Do you like the idea of good deals but not the idea of standing outside the mall in a three-point stance waiting for the doors to open for pre-dawn Black Friday savings? Then Cyber Monday — the Monday following the Thanksgiving holiday — is for you.
Cyber Monday was coined to characterize the large amount of online shopping that took place on the first workday after Thanksgiving, when people had access to their presumably faster work computers. It has grown since its origin in 2005 to generate a whopping $2.65 billion in sales in 2014, up 16% from 2013, according to Adobe Systems estimates. While bosses across America fret, their employees take advantage of great Internet deals.
What are some of the best ways to take advantage of Cyber-Monday?
- Plan Your Shopping Early – Put together a shopping list well before Cyber Monday. This gives you time to research the typical prices online so you can differentiate a truly good deal from advertising hype. A shopping list will also keep you focused and less likely to be drawn off-track by good deals on things that you do not really need.
It is fine to explore for good deals outside of your shopping list, but take care of your shopping list first – and avoid the temptation to spend your Cyber Monday savings and then some.
- Search for Promotions – Cyber Monday has become a large enough phenomenon that there are websites devoted to it. These sites collect ads from multiple vendors and act as a clearinghouse for deals. You can find similar sites that allow for comparison-shopping or setting alerts with various retailers when the price of an item is at or below your desired target.
If there are individual stores that you prefer, check out their Cyber Monday offerings and special promotional codes. Most are available on the websites, but it pays to check out the store’s social media sites as well.
- Don’t Forget Brick-and-Mortar Stores – Retailers sometimes attempt to counter Cyber Monday with in-store specials of their own that are valid for that day only – especially if their Black Friday sales were disappointing. Keep an eye out for any good deals that may fly under the radar amid the online activity.
- Go Mobile – Try out some of the mobile apps for Cyber Monday before the day arrives. You may be able to do a quick comparison while you are at a physical store checking out the merchandise in question.
- Check Timing –Cyber Monday deals may be for a limited time window or have a limited supply. Last year, the steepest discounts were earned by early morning shoppers. Make sure you understand the rules of the site and when offers are valid before you embark on your shopping.
- Check Your Internet Speed – Is your Internet reliability questionable on a high-volume day like Cyber Monday? Do not lose out on a bargain because the Internet speed (or lack thereof) prevented you from placing an order.
Find a location with sufficient Internet capability if you have to, but remember that there are many other people doing the same thing – and Internet shopping in public comes with security risks.
- Beware of Hidden Costs – Make sure that extravagant shipping costs, unusual taxes, or other hidden fees don’t turn your bargain into a bust.
Consider Cyber Monday shopping to rack up significant savings – but do not make your boss mad in the process by wasting work time and resources to do it. It will be hard to pay for all those online bargains if you end up on the unemployment line.