Gearing up for Cyber Monday
Monday, 29 October 2018
For years, shoppers have counted on deep discounts for holiday shopping on the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, because retailers could count on the day's sales to bring any annual revenue losses out of the “red" and into the “black" on their balance sheets.
But in the era of online shopping, Cyber Monday—the Monday after Thanksgiving, when everyone returns to work and shops online—has become just as important for finding good deals on holiday purchases.
Maybe you have a holiday tradition of visiting your favorite retailers on Black Friday, but if you really want deep discounts and the ease of online shopping, don't overlook the deals of Cyber Monday. Consider these five ways to shop savvy on Cyber Monday this holiday season.
Make a list. You're going to see big discounts on all kinds of merchandise leading up to Cyber Monday. As a result, you may be tempted to buy all kinds of things you don't really need just to take advantage of the sales. Avoid overspending by making a list of the items you want to purchase during the holiday season, such as gifts for family members and friends, and holiday attire for parties and gatherings. If you don't know exactly what you want until you see it, you can include vague items on the list, such as “gift for John." But when you see the gift you want to buy for John, cross that item off the list. Then commit to buying only the things that are on your list.
Visit sale roundup sites. A number of shopping sites like Retail Me Not and DealNews make it easy to find the best deals available on Cyber Monday: They scour the internet and publish all the best deals in one place. Take time to visit such sites in advance to see which deals you want to pursue most, and develop a game plan.
Keep security in mind. When shopping online, it's always important to take precautions against hackers. But during the holiday shopping season, cybercrime often increases, so be vigilant. Make sure your computer, smartphone or tablet has the latest security updates, and never purchase from a site that isn't secure: A secure site will have a URL that starts with “https://" and includes a lock icon on the purchase or shopping cart page.
Stick to your budget. When you're shopping the Cyber Monday sales, it's easy to get carried away and spend more than you intended. You can avoid that by creating a budget, and stick to it by signing up for banking tools like online or mobile banking, which makes it easy to see exactly how much money you have available to spend at any given time.
Start early. Yes, it's called Cyber Monday, but many of the sales start a few days before. Start checking your favorite websites the week of Thanksgiving, or even the week before Thanksgiving, to monitor the items you're planning to buy. Most retailers will advertise in advance what their sale prices will be and when those sales will start. If you're ready to buy when the sales begin, you'll be more likely to get the items you want before they're all gone.
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