RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
Prior to doing any shopping, research. Search for leaked ads online, promo codes, sign up for retailers' newsletters, follow favorite retailers on social media and download tools.
There are many great resources out there, including a new browser extension called PriceWaiter, which works behind the scenes (literally) to ensure you get get the best deals virtually anywhere you shop online. Bonus: It’s easy to use.
You just shop for what you want on the sites you normally shop on—including Amazon Best Buy and Walmart and even brand sites—and when you land on a page with a product where PriceWaiter can negotiate a better deal, a “Make an Offer” banner automatically appears. You then simply enter your offer for the item and PriceWaiter does the negotiating for you, often instantly.
It’s a good tool for shoppers who don’t have the time or the inclination to compare shop prices or use coupons, as that can get tedious.
Cyber Monday deals tend to be both limited time and limited supply. Last year, the steepest discounts were in the morning, but you have to keep your eye on the ball because often times the deals are staggered.
It’s really important that you understand the rules of the site and when the offers are valid. You also should be prepared to pounce, so be sure to check your internet speed and connection. This is a high-volume day and you don’t want to lose out because of an internet issue.
WATCH THE SELF-GIFTING
Gas prices are down, the nation’s jobless rate is at a near 50-year low, and consumer confidence is up to an 18-year high, so people are feeling good this year -- perhaps too good, as we’re seeing more impulse buys and more self-gifting. The easiest place to do this? Online.
Lessen the blow by taking stock of what you currently have and consider doing some selling online prior to buying, whether on eBay, Craigslist or more targeted sites for specific items like decluttr.com, where you can sell your cell phones, CDs, DVDs, game consoles and books. It’s easy, fast, and the payouts are great.
PAY WITH THE RIGHT CARD
What perks does your credit card offer? If you buy something tomorrow and the price drops a few weeks later, does it offer price protection? What about purchase security if you receive something that’s damaged, lost or stolen? What about guaranteed returns if you need to send something back and the retailers won’t take it back? Extended warranty?
About half of consumers are unaware of the perks their card or cards offer, and it’s really important to know this - especially if you’re making large purchases.
Figuring out what your card covers is as simple as calling the toll-free number on the back of your card and asking.
If you do go overboard this holiday season (as many Americans likely will) and you need help managing your credit, or are even wondering about transferring your debt to a 0% APR card, creditsesame.com is an ideal resource, and one you should take advantage of.
Vera Gibbons is the Founder and Editor of “NoPo,” a free daily newsletter that covers the news and curates content in Consumer/ Personal Finance; Health & Wellness; Fashion/Beauty; Fitness/Diet.