Experts: How To Prepare for Cyber Monday Shopping

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Cyber Monday is right around the corner and for shoppers, this means fantastic savings opportunities on laptops, phones, tablets, smartwatches, TVs and appliances. While tech remains the primary category of deals available to shop on Cyber Monday, you can expect many sites to extend their Black Friday sales through the weekend and into the beginning of the week.

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If you are looking to save some serious money on gifts for family and friends — or yourself — there are a few key tips and tricks you should be aware of approaching the big day. Check out these shopping tips from the experts in order to attain maximum savings this Cyber Monday.

Create a Budget

Before hitting the online stores on Monday, you should make sure you are prepared with a maximum spending budget in mind in order to avoid emptying your bank account.

“It’s easy to get carried away on Cyber Monday, but it’s important to stick to a budget,” said Michael Xavier, shopping expert and founder of the blog insidertechie. “Decide how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping, and then stick to it. This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.”

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Know What You Want

There is nothing more overwhelming than browsing on Cyber Monday not quite sure of what you want and becoming overwhelmed by quickly selling-out options. Experts recommend doing your homework ahead of time and showing up for the day already prepared with the items you want. Many retailers will advertise their Cyber Monday deals in advance so shoppers can get a good idea of what items different stores will feature.

“Don’t go into Cyber Monday shopping blindly,” Xavier said. “Have a list of items you’re looking for, and be sure to check off each one as you find it. This will help you stay focused and avoid impulse buys.”

The most common way people go over budget on days like Cyber Monday is by seeing a deal for something they hadn’t planned on buying and throwing it in their cart because they can’t pass it up. Avoid overspending by planning ahead.

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Shop Around and Compare Prices

Before settling for the first deal you see, it’s important to shop around and check a few other places to ensure you are truly getting the best price.

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“Don’t just assume that the first store you see is offering the best deal,” Xavier said. “Take some time to compare prices from different online and in-person stores. You may be surprised at how much you can save just by doing a little bit of research.”

Shop Online

While everyone has their own shopping preference, it’s advisable to opt for online shopping on this tech-centered deal day. In the spirit of electronic shopping, open up your laptop and start spending instead of hitting the malls near you in order to find deals faster and compare prices with ease.

“This is a personal preference, but many experts recommend shopping online if you can,” Xavier said. “You’ll often find better deals online, and you won’t have to deal with the crowds at the mall. However, if you do choose to shop in-store, be sure to take advantage of early bird specials and doorbuster deals.”

Prioritize Shopping at Stores With the Best Deals

While many stores are offering Cyber Monday deals, experts recommend checking out the great deals certain sites are offering before looking elsewhere for optimal savings.

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“Some of the best places to find Cyber Monday deals are Amazon, Best Buy, Target and Walmart,” Xavier said. “Be sure to check out each store’s website for their specific deals.”

Avoid Being Scammed

On Cyber Monday, it’s typically best to stick to established, trusted stores and sites to stock up on your holiday needs.

“Unfortunately, there are always a few scams that pop up around Cyber Monday,” Xavier said. “Be sure to do your research before you make any purchases, and only buy from reputable stores. Some common scams to watch out for include fake websites, counterfeit products, and bait and switch deals.”

Make sure to question the impossibly low deals you see online before buying to avoid giving in to the many scams online on this popular shopping day.

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About the Author

Maddie Duley is a content intern for ConsumerTrack writing about finances for GOBankingRates. She is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in communication and design from the University of California Davis.
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