Cyber ​​Monday: tips for shopping safely

MIAMI.- At the end of November many decide to buy gifts for Christmas, especially thanks to the Black Friday offers and Cyber ​​Monday. This Cyber ​​Monday or Cyber ​​Monday there are many opportunities and discounts for those interested in purchasing products online.

Lightning deals and exclusive discounts become irresistible, attracting consumers from all over the country. The most popular categories this Cyber ​​Monday include technology, with notable discounts on laptops, smartphones and streaming devices.

However, online shopping lovers should act with restraint when going for these “sales”, as sometimes they are nothing more than mirages or excellent marketing ploys.

The rise of online shopping also means an increase in demand for fast and efficient shipping services. Hence, logistics and express courier companies work overtime to cover the avalanche of orders and ensure that the products arrive in time for the festivities.

However, it is one of the most important days of the year in the United States commercial scene.

Tips for shopping on Cyber ​​Monday

Consolidated Credit, a credit counseling company focused on financial education, made a summary of points to keep in mind for purchases on Cyber ​​Monday.

1. Don’t choose the first offer you find

The biggest mistake shoppers make with Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday deals is assuming that those two days will offer the most phenomenal deals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Otherwise, retailers often use some clever tricks to convince you that you’re getting the deal of a lifetime, even when you’re not. Here are some examples:

  • They raise prices on a big-selling item weeks before Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, so when they mark it as “sale,” you actually end up paying the original price before the pre-Black Friday markup.
  • Sometimes retailers will go so far as to lower the same sales price they announced last year for an item, regardless of how much the price of that item has dropped during the year.

2. Start comparing prices early

With Step 1 in mind, we recommend you go online and start comparing items on your seasonal shopping list in advance:

  • Start by making a list of everything from the decor to the table. You will want to write everything down in detail. The better your idea of ​​what you need to spend, the better your chances of avoiding overspending.
  • Go online and search for each product you need to buy. Then compare the prices of the different retailers that offer that product.
  • Write down the best prices, where you can buy the products, and which retailer offers the lowest price because some stores may match the lowest price you find. Also, consider the best online deals versus the cheapest in-store deals.
  • In most cases, a search engine, such as Google, will offer free price comparisons of different retailers that have that product in their inventory.
  • Once Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday deals start appearing, start comparing their prices to the prices you’ve found to see where the best deals really are.
  • Be on the lookout for the best deals early on and take advantage of them. This will also help reduce the number of transactions you have to make on Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday. And it can help you avoid debt.
  • Finally, limit Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday shopping to the products and stores that actually offer the best deals.

3. Maximize Cyber ​​Monday savings

In recent years, Cyber ​​Monday has become increasingly popular. Since the pandemic, the online purchases have increased, so it’s obvious that consumers want to avoid the crowds and shop from the comfort of their couch or bed. So, avoid the hassle of going out and buying something that is already out of stock and look for it online.

Here are some steps you can take to maximize your Cyber ​​Monday savings:

  • Ahead of Cyber ​​Monday, sign up for email alerts and/or follow your favorite retailers on social media. That way you can stay ahead and will often get exclusive deals that aren’t yet available to the public.
  • Look for exclusive deals online. For example, Amazon is offering 30% off 4k TVs, Amazon Echo Dots, and Apple AirPods on Cyber ​​Monday.
  • Make sure online deals aren’t outbid by in-store deals. Even in email promotions, some retailers offer bigger deals for in-store purchases rather than online ordering.
  • Write or save coupon codes in the notes app on your smartphone. Certain offers (especially those you get in the last step of your purchase) may not be displayed in the coupon code list on the website. You can also use an app like Honey to save coupons to your phone, or use its browser extension on your computer, which will search for coupon codes wherever you shop.
  • If you have multiple offers from a single store, make sure they can be combined. Some stores only allow you to apply one coupon code per order or per product. Otherwise, be sure to use offers that maximize your savings.
  • Always opt for free shipping if available – the chance of ground shipping taking too long if you order on Cyber ​​Monday is really low, unless an item is backordered by the supplier.
  • You can also use cashback apps on your smartphone or as browser extensions that allow you to earn cash. Browser extensions like Rakuten and iBotta will check for refunds as you shop, and you can activate them before you check out. Rebates stack with coupons, meaning you can double your savings on many purchases.
  • If you are purchasing heavy items like refrigerators or washer/dryers, it is best to buy them in-store if they offer free home delivery, as the weight of the product can make shipping expensive. Therefore, make sure that the price discount is not completely offset by shipping costs.

4. Minimize credit card debt and interest charges

Just like shipping costs on a heavy item can offset a lot when you shop online, interest charges can do the same for those deals if you make purchases with a credit card.

Let’s say you spend $300 between Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday and all transactions are on a credit card with an average APR of 15%. If it takes you 6 months to pay off that balance by making payments of $60 each month, then you add $14.26 in interest charges. If you only made minimum payments, it would take you 24 months to pay off and add $59.36 in interest charges. Those additional finance charges could easily eat into the savings from the sale.

  • For Cyber ​​Monday, an online payment service like PayPal is the best option: You don’t have to enter sensitive account information and there are no interest charges since you can only spend the money you’ve saved in the account.

More about Consolidated Credit

For more than 30 years, Consolidated Credit has helped more than 10.2 million people become free of credit card debt and achieve financial stability.

The problem of credit card debt is running rampant in the United States (US). Those residing in the US owe more than $950 billion and continue to add more debt each year. However, the truth is that most people are not taking on debt because they are irresponsible; today, the majority of credit card debt is generated by lack of income, emergency expenses, and medical debt.

Solving the challenge of credit card debt for people today requires more than just a program to help them become debt-free. True financial stability requires education and discipline, and CC helps its clients with that.

CC’s mission is to assist families in the United States and Puerto Rico to end their financial crisis and teach them how to manage their money through education and professional credit counseling.

FOUNTAIN: Consolidated Credit