CLEVELAND — You can’t beat laying around in your pajamas buying your holiday gifts. You also can’t beat the sheer “number” of Cyber Monday deals.
But this is no Black Friday redux. It’s better.
Michael Bonebright, a consumer analyst from Dealnews.com says, "You're not going to see those standout Doorbusters that you would see on Black Friday. Instead we tend to see site wide discounts. For example, every year Target will take about fifteen percent off with a coupon online for Cyber Monday."
Many stores with brick and mortar locations will offer the same deals as online, if you don’t use the computer.
Since there are typically fewer ads for Cyber Monday and sales are usually more of a surprise, you should sign up for your favorite stores mailing list, or text alerts.
If Amazon’s your go-to though, it’s all about lightning deals. These are sales which last about five hours, or until the item sells out, which it often does.
So if there’s something you want, start watching for a price drop the day before or sign up for Deal News, which does the watching for you.
Bonebright says, “You can choose the category or even the specific deals you are interested in and we will send you a notification whenever a price drop happens."
Stephen Culp, CEO of the online price negotiation website Pricewaiter says, “If it’s something you have to have, forget the strategy of sticking it in your shopping cart to entice the retailer to give you a deal. They’ll take it right out of your cart if they’re running out. Instead, try negotiating the price. Which you can do with Pricewaiter."
We tested it on our our with a 55-inch smart TV. It was widely available for $875, but we made an offer on it for $835. Within minutes, we were able to land the deal for $849. The best news? Even after you've heard the negotiated price; if you don't want it, you don't have to take the deal.
Culp says, "We have several hundred retail partners who have Pricewaiter built into their website, which allows consumers to click and make an offer on a product that they're looking for on a retailer site."
Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs which add up. Instead, choose buying online and picking up what you want at the store.
And remember - there will be sales from now through December so there’s no need to impulse shop.
Culp says, "The likelihood is that you could make a bad decision either based on a product you don't need or a price that seems great but really isn't. Worst case scenario is that an item is refurbished and you don't know that. Those are the types of things that tend to happen during the hurricane of shopping season."
Additional sites for safe shopping on Cyber Monday:
Check out more of our Black Friday coverage by clicking on our special section here.