We all know about that traditional shopping mayhem known as Black Friday, and there are plenty of tips for shopping that day - however, in this Tech Tip we’ll be looking at some practical shopping tips for that follow-up chaser to Black Friday known as Cyber Monday.
No crowds to fight; no mad stampede when the store opens; no fighting hand to hand retail combat over a Barbie™ - just a day of “on the computer” shopping bliss.
On draft day in the NFL many teams will be looking to fill a particular need, however sometimes there is a player that is wanted that is SO good that they choose to pick “the best player on the board” irrespective of needs. With shopping on Cyber Monday it is also good to go in with a plan like that - be sure to know what your NEEDS are first (what in particular you are shopping for) but also keep yourself open to be able to pick up “that” deal - the best deal available - if it should present itself.
So, first: make a list of what you are looking for in particular: TVs? Laptop computers? Tablets? Toys? Clothing? Geeky do-dads? You can be very precise, but it would be better to keep yourself open to variations. Do your homework ahead of time: price comparison with shopping engines such as Google shopping, Nextag, etc. Maybe, if possible, make a trip to your nearest retailer ahead of time to get a hands on look at an item. Know what kind of budget you have for each item and be sure to factor in any shipping charges that may be included (especially on large bulky items that e-tailers would be less inclined to offer free or reduced shipping on).
Check out the e-tailer ahead of time to see if they will be tipping their hand as to what kind of deals that they may have; also be sure to sign up for any news letters that they may have. Check where the e-tailer is located (west coast; east coast, etc) as this may affect what time they start their Cyber Monday sale (for instance, if shopping for electronics, Geeks.com and Newegg are all on the west coast; however Tiger Direct and B&H are on the east coast). Find out what “time” they plan to start their sale, Midnight? 6 AM? Also check if they plan on offering multiple, staggered, sales throughout the day (as many retailers do on Black Friday) so you’d know if it would be worth it to check back on a particular website. If allowed, be sure to preregister with any sites (including payment information) to help speed up shopping on “the day”.
Get ready! Get set! GO! Because you have done your homework, you are ready to meet the challenge of staggered start times, are signed in and have multiple browsers open on your favorite sites! Be ready to cycle through your browsers and refresh if necessary. When the time hits, be calm, but be quick! If the e-tailer is charging a shipping fee, try to consolidate all purchases to a single cart (if possible) to keep shipping charges lower.
It can’t be emphasized enough: keep in mind quantities are usually VERY limited, so be sure to get your order in as fast as possible. Know that there are sometimes “glitches, ” so be sure to know how to handle them in advance. Have your e-mail client open to see if any messages are sent about an item being out of stock, etc. If a website crashes (after all, they are likely to be pretty slammed when their sale starts), you can try it again with the same browser, or maybe have a different browser ready (for example, be ready to use the stock Internet Explorer or Safari browsers - but also have Chrome, FireFox, Opera, etc ready on a moments notice). Shopping from a computer will be quicker (due to a physical keyboard) than shopping from a tablet or phone. You can also get family and friends in on the action and divide and conquer your Cyber Monday shopping spree.
Yes, by doing your due diligence before the day and being ready ON THE DAY you will find that your Cyber Monday shopping experience will be a fruitful and, we hope, rewarding shopping one. It is our hope that this Tech Tip will help you in planning your shopping feat on this coming Cyber Monday!