Cyber Monday got its start in 2005 as the online shopping version of Black Friday. And as this rundown of the hottest Cyber Monday deals will show, 2013 has the potential to be the best year yet.
Shoppers camped out on their PC, tablet or smartphone cracked the $1 billion mark on the Monday after Thanksgiving in 2010 and scooped up $1.5 billion in Cyber Monday deals last year.
Will the web’s most highly anticipated shopping day hit the $2 billion mark for Cyber Monday 2013?
Maybe, but retailers like Amazon (AMZN) are keeping their special offers closely under wraps — good luck finding an official leaked price list this early in the game. Still, thanks to hints on retailer websites and previous years’ offerings, we have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
Here’s what you are most likely to see as the hottest Cyber Monday deals for 2013 — and, of course, one spoilsport.
Hottest Cyber Monday Deals: Video Game Consoles
Sony’s (SNE) Playstation 4 and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox One both launch in November and there’s a good chance of shortages as gamers rush to snap up the next generation video game consoles. So don’t expect either of these to show up in this year’s Cyber Monday deals.
However, video games are always a big part of the event, and Cyber Monday 2013 will be no exception. Retailers will be starting the push to clear out older consoles and games to make room for the new. So expect some fireworks here.
In 2012, Walmart (WMT) knocked $100 off an Xbox 360 Skylanders bundle, offering the Xbox, two wireless controllers, a Skylanders video game (one of the year’s hottest titles) and an exclusive figurine for $159 on Cyber Monday … with free shipping.
If you’re in the market for a console on Cyber Monday 2013 — and one that still offers good graphics without the steep price tag of the next generation — expect PS3 and Xbox 360 bundles to be among the hottest Cyber Monday deals.
Hottest Cyber Monday Deals: HDTVs
You’re not likely to find a fancy new 4K TV on sale for Cyber Monday 2013 — at least not a name brand one from Sony or the other leading manufacturers.
But bargains on HDTVs have become a part of the post-Thanksgiving tradition, and that should be the case for Cyber Monday 2013 as well.
In fact, if you’re looking for big ticket savings and the hottest Cyber Monday deals, start with HDTVs. Last year, online shoppers at Walmart were able to scoop up a 55-inch Samsung (SSNLF) 3D LED flatscreen for $1,498. That’s $1,000 off its regular price.
Sears (SHLD) was offering up a highly rated 52-inch Sharp (SHCAY) Aquos LED HDTV for $799.99 as well — which was a savings of over 40% and one of the best Cyber Monday deals.
Hottest Cyber Monday Deals: Blue-ray and DVD Movies
Why not add some titles to your movie collection too — especially if you happened to snap up a new HDTV as one of your Cyber Monday deals. Amazon offered a slew of recently released Blu-ray movies last year for under $10, including blockbuster titles like Iron Man 2 and Thor that look amazing in 1080p.
The online giant is bound to be offering up deeply discounted movies and TV series as part of its effort to be home of the hottest Cyber Monday deals for 2013 as well.
Be prepared to keep logging on the website to get the titles you want, though. Amazon tends to offer different movie titles during different hourly windows — “Lightning Deals.”
I waited a few minutes too long last year and missed out on one of the best Cyber Monday deals: A complete Battlestar Galactica TV series on Blu-ray for $109.99 (it’s currently selling for $299).
You snooze — or go offline — you lose.
Hottest Cyber Monday Deals: Cheap Android Tablets
Over the past few years, cheap Android tablets have become another of the traditional Cyber Monday deals. In the past, these have been no name versions that no-one has ever heard of, like the Double Power T-711 that Walmart was selling online for $59.
The cool thing this year is that all the big Android tablet makers have released new versions and they kept last year’s flagships in the line-up as entry level models. Expect Amazon to offer a deeply discounted Kindle Fire HD and I’m sure you’ll be able to pick up the 2012 edition of the best-selling Google (GOOG) Nexus 7 for a song.
The best thing about the Android tablets you’ll find online in the hottest Cyber Monday deals for 2013 is that this year they won’t just be cheap, they’ll be name brand, high quality ones. Just a year old.
Don’t Count on Cyber Monday Deals: from Apple
And our Cyber Monday deals spoilsport? Well, it’s bound to be Apple (AAPL).
Who wouldn’t want a deal on a hot new iPad Air or iPad Mini? How about a cheap iPod Touch, or even a few bucks off a gold iPhone 5S?
Well, don’t count on it.
For the past few years, Apple’s idea of offering shoppers a bargain after Black Friday and Thanksgiving has been to eat the shipping charge. Considering that shipping over $50 is already free, that’s even less exciting than it sounds in the world of Cyber Monday deals.
Don’t expect Apple to be feeling any more generous than usual for Cyber Monday 2013.