Be honest: you don’t want to wake up at the crack of dawn the day after Thanksgiving just to get to those Black Friday sales. You want to sleep in, relax and enjoy your leftovers. We talked to finance expert Andrea Woroch about the next best thing — Cyber Monday — and bonus, you don't have to wait until the weekend's over to start shopping and saving. Keep reading for some digital shopping tips.
Do your research.
You have a whole weekend before Monday, so start planning out what you want to buy. “Start researching before to get a sense of prices,” says Woroch. “When you go without a plan you can get overwhelmed and tempted by deals.” The best way to find online deals is to follow retailers on different social media platforms and sign up for their email newsletters. “Sales are starting earlier than they used to, so start following them,” Woroch says.
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Stick to a list of what you know you want.
“Online shopping is great for something you already know you want,” says Woroch. “With clothes, you want to try them on and feel their quality and you can’t do that online.” If you’re looking for electronics, try and find an online sale. When you know what brand or model you want there’s no need to see it in person. Woroch also says there are email and other online alerts you can set up to compare prices, saving the time it takes to go from store to store.
Be aware of inventory and return policies.
This is a tip that applies to online shopping as well as in-store Black Friday shopping. “People think there’s an endless inventory, when actually only a few are sold,” says Woroch. Don’t expect to fill your virtual shopping cart with everything you want, because there’s a good chance an item you are looking for will sell out in cyberspace.
Woroch says to pay attention to whether or not you can return something if you change your mind as well. “Make sure there are return policies,” she says. “And be aware of them on the items you bought.” If you don’t, you’re stuck with something you don’t want and your wallet is a little bit thinner.
Cyber Monday isn’t the only day for online deals.
The Internet discounts won’t disappear as soon Cyber Monday is over — you can find deals during the rest of the year as well. Woroch says that many online retailers have free shipping days closer to the December holidays where you’ll only have to pay for the items you buy. “You don’t have to get everything all at once,” she says. “There are other days when you can find deals.”