I don’t know about you, but for myself, I avoid shopping on Black Friday. I am not a fan of long lines, crowed stores and noise. So, Black Friday is not a day I want to go out and shop. Cyber Monday is a far better option for me. I can shop from the comfort of my own home. I don’t have to wait in line to pick up items, and I don’t have to wait in long lines to purchase the items I want. All I have to do to shop on Cyber Monday is login to the store websites where I want to purchase items, pick out my items, and electronically check out.
It’s much easier than driving to a store, parking half a mile away, walking to the store, finding the items I need on the shelf and then fighting for the shortest checkout line. For me, shopping on Cyber Monday saves me about five hours of valuable time, and it is far less stressful. However, there are some things to keep in mind while shopping on Cyber Monday in order to get the best deals possible and keep personal information safe.
Keep Your Personal Info Safe
For Cyber Monday it’s important to stress electronic information safety. Only shop at stores you’ve shopped online before. If you are uncertain of the store, use your credit card. There are more avenues available to get your money back with a credit card than with a debit card. Not to mention, a credit card is not linked to your bank. Therefore, if a criminal does intercept your credit card information, they do not have access to the personal funds in your bank account.
For actual hard purchases, PayPal is also a great alternative to using a bank card or credit card, but it’s only good for purchases that are delivered to your house, not downloads. Downloaded software is not covered under PayPal's money-back guarantee.
Sign Up For Store Emails
Signing up to receive store emails it a great way to save money on Cyber Monday as well as the coming weeks before Christmas. Sometimes there are deals available to those who receive store emails that are not available to everyone else or anywhere else. While you wouldn’t want to do this for every store, consider it for the stores you shop at most often, or the places where you will be buying the bulk of your Christmas gifts. After the holidays, if you don’t wish to receive any more emails, you can always opt out via the stores unsubscribe feature.
Don’t forget to “like” or “follow” your favorite stores via Facebook and Twitter. Like store emails, some deals can only be gotten by people who follow the store’s social websites. The deals can range from money off on a certain item to a percentage off on your total purchase so it’s worth it to track your favorite stores to ensure you’re getting the best deals possible when it comes to Cyber Monday shopping.
Cyber Monday Sites
There are also several Cyber Monday websites out there that track multiple stores. This is a time saving as well as a cost saving maneuver. ShopSmart Magazine recommends following CyberMonday2011.com and DealsCyberMonday.org. The Examiner.com recommends checking out cybermonday.org, cybermondays.net and cybermondaydeals.net for a comprehensive look at all the Cyber Monday deals happening this year.
For Cyber Monday it’s important to be aware of shipping costs. The cost to ship an item can often cause the item to cost the same or be more expensive than purchasing it in a store. Therefore, it’s a good idea to pay attention to the shipping costs and the minimum purchase amount needed to avoid the shipping cost. For many stores, the minimum amount is $50 or $100 in order to avoid paying shipping costs. If you’re only $5 or $10 from the free shipping requirement, it might be more cost effective to go ahead and buy another item worth $5 or $10. That extra item could save more on shipping than the cost of the item.
Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own telecommute writing jobs blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!