With the holidays close, so is the one day for seizing some of the hottest online deals of the year. Here’s a guide so you know how to prepare for Cyber Monday.
1. Keep Tabs
Bookmark the websites of your favorite retailers so it’s easy to keep updated on the latest deals. Pro tip: name each bookmark after the products for which you’re eyeing that site.
For example, if you’re looking at a website for headphones and speakers, name its bookmark “Tech Accessories.”
2. Don’t Be Afraid to Follow
Another way to keep tabs on your favorite online shopping sites is by following them on social media. A perk — retail social media accounts cater to a shopper’s different needs.
Money Crashers sums up each social media platform with respect to shoppers quite nicely.
Twitter is best for keeping up-to-date on limited-time deals and sales on product categories. Facebook works best for targeted shopping since the platform’s algorithms promote products in the same vein as those in your search history. Lastly, Instagram is great for familiarizing yourself with products, but not the most ideal for finding the lowest prices.
3. Sign Up for Newsletters
If you’re not a social media person, signing up for a company’s newsletter is another way to stay up-to-date with their Cyber Monday deals. Rather than having to constantly check their profile, the information about any markdowns and sales gets sent directly to you.
While getting bombarded with promotional emails can be annoying, retail newsletters can contain important flyers and info that can help you create your Cyber Monday plan.
4. Save with Shipping and Returns
As convenient online shopping is, the cons are obvious: the potential extra dollar you might have to spend for shipping or returning a product.
Research a company’s shipping policies before deciding to buy from them. Many online retailers offer free shipping on Cyber Monday to attract customers. Others offer free shipping on the condition buyers meet a specified amount of money with the products they intend to purchase. Other retailers offer customers free shipping year-round.
Some noteworthy stores that offer free shipping include Target (eligible with the Target REDcard), Nordstrom, The North Face, Apple, Microsoft and Crate & Barrel.
Return policies can also heavily influence shopping behaviors. Be sure to check out a retailer’s return policies, especially before buying items of which you’re uncertain. Doing so can save you the hassle of having to keep a sweater that doesn’t fit because it’s not worth paying the shipping costs to return it.
Stores with free returns include Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Barneys New York.
5. Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl
On Cyber Monday, is it better to stay up late or wake up early? It depends on the kind of product for which you’re searching.
When retailers release their Cyber Monday deals is all up to them. Some Cyber Monday sales may last for 24 hours, while others extend into a Cyber Week or begin as early as Black Friday.
According to Deal News, the best time to shop on Cyber Monday is from 9:00 am to 11:00 am ET.
Regardless of how long these deals are available, shopping at inconvenient times can put you at an advantage. Fortunately, most retailers do release their Cyber Monday hourly schedule so you can know in advance whether to set that alarm clock early or to stay up.
6. Shop in Private or Incognito Mode
With targeted marketing and data collection being staples of the online shopping industry, it’s important to keep your shopping history (more or less) private.
Although incognito mode doesn’t completely shield buyers from retailers tracking shopper data, making purchases in a private browser can make more deals visible to you.