Don’t you love holiday shopping? Cyber Monday takes this activity to a whole new level of great deals and the ease of shopping in your slippers. Let’s look at how to prepare for Cyber Monday.
One of the best ways to prepare for Cyber Monday is to ensure you have access to all the sales information as early as possible. Following your favorite retailers on social media will give you a leg up. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are all good options. If you have a favorite social media platform, start there. Then you can consider adding other platforms to get additional information. Each social media platform has its advantages. Twitter is especially good for time-limited deals, Facebook will have more highly targeted offers, and Instagram and Pinterest are great for visual shoppers.
As the calendar creeps closer to Cyber Monday, most retailers will begin posting information about special sale items. As you start to see advertisements for electronics or cozy cardigan sweaters, you will get a better feel for what items will be available on Cyber Monday at what prices. Signing up for emails from your favorite stores is also a great idea. Make sure to bookmark your favorite retailers’ websites, too.
Capture the names of everyone on your holiday gift list along with information such as their clothing sizes, favorite colors, and anything specific you know they would like. Asking hard-to-buy-for family members for electronic wish lists can be a helpful strategy. It's amazing how easy it is to confuse things like family members' clothing sizes and favorite colors. If you have one niece who wears petite sweaters and loves black and another one who wears regular misses’ sizes and loves blue, write that information down so you don’t have to “carry it around” in your head. If you really want to get organized, consider putting everything into a spreadsheet. It will make it much easier to track what you have bought for whom, how much you spent, and what you still want to do.
You’ll want to take advantage of great deals on Cyber Monday and be happy with how much you spent, too. It can be a good idea to split your Cyber Monday budget into categories such as holiday gifts, items for your home, and non-gift clothing. If you are partnered and considering buying big-ticket items, discuss these in advance with your partner. You’ll want to be able to go shopping on Cyber Monday and be on the same page with respect to budgets.
Keep an eye out for multiple buy deals on items you are sure to use, such as your favorite colors of women’s long sleeve T-shirts. Cyber Monday shopping isn’t just about buying gifts for others. It’s a great time to stock up on need-to-haves as well as treat yourself to something special.
When shopping on Cyber Monday, keep an eye on shipping costs. Many retailers offer free shipping for orders beyond a specific dollar amount. Understand relevant return policies, too. Hopefully, everything that you buy will arrive looking great with the perfect fit, but you will want a convenient contingency plan. Some retailers offer free returns if you drop an item off at their brick-and-mortar store, whether you originally bought it there or online.
Also, check shipping estimates. If you are shopping for Christmas, Cyber Monday will usually be early enough to receive your items, but it’s wise to double-check. If you are buying Christmas pajamas for the whole family, you’ll want them to all arrive in time for hanging out together around the Christmas tree and taking some fun photos.
Check the shopping hours for Cyber Monday for your favorite retailers in advance. Is there a specific time that the best deals are expected to start? Most retailers have Cyber Monday deals available for at least 24 hours, but the most popular inventory can sell out fast. Some retailers start Cyber Monday before Monday, and some have Cyber Week.
If the deals start at midnight, consider staying up late with some cocoa and then going online so you can be the early bird that gets the worm. If you are hoping to buy any “must-have” items for holiday gifts, this can be a great strategy. What could be better than shopping in your favorite flannel pajamas, robe, and slippers?
By starting your Cyber Monday strategy early and taking advantage of social media, your own organizational tools, and the great deals to be had, you can clean up on amazing buys while staying within your budget. Enjoy getting those great deals from the comfort of your own home!