For as long as I can remember, Black Friday was THE shopping day of the season. Since it kicked off the official holiday shopping term, it was the one day when you could save some serious cash on everything from socks to electronics. In recent years, though, Cyber Monday has quietly usurped the top position with over 95 million Americans doing their shopping on this day vs. the 79 million Americans who shopped in retail stores Black Friday in 2009.
Cyber Monday is the first Monday after Thanksgiving. It developed over the years because it was the first day that people went back to work after the Thanksgiving. Employees would use the company’s high speed internet to do their holiday shopping online. Retailers took notice of the spike in their web traffic and began offering Cyber Monday deals that rivaled their Black Friday offers.
In addition to being incredibly easy and convenient, you can score some good deals with the Cyber Monday specials offered by retailers. Here are some tips for getting the most out of this popular online shopping event.
* Do your homework – Since you are shopping online, you won’t have the benefit of being able to see or touch the products. Therefore, do some window shopping and get the model numbers, sizes, colors – all the pertinent information about the products you want to buy. This will help make sure you order the right thing.
* Shop at places that offer free shipping – If you are not careful, the cost of shipping can easily gobble up the money you save shopping on Cyber Monday. Look for places that offer free shipping deals. This can save you another 20% off the cost of the product.
* Get online early to avoid digital congestion – Just like the stores on Black Friday, websites will be inundated with internet visitors on Cyber Monday. This can affect the site’s loading time and slow your shopping to a crawl; especially if you are using a dial up service. Get up extra early to avoid the rush.
* Shop early to get the good stuff – Another reason to shop early is that quantities may be limited. Many retail stores will have deals throughout the day. Since they don’t want to give away the store, they will often limit coupons and quantities to the first few hundred people who checkout online. If you want to get the deal, be at your computer before everyone else.
* Shop for electronics online – Retailers know that most people who shop online for Cyber Monday deals are tech savvy. Therefore, they will usually offer some awesome deals on electronics. Instead of risking life and limb to get them on Black Friday, wait until Cyber Monday and enjoy front door delivery.
* Make friends with RetailMeNot – This is a website that specializes in providing coupon codes for all of the major retailers online. To save additional money, you should have this site open so you can search for Cyber Monday coupon codes quickly and apply them easily.
* Shop at an all in one website – To save time and money, pick a one stop shop website that serves as a portal to multiple retail stores. The main benefit of using this type of website is that you can comparison shop prices without having to surf from one site to another. The site where I shop has a powerful search engine that will help you seek out the best deals and potentially earn you cash back on your purchases.
Amazon.com is a big player in the online shopping world. Last year, it was the number one most visited retailer on Cyber Monday for the third year in a row. However, a fast rising competitor, Kaching Kaching, is giving the internet retailer a run for its money. The company directly contracts with manufacturers to get the best price on over one million brand named products including HP, GPS from Garmin, Canon, and Cuisinart. Every day they have an incredible Deal of the Day where you can get hot items such as Wii and Xbox below market price.
There is nothing like the thrill of getting the best deal. Be smart and you could save hundreds of dollars on Christmas gifts this Cyber Monday.