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Cyber Monday: Tips for finding the best deals and avoiding scams

Adobe predicts as much as $11.3 billion could be spent this Cyber Monday, which would surpass Black Friday's underwhelming $8.9 billion final total.

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — With Cyber Monday — the special day when retailers offer online bargains — kicking off, buyers should beware of what to watch out for.

"Just looking for, like, Nintendo and the Legos," Brecksville mom of three Carly Donathan said. "Those are, like, the big-ticket items right now."

The search for gifts for her three daughters is a challenge Donathan, not only just to find the items, but for the best price.

"It is fun to go on the hunt for stuff," she told 3News. "I go on a lot of websites like Slickdeals and Krazy Coupon Lady."

Donathan has been shopping for the holidays since Veterans Day, keeping a close eye on the holiday deals as they drop. Black Friday deals didn't win her over this time around.

"This year, it just seems like it was underwhelming," she said.

On Cyber Monday, her favorite method of shopping — online — is where she's hoping to score big and save even bigger.

"It is easier to do it from the comfort of your home," she noted. "I think that my money goes further."

RELATED: How to snag the best deals on Cyber Monday

Adobe predicts as much as $11.3 billion could be spent this Cyber Monday, which would surpass Black Friday's underwhelming $8.9 billion final total. But buyer beware: With all eyes on the big spending day, consumers should proceed with extra caution, experts say.

"Be wary of browsing and purchasing on any public Wi-Fi networks," marketing expert Kayla Starta with Starta Strategies said. "There are people out there that are trying to take advantage of consumers. Avoid using a debit card versus a credit card."

Those in the know also recommend other tips:

  • Try shipping to a local store for pickup. Odds go up for both delivery time and the condition you get the item.
  • Keep tabs on shipping policies, be wary of a company guaranteeing a delivery date, and make sure to read the fine print about returns and delivery policies.
  • Determine a budget and try not to deviate from it. Consumers are more likely to compare prices to ensure you get all the items you want within budget.