions apply).

So, in a way, Cyber Monday 2021 will get started as early as October.

A case for starting holiday shopping now

Shipping industry experts, including Port of Los Angeles director Gene Seroka and UPS international president Scott Price, have recommended you start holiday shopping now, even before Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are here. The U.S. is facing a record backlog of cargo ships, and shipping containers are in short supply. Retailers from Best Buy to Nordstrom are already expecting some delays related to these port issues. COVID-19 has also disrupted global supply chains, and some overseas factories are shut down to prevent the illness' spread. So if you're dedicated to finding the hottest toys of 2021, don't wait until the last minute to shop.

Here are some pre-Cyber Monday deals you can shop right now.

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