Maybe you missed Black Friday and Small Business Saturday or you simply like shopping in your pajamas (solidarity sister), then Cyber Monday is the perfect shopping experience for you. Even if you’re shopping down to the wire, there are still deals to be had online; the key is knowing how to find them.
Be Like Santa
Before you begin buying, make sure to have a list of the people you need to shop for, along with two to three gift ideas for them, and/or a price range in which to shop within.
Creating a budget and a list will keep you from going into debt. Think about the expenses and income you have in the coming months and make sure you can realistically pay off any credit cards quickly. Use this and your list to help keep you from being things that you shouldn’t.
Follow Your Favorites
Your favorite online retailers have been tweeting, sharing, and Instagramming some of their best Cyber Monday deals all weekend long in the hope of grabbing your attention and ultimately opening your wallet. Social media has become the best way for stores to reach mass audiences without being intrusive or spamming their customers with email (though some still do). By following your favorite stores on social media, you’re virtually guaranteed to grab the best deals as they happen.
There’s no reason to grab the first deal that hits your inbox. It’s just as important to comparison shop on Cyber Monday than it is any other shopping day of the year. Keep in mind that simply because an online store claims to have the best deal doesn’t mean they will. The good news is shopping around online has never been easier. Chrome apps like PriceBlink, Aliexpress, and InvisibleHand all offer comparison shopping as well as coupon codes, and price tracking (among other things). If you’re on the go (or can’t be caught shopping at work—you know who you are), search for price checking apps for your smartphone to get alerts and shop the best deals.
Look for the Added Bonuses
Don’t check out of the shopping cart until you’ve found the best coupons. Sites like retailmenot, coupons.com, and Groupon can find everything from additional discounts to free shipping on your orders. Don’t want to search the sites? Try out the Chrome extension Honey which adds codes right into your cart when you check out.
Don’t forget to take advantage of stacking coupons, such as 25 percent off your order combined with free shipping. The more discounts, the better!
Don’t Shop till You Drop
While Cyber Monday is a great deal to snag some deals, it won’t be the last day. Rest assured online retailers will be posting deals all month long, just one more reason to keep an eye on the sales post-Cyber Monday. Avoid being sucked in with promises of “the lowest prices of the season”; a teaser line like that one is meant to hook you into spending more than what you’d planned.
Do Your Homework
A little research can go a long way to avoiding post-holiday headaches. Before you type in your credit card number be sure to:
- Find out return and exchange policy.
- Research the product before you buy it.
- Watch out for scams—sometimes a deal really is too good to be true.
Remember to check your credit card for suspicious activity and only shop at sites that have a secure checkout.
If you take your time and pay attention to the items on your must-have list, you can avoid becoming overwhelmed and spending more than you’d planned. And remember, if you aren’t purchasing an item for the holidays, you may find a better deal after the New Year.