Cyber Monday may be the greatest digital invention since the Internet itself. I mean, a day when you can nab ridiculous deals with the click of a mouse while you’re watching Sex and the City reruns in your PJs? Yet, the convenience of Cyber Monday is what makes it oh-so-wonderful, but also borderline dangerous. Yes, you want to snag that cute dress you’ve been lusting for 50% off and free shipping, but you also don’t want to max out your credit card! Shopping Cyber Monday is a balance between art and science, and we’ve got the 411 on how to maximize your Cyber Monday experience.
How to Shop Cyber Monday
Have a plan: It’s hard not to get carried away when you see all your favorite retailers offering crazy discounts. That’s why it’s important to have a game plan. Make a list of things you need/want, and stick to your list. This means saying no to glitter tennis shoes for 60% off… unless glitter tennis shoes are on your list that is! Your plan should also include a set budget. Deals are great, but only if you can afford them. You don’t want to be stuck paying off Cyber Monday credit card debt for the next couple of months!
Do your research: The beauty of the internet is that someone else has most likely done the research. In the case of Cyber Monday, sites like Cybermonday.com and Savings.com aggregate all the information you need. They’ll tell you which retailers are offering the hottest discounts.
Look for Coupon Codes: Sure, most retailers offer fantastic discounts on Cyber Monday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look for further discounts. Additional coupon codes may be floating around in cyber space, and a simple “Macy’s coupon” google search may result in an extra 15% off.
Compare prices: You may have found those Steve Madden nude pumps for a fraction of the price at Store A, but that doesn’t mean that Store B (or C or D) isn’t selling it for less. In order to ensure that you’re getting the best deal possible, quickly search for the item of your desire before you make your purchase. Also, factor in shipping costs. For example, store A may sell the shoes for $20, but shipping costs $8, while store B sells the shoes for $25 with free shipping.
Check out the legitimacy of the site: We know we can trust big name retailers to have secure websites that won’t result in identity theft and all the craziness that can happen on the internet. The no-name retailer that’s based in the middle of nowhere, but offers a great deal on long underwear? Hmmm….
Go credit: If you can, pay with a credit card over a debit card. While retailers do their best to make sure payment transactions are secure and correct, it’s best to protect yourself. With credit cards, you can dispute any suspicious charges easily. This does mean that you should keep copies of your transaction receipts and check your credit card statements carefully after Cyber Monday.