Holiday shopping is, for some, an exciting build-up to a morning of neatly wrapped presents and smiling faces. For others it’s little more than an annual money-burning ritual. No one wants to look selfish or cheap when the time comes to exchange gifts. Thankfully the rise of online shopping in the last decade has offered unprecedented ease and convenience to those frustrated by in-store shopping.
This virtual convenience comes at the price of swelling the expectations of friends and loved ones- usually in the form of expensive electronics. It’s hard to live peacefully in a world where your wife and kids know you’re one click away from that new Kindle Fire HDX or Nintendo Wii U. For thrifty shoppers there is no better opportunity than Cyber Monday to inexpensively whittle down that holiday shopping list. If you don’t want to squander this opportunity, look no further for some useful tips!
1. The Wonders of Bundling!
Let’s face the Cyber Monday facts- retailers love offering consumers multiple electronics together at attractive discount. Walmart, Target, and GameStop all know that selling a pile of devices at a collective 30% markdown more than makes up for it in bulk. Be sure to seize advantage of these bundled offerings as they can easily be stripped down into multiple gifts.
This is especially economical for shoppers with several children or grandchildren. A simple triple pack of iPhone accessories or double pack of 3DS games can make the difference between a plump or starving wallet. Even Amazon gets in on the act with its $35 free shipping threshold. Which brings us to…
2. Amazon Prime!
Do you have a friend or family with Amazon Prime? Congratulations! You now have it too! Free Two-Day Shipping on qualifying items and access to Amazon Prime Video is nothing to slouch at! The nightmare associated with awaiting expensive electronics in the mail is diminished when transit is reduced to a paltry two days. Prime Users are able to share their status with up to five relatives or friends- ensuring maximum return on the investment!
What’s that, imaginary Cyber Monday shopper? Your aunt already selected five of your cousins before you read this article? Don’t lose hope- not all is lost! Taking advantage of Amazon Prime is as simple as making your purchases on any of the qualifying six accounts. Just make sure you gift them with something nice for the trouble! Might I suggest a Nintendo 3DS or a Playstation Vita? This brings us to…
3. Be Wary of Recently Launched Game Consoles!
Far too many children in 2006 awoke on Christmas morning to be greeted with the Xbox 360’s ‘Red Ring of Death.’ The fact is that game makers have no way of catching all the bugs in launch consoles- frequently resulting in at least a year of kinks to hammer out. Recently, early adopters of the Playstation 4 were disappointed to be greeted by ejecting discs, faulty HDMI ports, and DOA consoles. Packing up their PS4 for repair will not make for a very ‘Merry Christmas’ for your kids.
4. Stick to the Tried & True!
Buying new tech at launch is equal parts expensive and risky! Try to avoid this nail-biting experience by spending the weekend before Cyber Monday researching any wide spread issues for new releases like the Xbox One and Playstation 4. You’ll have to use your own judgment for whether or not it is a gamble worth taking.
In the meantime, feel free to invest in the extremely reliable Nintendo Wii U- or a last generation console (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii. DS, PSP). In similar fashion, consider passing on a recently released Android Phone in favor of something with a year or two of proven reliability. In this way you can avoid early manufacturing flaws and save a ton of cash in doing so!
5. Keep A Virtual Poker Face!
Cyber Monday shoppers that frequent sites like eBay and iOffer should know the game of poker played every second by buyers and sellers. Never letting on just how badly you want that Samsung Galaxy for the sole purpose of knocking a few precious dollars off the total.
In this economy, you have to save any way you can- and retaining a virtual poker face is an excellent start! Show confidence when dealing with online sellers- discuss terms directly and fairly. If you find yourself dealing with customer service, be polite but firm. You never know when you’ll walk away with free or expedited shipping!