Your Cyber Monday deal strategy

Haven’t finished (or started) your holiday shopping yet but can’t bear the crowds again?

The National Retail Federation says consumers plan to spend an average of $688.87 on holiday shopping this year, up slightly from $681.83 in 2009. That means the sea of shoppers you swim through each year isn’t getting much shallower.

Whether you want to finalize your mostly completed shopping list or tackle it in one hardy lunge, follow these tips to capitalize on deals for Cyber Monday, the online version of Black Friday, and avoid the brick-and-mortar crowds.

Sign up in advance

Many Monday sales aren’t posted yet, so sign up for e-mail alerts from your favorite retailers to receive first notice. Better yet, follow them on Facebook or Twitter for the most up-to-date info. You can always unfollow, unfriend or unsubscribe from them later.

Test-drive electronics

If you do have the time, energy and heart to hit the malls and shopping centers, try out items such as cameras, cell phones and TVs in person. The way a camera operates, how a cell phone feels in your hand or the quality of a TV’s image can’t be replicated on a website, and you’ll be confident with an online purchase if you do some tactile research. Plus, you can scope out in-store prices for comparison.

Shop early

Most retailers have a limited stock of door-buster items, so don’t expect to idly shop online if you’re at work Monday morning. (Walmart.com already sold out of a deeply discounted Blu-ray player on Wednesday last week — twice.) Some sales will start as soon as midnight Sunday, so check websites in advance. Or be prepared to wake up early. Really early. A good rule of thumb: The more fantastic the deal, the earlier you need to get there.

Don’t pay extra

Most retailers will offer free shipping Monday. In fact, you’re almost getting ripped off if they don’t. Walmart, Target and Best Buy are among the retailers offering free shipping online for certain products or with a minimum purchase.

Don’t waste time

Unlike Black Friday, there aren’t many websites truly dedicated to Cyber Monday. Most are just place-holders for ads, rather than aggregating the Cyber Monday info you’ll need to know. Instead of scouring those sites, do a quick hunt for promotional codes for the retailer you plan to purchase from. Sites like retailmenot.com or couponcabin.com will be helpful once Monday rolls around.

- By Lauren Davidson, Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

14 comments Add your comment

Tuckergirl

November 23rd, 2010
1:19 pm

Thanks, Lauren! I truly love retailmenot.com. They are a great source for coupon codes, plus you can find out if the codes are indeed good ones from other online shoppers. It was created in 2006 by two Australians. I only know this because I interviewed them (via e-mail) for an article I did for Museum Store magazine. Another great site is ebates.com. If you shop through their Web portal at certain retailers (including Borders, J.Crew and Macy’s), you get a percentage of your purchase back in a rebate check. On Cyber Monday, the percentages get even higher. This service is free and very easy to use. I urge others to use sites like this (there are too many to count) to do their shopping because not only can you save money, you save gas and time (from circling the parking lot looking for a space).

LizDawg

November 23rd, 2010
2:08 pm

Thanks for the tip – I am going to miss Black Friday as I am headed to Athens to watch UGA’s annual smacking down of the gt nerds but I will definitely jump in on the Cyber Monday action!

Go Dawgs!

J.

November 23rd, 2010
2:41 pm

HI, Lauren.

Thank you for the information. What a cerebral and aesthetically pleasing lady you are!

Are you single AND interested in old-fashioned, conservative and economically minded Southern gentleman?

[...] to the success of Cyber Monday, retailers and online shops have long embraced the web as a place to promote and showcase deals and [...]

[...] Your Cyber Monday deal strategy (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) [...]

Maretta

November 25th, 2010
7:16 pm

J, this is not a dating site. Obviously, you are hard up.

Katz

November 27th, 2010
11:09 am

Maretta

In the continuum of perception, please consider that you may be at an extreme. J has flirted with the young lady.

For those who loath shopping, consider giving cash in a red envelope.

If you don’t drive and have a friend who does, buy $25 in groceries at the Publix and $40 buys a $50 gas card. Great gift for that friend you are always bumming rides from.

Your friend Katz

Patrick Best

November 27th, 2010
11:23 am

I am going to do all my shopping online at http://www.halfoffdepot.com. The products are 50-90% off already. And you can enter the code “blackfriday” or “cybermonday” at checkout for an additional 10% off until Nov. 29th at midnight. No brainer! Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta tickets, Melting Pot gift certificates and more!

OhMaretta

November 27th, 2010
2:14 pm

LOL…You’re telling your business when you should mind your business. Why are you running defense for Lauren? Lol…that’s rhetorical ;)

Dave

November 28th, 2010
8:13 am

@Katz, I agree with Maretta. J does sound like a desperate soul and you sound like a carless teenager.

Bronco

November 28th, 2010
11:59 am

Referring to your article, what holiday are you speaking of there are several through out the year? If its Christmas go ahead and say so.

Stu

November 28th, 2010
2:35 pm

Enter your comments here

Adam Cohen

November 28th, 2010
11:17 pm

Although there are many great deals out there for cyber Monday, there are just as many great deals on unique handcrafted items made in America.

Think “outside the box” this holiday season and support small businesses and artisans. Ask your friends for recommendations and find something different this year.

Thank you,

Owner
Byrd Designs
Handcrafted jewelry and hair accessories
ByrdDesigns dot com

VNG

November 28th, 2010
11:27 pm

@Bronco,
Perhaps the “holiday” shopping could also extend to those who are shopping for Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, so rather than spelling all those out, Lauren just covered it with the word “holiday.” Geez….