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Cyber Monday Tips and Tricks

online_christmas_shopping cyber monday

Black Friday shopping is nearly done, which means that it’s time to start thinking about Cyber Monday and cyber week for the last few things on your list! Whether you’re looking for prepaid phones or new shoes, those deals can go pretty quickly and the pressure is often really high to purchase unnecessary things. Here are some tips to get the most out of Cyber Monday without straining your wallet.

1. Make a List

There are a lot of deals during cyber week, and it can be easy to get sidetracked. Go into it knowing what you need and don’t get distracted by the cheap deals. It’s easy to overspend and to just add a couple small things here and there while browsing. Don’t get pulled in by ‘limited quantity’ or ‘limited time’ deals on things you didn’t intend to purchase.

2. Scout out Deals Ahead of Time

Make sure you’re getting the best deal by taking some time before cyber week starts to scout out the best deals at your favorite websites. It’s always good to compare at least three different sites on common items to be sure you’re getting the most out of your money.

3. Set a Budget

Know how much money you have to spend, and be sure not to exceed that amount. Knowing your money is limited will help you prioritize gifts before other purchases. If you’re an impulse buyer, then try putting money on PayPal and using that instead of your card. It will work just like cash and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

4. Shop Early

A lot of online sales will have something very similar to Black Friday doorbusters for early risers. If you find a deal on something during your research, get up early and grab it before it’s gone. Online inventory is limited, and many sales start at 12:01 Monday morning.

5. Set up an Account

If you know you want to purchase an item from a particular vendor, set up an account with all of your information the day before so on the big day, your checkout can be hassle-free!

6. Shop Securely

Be sure to double check the URL address when shopping. It should say ‘https’ for secure connections that are safe to send your financial and personal information. It might have a padlock or a different color in the URL bar, depending on your browser. If you don’t see any of that, go to a different site.

7. Use Familiar Websites

Cyber Monday isn’t the time to be test-driving a new website, as online scams are pretty common during the holidays. Only use sites that you trust, and be wary of deals that seem way too good to be true. Double check the URL before entering any information to make sure it’s secure and that the name matches the company and says .com instead of .org or any other ending. If it looks shady, then go somewhere else.

8. Keep Receipts

Take a screen shot and print off your order sheets and well as the receipts of all of your purchases. This way, you can keep a record of what is on its way, and can double-check the contents to the order when the package arrives.

9. Read Return Policies

Before buying, be sure to read the shipping and return policies on the website. Some sites will pay for the return shipping, while others will not. Know what your window for returning it is, should the item be broken or defective. If the return date is before Christmas, I might even recommend opening the gift and making sure it looks ok before wrapping it.

10. Check Shipping Dates

When you find a good sale, it can be tempting to purchase it on the spot before inventory runs out. However, be careful and double-check estimated shipping dates before you buy. There are still plenty of days before Christmas, but with bad weather being so common in December in some parts of the country, you want to be sure the package has plenty of time to arrive before the holidays.