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Is it worth it to shop on Cyber Monday?

Yes! But it’s no longer a one-day event.

CLEVELAND — Cyber Monday is often thought of as the day to buy Black Friday leftovers, or the day to get the best deals on tech stuff. But since COVID, everything has changed.  Not only can you find just about everything on sale, but Cyber Monday has become more like Cyber Week.

And if you thought prepping for Black Friday took a lot of your time, with the pandemic pushing more shoppers online, the competition will be fierce.

Edgar Dworsky, also known as Mr. Consumer, and Founder of the online consumer advocacy site Consumer World, says, " I think you're going to see many chains pushing up Cyber Monday, starting the weekend before Cyber Monday and probably running through Cyber Week." 

So, to get the most for your money, connect with your favorite retailers now. Subscribe to their email lists and check their social media pages, where they often offer exclusive deals.

But since a so-called sale doesn't always mean a deal, before you buy, use a price comparison site.

It’s something online shopper Amanda Bezares says she always does. "I like to search Google shopping when I'm looking for something. Because it gives you all of the sites that have it available and it compares the prices and tells you which site has the best price," she explains.

Once you've found something you like, put it in your shopping cart ahead of time. So, you can check out as soon as the deal goes live.

And this is where the wheeling and dealing starts...called stacking. Extreme couponer Jenny McClear says, "Not taking that one extra step that takes you maybe a minute more is causing consumers to lose hundreds of dollars.”

She suggests purchasing a discount gift card for the store you're buying from, and/or seeing if that store is working with a cash back site.

Raise sells gift cards up to 30% off, and sometimes offers cash back. 

While places like Rakuten have deals with thousands of retailers, who basically pay you to shop there. 

Jenny explains how she combines all of the deals. "I can buy a $50 gift card for $46.80 (on Raise). So, that's $3.20 right there off of my bag of food, which is $55. Plus, I'm going to do 2.5% cash back by buying that.”

Then she launches Rakuten, searches for Petco, and by buying the food there, she’ll get an additional 4% cash back. And she’ll buy it using the gift card that she purchased on Raise. That's again, stacking those offers.

Lastly, check for online coupons to maximize savings at sites like Coupon Cabin and from retailers which often release their coupons on Monday. 

Jenny says, "People don't realize how easy it is to get codes for different websites."

As for the specific deals, Cyber Monday tends to have more toys and clothing on sale than Black Friday. But you'll also see savings on appliances, and Kohl's is a great go-to.

Mr. Consumer says, "They send credit card holders a $5 or $10 gift card good on anything. You combine that with some of their small appliance sales, they have actually paid you to come to the store to buy the appliance. You'll make money on each of those deals."

And Apple is offering up to $150 in gift cards with certain purchases.

Nathaniel Burrow, the Deals Editor at product review website Wirecutter says, Apple just released updated versions of its Mac Book and Pro with its own Intel chip. We are wondering if that might lead to discounts on the previous generation versions with Intel chips. But we are sure that we'll see those iPad and Apple watch discounts, in addition to favorites like the Airpods Pro. 

One thing not on any hot lists, but you might consider, is toilet paper. Now that panic buying is back, it may be in high demand.

Amanda joked, "People might appreciate that better than the other stuff I was going to buy them."

You also might want to consider choosing in store or curbside pickup to avoid any shipping delays, shipping costs or porch pirates. 

Below is a list of some the specific deals you can find on Cyber Monday: 

Also from Danielle Serino:

READ: Danielle Serino's Ultimate Black Friday guide

Other coverage of Black Friday/Holiday shopping: