Cyber Monday may be tomorrow but don’t fret. There are tips to stay sane on one of the busiest shopping days of the year for online retailers.
Online retailers are madly competitive with in-store shops when it comes to the shopping dollar on Cyber Monday. According to research group Forrester, online sales are expected to be 15 percent higher than in 2012, definitely a sharp increase.
- The single best piece of advice is, be prepared for Cyber Monday. Prepare a list of things to buy and stick with a budget. Start bright and early in the morning, before 8 a.m. Even better, start shopping at midnight Sunday, if so inclined. Avoid late morning if possible. Beauty sleep is imperative, and being awake and functional are important to allow the fingers to pound away with ease on the keyboard. Make sure to flex the fingers first before typing away especially if living in a cold climate. Be prepared for plenty of frustration. Although online shopping is great for several reasons (better sales being one of them), this does mean more people will be online and retailer websites will lag and there will be waiting times to contend with. So be patient and get a head start by starting out early.
- Take advantage of coupon codes even if the items are already deeply discounted. Many websites offer coupon codes so don’t pass them up! Also, look for discounts for potential purchases, like “$10 off when you spend $50,” or some variation. This will add up to even deeper discounts.
- Look for free shipping. If there is no free shipping for an item, go to another website that does offer it. Shipping costs can be high when factoring in total purchases so look elsewhere to get it even if it means spending a few more minutes to do it. Why? Because plenty of websites offer free shipping already, like Amazon. The savings will be worth it.
- Take advantage of mobile apps. Compare prices of items with Price Grabber and Pricewatch. These apps can also show which retailers have free shipping and better prices. There is also a website and mobile app, called Brads Deals, which lists all discounts for the major retailers. Cyber Monday also lists all sales prices of the major stores.
- Add items to carts even if unsure about purchasing them. Why? Because online retailers do not have limitless items so if any item is not a definite “Yes, I want this,” just add it to the cart. The orders can be edited when checking out. This will prevent a headache.
- Become familiar with the credit card policy. Check credit card website to make sure the card has any special offers that can be used on Cyber Monday. Ensure that returning gifts or receiving extended warranties is allowed on the credit card in case there is a problem with the gift purchase.
By Juana Poareo
Des Moines Register