While some fanatical Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers are already at the gates waiting to assault the holiday-shopping season with their fearsome craving for stuff, some retail analysts say the gates are actually open now and the race is already in progress.

Thom Blischok, chief retail strategist for Booz and Company says, “Cyber Monday has begun, essentially. No question about it.”

According to Booz’s Holiday Retail Outlook report, the relevance of borderline-psychotic shopping days, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, are on the decline because Americans have altered their shopping habits. Holiday shoppers “start looking earlier and buying later, and are moving online,” according to Booz’s latest report. “As a result, retailers are discounting even earlier, seeking to convert these early shoppers.”

However, while consumers are finding some exciting early deals, retailers are expected to offer ridiculous bargains for those shoppers who have vowed to keep the Black Friday / Cyber Monday madness alive by rampaging their stores and websites for those widely anticipated mystery sales.

Still, analysts say that more shoppers are not waiting until after Thanksgiving to do their purchasing. A National Retail Federation survey discovered that 41 percent of shoppers start buying for the holiday season before Halloween, but that may not be the best choice. “Early birds face a major danger,” said Megan Donadio, a Kurt Salmon retail analyst. “If people have more time to buy, chances are good they might overspend. If you start spending in October, it’s very easy to get to December and forget about the purchases you made,” she said.

Analysts encourage shoppers to not get too wrapped up in pre-Black Friday and pre-Cyber Monday sales because the prices on these items on the actual days “won’t be worse.”

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