Cyber Monday is to online shopping what Black Friday is to brick-and-mortar retail stores. And Cyber Monday 2011 is expected to be a big one -- possibly record-setting.
But, just as with Black Friday, everyone seems to be having a sale, and finding what you actually want online and not just what's cheap can become a chore.
So what sort of Web-only deals are out there? Here are a few from some major retailers.
Discounted goods on Amazon.com can be found pretty much all year. So while a sale is nothing new for the online retail giant, the company is promising that it's Cyber Monday discounts will be significant. However, unlike most retailers, Amazon's Cyber Monday promotion isn't lasting just one day, but instead all week. Head over to Amazon.com for details.
Barnes & Noble
Amazon's e-reading and tablet rival, Barnes & Noble, is having a one-day Cyber Monday sale too. Among the promotions is a free $25 Barnes & Nobe gift card with the MasterCard purchase of a Nook Simple Touch e-reader, a Nook Color tablet or Nook Tablet. If you use any other payment method to buy a Nook you'll get no free gift card.
The bookstore chain, which sells DVDs, Blu-Rays, CDs and toys too, is also offering 30% off of any one item, 50% off New York Times bestselling books and up to 70% off Blu-Ray movies. Head over to BN.com for details.
Best Buy is the largest bricks-and-mortar consumer electronics retailer out there, but it doesn't shy away from Cyber Monday. Among the price cuts: a 55-inch Samsung LED-backlit TV, normally $1,500, is selling for $999.99, the HTC Titan running Windows Phone and the HTC Wildfire S running Android are both free with a new two-year contract, point-and-shoot cameras are $40 to $80 off, a number of laptops are on sale including a 15.6-inch Toshiba Satellite for $279.99, and Barnes & Noble's Nook Simple Touch e-reader is down to $79.99 from $99.99. Head over to BestBuy.com for details.
Dell also regularly offers discounts on its website, but for Cyber Monday it has discounted 21 specific items, some of which are already sold out. The computer maker dropped the price a variation of its Inspiron 14R from $499.99 to $399.99, selling out its run of that laptop. Other laptops are on sale to, but at only $50 off rather than $100, such as the Inspiron 15, Inspiron 15R and Inspiron 17R.
Dell is also offering a $600 discount, down to $798, on a 46-inch Sony Google TV with 1080p resolution. And the Nintendo Wii with the New Super Mario Bros. game is down $15 to $134.99. Head over to Dell.com for details.
Staples is offering a wide range of discounts on gadgets, furniture and office supplies, including as much as $200 off Toshiba and Hewlett-Packard laptops, as much as $130 off printers, as much as $100 off point-and-shoot cameras and up to 50% off office chairs. Head over to Staples.com for details.
Verizon Wireless' Cyber Monday sale is nearly the same as its Black Friday promotion: the Motorola Xoom 4G tablet is down to $199.99 and the HTC Droid Incredible 2, Sony Xperia Play and Motorola Droid Pro are free, as long as you get each item with a new two-year data plan as well. Head over to Verizon.com for details.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: A screenshot of Dell's Cyber Monday sale at Dell.com. Credit: Dell