Some Great Cyber Monday Online Shopping Sales Success Tips
If you want to find the best deals and sales for Cyber Monday 2011, there are a number of things that you can do now to prepare for your successful online shopping. These are tested strategies that have worked for holiday wish lists of many Christmas shoppers in the past, and they should bring you shopping success this season, especially if you can’t find everything you want on Black Friday After Thanksgiving sales. Whether you're shopping for electronics, clothing, toys, jewelry, books, games, handbags, sporting equipment, and more -- online shopping on cyber monday can really lead to some great bargains, you just have to prepare. Here are a number of online shopping strategies that will help you on Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving as you shop online.
The first thing you want to do is organize your shopping list. This may seem pretty obvious, but many try to simply remember what they're looking for, and they often forget someone's gift. It makes sense to write everything down this Christmas. Simply start with the people on your gift list and the items and/or categories of items that you wish to find for them. For each person on your list indicate a main gift (or gifts) and an alternate or back-up present. After that you really should devise a budget for how much you can spend or are willing to spend on each person. Make sure that you total all of these amounts, so you’ll know if you’ll be unhappy in January when the bills come in! The main gift/back-up gift idea is important because while shopping online, finding a great bargain may make you move to your second choice gift because it’s too great of a deal to pass up. Each time you spend less than you budgeted on someone's gift, you’ll have more money for other presents.
KNOW YOUR FAVORITE STORES AND ONLINE RETAILERS
Next make a list of your favorite stores, or the online retailers who will likely have the items on your lists, and those that historically have great Cyber Monday deals. You can write this down in a notebook, or start a file on your computer, and also bookmark the sites of these stores in your browser. The useful thing to do here is to get gift prices early, so that you will have something to compare the Cyber Monday deals against. Some dedicated shoppers keep full spreadsheets with prices a month or two before the holidays to really know when they spot a bargain. If you have been watching your favorite items for a while, you will know when a sale price is really great!
After you have found and bookmarked all the store sites you might need, the next thing you should do is sign up for their email mailing lists for deals, sales, and announcements. Very often companies will invite customers on their email lists first for a new sale, deal, or promotion, so be sure they know how to reach you. Also follow these companies and online stores on Twitter to get last minute sales and deals. Often short run specials are sent by Twitter tweets because it's a very fast way for them to reach dedicated customers, fans, and followers. Next log into your Facebook account, and "like" your favorite retailers there as well, and you will often find that relevant deals will come your way.
SPECIAL DAILY DEALS AND COUPON AND CODE SITES
Next search for, and bookmark, as many relevant deal sites and coupon sites that you can find. Websites like Woot, Groupon, Living Social, eBay and others have a range of daily deals, some specific to your geographic region, and others as 'experience' gifts and not just merchandise (i.e., discounted day at the local spa, rather than an iPad deal). Some have promotional codes that you can use at checkout for free shipping, and others have actual percentage discounts. It’s amazing how many shoppers purchase online without looking for a code or coupon to reduce their total. For group coupon and daily deal sites, sign up for those that make the most sense for your shopping needs. You will receive a lot of email, but it should be easy to scan for your shopping needs if you keep your Cyber Monday wish list items in mind.
ORGANIZATIONAL IDEAS FOR ONLINE SHOPPERS
If you’re a very serious shopper, it can be helpful to download and use a separate web browser for these sites, bookmarks, and accounts -- perhaps even a separate shopping email address for all your sales mail. If you use Internet Explorer, then consider downloading Chrome for all your shopping needs. If you use Chrome, then consider Safari for dedicated bookmarks, passwords, auto-fill shipping, and billing addresses, preferences, and more. It's a great way to find what you need fast. Remember most Cyber Monday deals are limited - both in time, quantity, and other restrictions. Having a dedicated browser might make it easier for you to check your top ten sites very quickly.
Like many people who work online, you might even consider hooking up a second computer monitor for your online shopping. Even if you only do this for Cyber Monday, you'll be very glad to be able to keep multiple pages open and comparison shop, while simultaneously viewing your Christmas shopping list. Running an extra monitor is easily done on most computers with a separate VGA adaptor or similar item.
SEARCHING ONLINE FOR DEALS
As you get closer to Cyber Monday, you should also simply search for deals using Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and any other search engines or sites that you trust like AOL, Lycos, DogPile, Excite, Facebook, Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and many others. It's possible that you will simply find a sale item that you hadn't considered, especially if some of your wish list items are only categories, but not specific products.
ORGANIZE YOUR CREDIT CARDS
Obviously the best way to pay for Christmas gifts at the mall or department store is to pay cash or use a debit card. This is a very simple keep you from going over budget. When you run out of cash, you must stop shopping. This explains the appeal years ago of popular Christmas Club accounts at banks and credit unions -- the idea of dedicated savings money for holiday shopping. (Some still do this!)
But with online shopping, credit and/or debit cards are obviously a must, and they have the added benefit of buyer protection guarantees. Also some consumers use credit cards to conveniently spread out the costs of annual Christmas shopping to more than just November and December. It might be useful to designate a specific credit card or two for all your shopping so that your bills are consolidated, and any returns are easy. As you prepare for Cyber Monday, also make sure you have the credit limits available for your entire shopping list. This may require paying down any balance you have, or asking your card issuer for a higher line of credit.
Cyber Monday is always a great day to find online shopping sales and deals, whether you're shopping for a designer handbag, or a new tablet computer! It helps if you know where to look and are fully prepared. Honestly, you may even want to arrange for a sick or vacation day, or to use an additional Thanksgiving vacation day so that you're not trying to do all this highly organized Cyber Monday Christmas shopping while you're at work!