Thanksgiving (Thursday November 26) is quickly followed Stateside by Black Friday and Cyber Monday - two of the busiest shopping days of the year. Yesterday Americans were said to have spent €1 billion online as they got the jump on their Christmas shopping.

The Irish Times Consumer Affairs Correspondent Conor Pope has said that Irish spending this weekend will be up from €40 million in total last year to over €120 million in 2015. Today along consumers are expected to spend €100 million which is up a third on last year's figure.

You'd be forgiven for thinking that Christmas begins when the kids go back to school, never mind when the Halloween decorations are put away. Similarly the special offers for Black Friday or Cyber Monday are coming out earlier each year and stateside, friends and family have been bombarded with enticing emails. Once again the trend has crossed the Atlantic with a large number of UK and some Irish companies jumping on the bandwagon.

Black Friday

Since the early noughties Black Friday has been the name given to the day after Thanksgiving when Christmas shopping officially kicks off.

Given the limited number of holidays in America it would be surprising if it was made into an official national holiday but for a number of government employees and school goers, it is. The annual four-day weekend, which comes only weeks away from Christmas is a seller's dream.

Cyber Monday is just an extension of Black Friday except this time around instead of enticing customers into stores; marketers came up with this term to encourage people to shop online.

Bottom line? All of this means more great shopping offers in store and enjoy but shop wisely. Firstly make sure that the bargain is a bargain is only a bargain if you would pay full price for it! And...January can be a long month! You'll find a lot more info about what's on offer where on Facebook and on Twitter #BlackFriday #CyberMonday

Taragh Loughrey-Grant