Tips for Cyber Monday Shopping

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Move over, Black Friday. Cyber Monday is the big, holiday shopping day now. In fact, last year on 2016, Cyber Monday sales hit an all-time high of $3.45 billion. Cyber Monday deals are on par with, and sometimes even surpass Black Friday deals. It also gives you the benefit of shopping from the comfort of your home, office, or anywhere else you’re connected to the Internet. Whether you’re buying a new vacuum cleaner or a QLED 4K TV, here are some tips to keep in mind when making your purchases today.

Check price history of the product

While Cyber Monday comes with some fantastic deals, sometimes certain vendors or companies will mark up the “original” price of an item, then put a big slash through the number on their ad and advertise the original price as a sale. If the item you’re looking at isn’t at an actual discount, you could definitely hold off a bit on buying it.

Ask yourself if you really need it

If the answer to the question, “Do I actually need this” is anything less than a “yes, absolutely,” then maybe consider putting the item on hold. A new TV is nice, but if there’s nothing wrong with the old one, then there’s no need to drop money you would not have spent otherwise. Also, keep in mind that there are other sales throughout the year for different holidays. Don’t buy something based on speculation of a potential future need. Spending $400 on a new TV you had no prior interest in buying, even if it’s 50% off, still means that you’re spending $400.

Research

The benefit of Cyber Monday shopping is the Internet; so use it. If you see Wal-Mart promoting something at a great deal, check the other big box store sites to see who has the best price. Google Shopping can also help you compare current prices so you can track down the best one. If prices are similar at two or more sites, go with the one you have the most experience with; the one you trust, or have a membership or gift cards with.

Black Friday deals aren’t over

Despite it being called Cyber Monday, some of the Black Friday deals will still carry over into this week. For instance, Best Buy is still selling the Galaxy S8, S8+, and Note 8 for up to $400 off. Amazon is doing an entire ‘Cyber Monday Week,’ so even after today, you should keep an eye out for deals that may pop up.

Use a credit card with purchase protection

You’ve done this before; purchased something, only to immediately regret it the second you have it in your hands at home. While Best Buy and Amazon both take returns, depending on the reason for return, there may be a restocking fee. Additionally, many vendors and businesses won’t take something back after a 14-day period. This is where a credit card would come in handy. Certain cards offer extended Return Protection, wherein the credit card company will reimburse you, or take your product back from you if the store refuses to accept a return. The return reimbursement may only be cover up to a certain price (ie: $500) depending on the card, but it’s an excellent safety net regardless.

Other rewards cards have Purchase Protection as well, which will reimburse you in the event that you damage your item, or have it stolen. For instance, I purchased my MacBook Pro With Touch Bar (15-inch) last year with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card, because the card would reimburse me for any physical damage, manufacture defect, or theft that I experience within the first 120 days of purchase; and up to $10,000 per item. While I thankfully did not have to use it, it gave me great peace of mind during those first four months. Even after the Purchase Protection period expires, most credit cards come with 1-year extended warranty that adds an extra year to the warranty that already comes with your product.

Social Media

Social media is a great tool for real-time updates from companies and publications. Use it to keep up to date with the latest deals or sales.

 

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