Offering a refreshing alternative to the madness of “Black Friday,” shopping on “Cyber Monday” provides many advantages for the consumer. Not only is the first Monday after Thanksgiving the perfect time to score some incredible bargains, but these sensational deals can be attained without even leaving one’s couch. Since its beginnings nearly a decade ago, an ideal combination of savings and convenience has transformed this day into one of the Christmas season’s best opportunities for productive shopping. In fact, last year consumers spent a whopping $1.4 billion on Cyber Monday alone.
Here are some tips for making “Cyber Monday” a fruitful part of your holiday shopping.
Do Research in Advance
Though the surprising revelations of mega-deals add substantial fun to Cyber Monday, the successful shopper will do research in advance. The task can be challenging, since most retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, rely heavily on the element of surprise to encourage impulse buys. Yet, details are likely to be gradually revealed about many of Cyber Monday’s best deals and prudent shoppers should note the top offers. Registering for e-mail or Facebook updates can provide enticing advanced looks. Some merchants, such as Target, Sears, and Old Navy, additionally offer visual peeks of items that will soon be significantly discounted.
Bookmark Correct Pages
Many of Cyber Monday’s best bargains are time-sensitive and will expire once a deadline has passed or a certain quantity has been sold. Therefore it is essential to have the correct links to the right deals. While stumbling upon a bargain may prove satisfying, guaranteeing quick access to top buys is the best hope for taking advantage of these limited opportunities. Most major online retailers post a link to the Cyber Monday section of a website well before the official day has arrived. Bookmark these locations in advance so they can be checked repeatedly as deals are become available throughout the big day.
Join E-Mail Lists, Install Mobile Apps, Utilize Social Media
While a buyer may desire access to these specials for just one day of the year, sellers are even more grateful to acquire means to reach the consumer for the remaining 364 days. Though the decision may clutter your inbox or Facebook feed, it is still a worthwhile exchange of information. Joining e-mail lists, installing apps for a mobile device, and subscribing to social media updates are smart ways to follow the wide array of Cyber Monday deals. Many of the major box stores like Walmart further offer impressive online deals on Black Friday and during the entire week after Thanksgiving. An extended opportunity to find such bargains makes trading info a very valuable tool.
While electronics are just a single part of the “door-busters” that characterize Black Friday shopping, they comprise an overwhelming majority of deals on Cyber Monday. Whereas retailers are known to post low prices on toys, appliances, and clothes during blitz days at brick-and-mortar stores, it is fitting that a digital shopping day is largely devoted to digital items. Examples of typical sales items on Cyber Monday include laptops, tablets, cell phones, televisions, cameras, mp3 players, flash drives, and more. Plan to encounter some of the day’s premier bargains on these devices.
Shop the Big Guys
Most of the top values of Cyber Monday are unsurprisingly offered by some of the internet’s biggest merchants, including Amazon, Ebay, Best Buy, Walmart, Zappos, Rakuten, and Overstock. In general, these companies are large enough to sell products near or below cost in order to expand their customer base. In addition to great prices, such retailers are also known to offer Cyber Monday promotions like free shipping or extended warranties. Values can still be found at smaller websites, but a consumer is wise to keep a close eye on retail’s big players.
Consider Non-Traditional Bargains
Despite all of the above advice, do not hesitate to think outside the box on Cyber Monday. After all, the internet knows few boundaries, so these type of rules are merely educated guesses. Though finding a killer price on a television or phone may be the norm, great deals on diverse offerings, such as travel, music, and restaurant gift certificates, are still very common. Furthermore, if you miss the sales on Monday due to slow internet or a busy schedule, do not give up on digital shopping. Many retailers offer an entire “Cyber Week” of bargains, in which special prices are extended throughout the busy days that follows Thanksgiving.
Jeff Briscoe is a radio host and writer from Port Charlotte, Fla.