Let’s face it — thanks to Cyber Monday, there really is no reason to slog through bad weather to do your shopping in crowded stores.
Cyber Monday 2013 is expected to generate $1.8 billion in sales, a 13% boost over last year, as more and more people shift their shopping habits online. To get the best Cyber Monday deals, though, savvy shoppers still have to do a bit of preparation … but at least it can be done from the comfort of home.
Here are our top tips to get the most out of Cyber Monday 2013:
Cyber Monday 2013 Tip #1: Know What to Buy
Shopping smart for Cyber Monday 2013 means knowing what items are the best to buy, even after inventories have been picked over on Black Friday and a post-holiday weekend of online shoppers. Some of the best Cyber Monday deals include:
- Clothing and shoes: For Cyber Monday deals, clothing is king; the Christian Science Monitor reports that Cyber Monday has 45% more clothing deals than Black Friday.
- Large home appliances: Free shipping on Cyber Monday helps out a lot with dishwashers, laundry machines and dryers, which can each weigh about 200 pounds. Plus, money-back rebates sweeten these Cyber Monday deals.
- Tech: Historically, Cyber Monday deals on tech aren’t as good as the ones on Black Friday, but if you want a particular smartphone or tablet and it didn’t sell out, companies tend to slash prices on the leftovers. You could also get a great deal on older models of these products. Forget a Cyber Monday deal on Apple (AAPL) iPhones and iPads though — the company has never offered more than free shipping on Cyber Monday.
Another Cyber Monday item to avoid is digital cameras — new camera models are released in January, so wait until then to get a good deal on 2013 models.
Cyber Monday 2013 Tip #2: Compare Prices
When you’re shopping from the comfort of your wireless router’s range, there’s really no reason not to do your due diligence for Cyber Monday 2013. And you don’t have to open a zillion tabs to compare the best Cyber Monday deals — just type in the item name in Google’s (GOOG) Google Shopping search bar to see prices from several different retailers.
Cyber Monday 2013 Tip #3: Get the Right Apps
Why use mobile apps on Cyber Monday if you’ve got your computer right in front of you? The better to multitask with, of course. To get the best prices, here are three of the top shopping apps for Cyber Monday 2013:
- PriceGrabber: Available online, as well as for iPad, iPhone and Android.
- BuyVia: Available for iPad, iPhone and Android.
- TheFind: Available for Apple and Android products.
To put it bluntly, these shopping apps are all more or less the same — you search the item you’re looking for, and the app spits out current deals from different retailers. But that doesn’t mean you should restrict yourself to just one.
Once you’ve decided on an item, run the name through several different price comparison apps or sites to find the best Cyber Monday deals in just minutes.
Cyber Monday 2013 Tip #4: Don’t Pay for Shipping
When shopping for heavy items like appliances, shipping can be a killer — and even for lighter packages like clothes, shipping costs might make you consider (gasp) stepping into the light of day to buy something at a store.
Don’t do it. That’s why free shipping on Cyber Monday was invented.
Cyber Monday 2013 Tip #5: Avoid Cyber Monday Scams
Hands down, shopping for Cyber Monday 2013 should be less stressful than braving the crowds on Black Friday — there’s no risk of being pickpocketed, having gifts stolen from your car or slipping in an icy parking lot at 5 a.m. But there are plenty of reasons not to let your guard down for Cyber Monday deals in 2013, too. Scambook, a site that helps consumers to report complaints against companies, released their annual list of Cyber Monday scams to avoid:
- Free $1000 Gift Card: Last year, Cyber Monday scammers sent out mass texts urging people to fill in a code on BestBuyContest.com and BestBuyWin.net — both fake. This year, be on the alert for similar scams, and only enter information on sites you know are legitimate.
- Fake Leaked Black Friday Ads: This phishing scam involved an email with fake downloadable coupons for big retailers like Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT). Never open promotional emails that aren’t from an official domain name — if in doubt, delete the email without opening.
- False Videos and eCards Carrying Viruses: This Cyber Monday scam hacked users’ Twitter (TWTR) and Facebook (FB) accounts to share fake ecards and videos to their followers and friends that led to viruses and malware.
And, always a good rule of thumb — if something seems too good to be true, try a quick Google search of whatever you’re looking for, plus the word “scam” to get an idea of any other unsavory schemes.
Happy Cyber Monday 2013 shopping!
As of this writing, Carla Lake did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities .