November 14th, 2011
Cyber Monday 2011: Tips From Personal Finance Bloggers
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Is it too early to be talking about holiday sales? That’s not what your local mall thinks. Every retailer in America has been planning for the largest online shopping day of the year since sales passed the $1 billion mark last year.
That’s right; Cyber Monday will be here on November 28. In just two weeks, we’ll be powering up our PCs and Macs, armed with a credit card and—hopefully—a shopping list.
We’ve put together a few quick tips to help you prepare for this epic online shopping day.
Do your homework. Prepare for the best deals a day or two before by comparing prices and reading reviews on products, so you won’t have to take the time to do this during prime shopping time. Some of the best deals sell out in minutes!
You don’t want to spend all day Cyber Monday looking for deals. You should do your research beforehand, find what you want to buy, and then make sure you get it before they sell out. Also make sure you create all your online accounts at store websites before Cyber Monday. The extra registration time could be the difference between getting the product and getting “out of stock.”
Before you buy, consider the price you’re paying independent of the sale. Sometimes we become blinded by the great deal when all we need to look at is whether or not we want this item at this price. A thousand-dollar mink stole for $100 isn’t such a good deal if you wouldn’t have spent $10 on it any other day of the year.
Don’t get the gift of fraud.
Stick to trusted online merchants for your Cyber Monday shopping. Before making a purchase, find out if the site is registered with the Better Business Bureau, VeriSign or TRUSTe by scrolling to the bottom of the website. If you’re uncertain about an online retailer, but still want to buy, see if they take PayPal, which allows you to make payments without sharing your financial information.
Maximize your savings.
The best advice that I can give for shopping on Cyber Monday is that you should “stack to save.” The term “stacking” refers to applying multiple coupon codes to one purchase to improve your savings–common in the world of extreme couponing. Pricing on Cyber Monday will already be stellar, but with a little online research, you should be able to increase your saving even more. Search for free shipping codes, additional percentage off codes, or even dollars-off codes first.
Always check Retailmenot.com and Dealigg.com for extra coupons and savings passes before you click Purchase. These sites aggregate any coupon codes available for online and store retailers, and even let you know how successful they have been for other shoppers and when they expire. It’s a great way to potentially shave 15% off or score free shipping just by taking 30 seconds to do a quick search.