YOUR MONEY: Maximize Cyber Monday savings with these insider tips
As most of you know, Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving and it can be a killer day to save money when shopping online. But like any “shopping event” there are insider secrets that’ll maximize your savings. Here is what you need to know to make Cyber Monday a great day to save money on Christmas gifts this year.
1. Use Black Friday as your benchmark
Ever wonder how the deals on Cyber Monday compare to some of the deals you can bag on Black Friday? Yeah, me too. So, a few years ago I started hanging on to the Black Friday ads and comparing them to what I could find on Cyber Monday. I discovered some very interesting things….
- Name Brand TV’s – Black Friday is a terrible day to score a deal on a quality, name-brand HDTV. All of the amazing door-buster deals are from 3rd tier manufacturers that you’ve never heard of. But this is not the case on Cyber Monday. The last couple Cyber Mondays in particular have seen some excellent deals on name brand TVs from Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic. Last year we actually saw the lowest price of the year on a 46″ 1080p TV from Samsung for under $300 at Amazon.
- Laptop Computers – Budget laptops (i.e., pieces of crap) are in full force on Black Friday. Systems that are OK for surfing the web, posting pictures of your cat on Facebook, and answering email, but that’s about it. If you need a laptop for running productivity software, video editing, or running multiple programs at once, you’ll want to shop for a higher quality laptop on Cyber Monday. Unlike Black Friday, they’ll be in full force. Check out this page from Staples.com that is already listing some really great Cyber Monday laptop deals.
- Tablets – Deals on tablets from brands like Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo are going to be good on Black Friday and that’s going to carry over to Cyber Monday. Be sure to look for deals.
- Gaming Systems – Cyber Monday is an excellent day to shop for both the popular XBox One S and PlayStation 4. Last year on Cyber Monday at Walmart.com we saw the lowest price of the year on the PS4 system. Always look to bundle as that is where you’ll get the most savings. Bundles usually include the gaming system, an extra controller and a popular game.
- Christmas Toys – Christmas toys are typically never a good buy on Black Friday, and for the most part, the same can be said for Cyber Monday. Your best bet to find the lowest price is to shop the two weeks leading up to Christmas as that is when retailers start to feel the pinch and begin lowering prices.
- Home Goods – Target.com is a great stop on Cyber Monday for items for the house. Last year they had the lowest price of the year on a Dyson vacuum cleaner, Oster blender, and a KitchenAid mixer. I’m talking like close to 45% off the original price.
2. Best day to shop for apparel…EVER
Seriously. Best. Day. Ever. Over the past six Cyber Mondays I have been blown away with coupon codes we are given by apparel retailers.
If you are shopping for apparel or shoes you need to check out the savings available on Cyber Monday.
Last year we saw 30% or 40% off coupon codes from the following websites: American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Lands’ End, The Limited, Hot Topic, J.Jill, J.Crew, Macy’s, Nautica, Old Navy, GAP, Banana Republic, Wet Seal, and the list goes on and on.
Also, be sure you know your size at individual retailers. What size jeans do you wear from Old Navy? What size sweater do you wear from Lands’ End?
By knowing your sizes ahead of time, you’re going to avoid return costs if those skinny jeans won’t button.
OK, so you shopped online on Cyber Monday last year and found some good deals and were pretty happy with yourself.
Hold onto your horses. I guarantee you can get an even bigger deal this year by doing the following things…
3. Hit up live chat
About to buy online and can’t find a coupon code anywhere? Don’t pay full price, instead use my frugal hack of starting a live chat session and politely ask the operator for a coupon code for free shipping or a percent off.
Operators are often given coupon codes to hand out if asked, especially on BIG shopping days like Cyber Monday.
4. Abandon cart before Cyber Monday
Making a large purchase on Cyber Monday? Perhaps a TV from BestBuy.com or a new crib from Babies R Us.com. Consider my frugal hack of abandoning your virtual shopping cart a few days before Cyber Monday in an attempt to trigger a coupon sent via email.
Find the instructions here as well as 17 popular online retailers where this will work.
5. Black Friday leftovers
Also try shopping on eBay on Cyber Monday. Why? Because countless “wannabe entrepreneurs” snatch up the Black Friday leftovers and put them up on eBay for a quick cash profit.
But the good news for you is that with the saturated eBay market you’re going to score a deal and end up paying only slightly more than if you had stood in line at 11 pm on Thanksgiving night.
6. Look to stack coupon codes
The idea of stacking coupons is one I have talked about before and it should not be overlooked on Cyber Monday.
For example, just because a retailer might be offering free shipping on holiday shopping doesn’t mean you should be content with only free shipping. Be sure to look for a coupon code to stack on top of free shipping to maximize your savings.
7. Start with free shipping
Be sure to start your Cyber Monday shopping at a retailer offering free shipping on your entire purchase then look for a coupon code to throw on top of your purchase for even more savings.
To help you out, I created a list of 45+ retailers offering free shipping (with NO minimum) on your holiday shopping. It’s a great place to start.
Any great Cyber Monday tips that I may have missed?
8. Always shop safely online
If you’re shopping on Cyber Monday and the deal looks too good to be true, trust your gut instinct and stay away. This is especially true if the deal or coupon is from a website with which you are not familiar with.
Other signs of a fraudulent website include the lack of a contact phone number or a physical address. Also, don’t click unknown links in your email claiming to offer amazing Cyber Monday deals.
Your best bet is to stick to brands and sites you are familiar with and have a proven track record of customer service and trustworthiness.
Also, make sure your browser url changes from “http” to “https” on the website’s payment page, this ensures the site, and your credit card information, is secure.
Bottom-line: Always trust your gut instinct.
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