5 Easy Tips to Shop Cyber Monday Deals Strategically
Cyber Monday has become a new holiday shopping tradition, right up there with the “doorbusters” that bring throngs of shoppers to malls and retail locations on Black Friday — but even if you want to beat the crowds and find better deals online, looking for the best Cyber Monday deals can be overwhelming.
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Here are a few helpful tips on how shoppers can get the most out of Cyber Monday deals without busting their budget:
1. Set a budget.
Setting a budget — and sticking to it — is one of the best steps you can take for managing your overall household finances, and it’s also important to make a specific holiday season shopping budget.
According to the National Retail Federation, reporting on the 2015 holiday shopping season, 40% of consumers spent at least $50 more than they had planned, and 12.5% went over budget by $200 or more. Even if you do end up exceeding your budget by splurging on some Cyber Monday deals that are too good to pass up, you will often do a better job of avoiding excessive spending if you plan ahead and set a target for how much you want to spend.
There are a few strategies to choose from when setting a holiday shopping budget. For example, you could set a budget for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you could set a budget for how much you want to spend on each family member or group of friends, or you could set a budget for a few big-ticket items.
2. Make a priority list.
Some people feel like setting a holiday budget is too limiting; maybe you’re not worried about spending too much money on holiday shopping, but, even so, it helps to plan ahead by setting a priority-shopping list for Cyber Monday.
What do you most want to buy that you can only get on Cyber Monday? Are there any big-ticket items like electronics or appliances that you particularly want to buy on this special shopping day? Cyber Monday deals can be a good way to focus on your “must have” holiday shopping items.
3. Use social media.
Follow your favorite retailers and brands on social media. Sometimes the best Cyber Monday deals get announced on social media by individual brands or retail sites.
Especially if you have a certain favorite brand or retailer, or category of item that you want to buy that’s on your priority list, consider doing some social media research or following certain hashtags on Twitter.
4. Look for free shipping.
When doing your price comparisons of Cyber Monday deals, make sure you’re getting an exact comparison of the full sales price, including tax and shipping. Not all retailers list sales tax the same way; you may think you’re getting a great deal until you see the sales tax added on in the shopping cart.
Or you may discover that one retailer offers a slightly higher sticker price, but with free shipping that can save you significant money, especially on a larger item. Just make sure to look beyond the sticker price and compare the accurate full final cost of what you’re buying.
5. Use coupons.
Read the fine print on the Cyber Monday deals to see if the offers are eligible for coupons and use multiple coupons if possible. Using shopping portals (like Discover Deals) also can offer extra discounts and cash back.
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Just because a deal is available on Cyber Monday doesn’t mean you can’t use coupons — it’s true that some Cyber Monday deals are the lowest possible price, yet many retailers will still honor coupons on Cyber Monday. For example, if you have a special coupon for free shipping, buy one/get one free or other special offers, you can often use these to maximize your savings on Cyber Monday.
Cyber Monday deals are becoming a new holiday shopping tradition, but just like any other shopping experience, it helps to have a plan, set a budget and read the fine print. By taking a focused, strategic approach to your Cyber Monday shopping, you can get the best deals from the comfort of your laptop, tablet or smartphone and help get the most out of your holiday shopping budget.