Shopping Tips (November 28, 2011) – Cyber Monday is expected to attract close to 80 million internet shoppers in the U.S. market, where 70 percent of the economy is tied to consumer spending. Additionally, a record-setting total of 226 million Americans went shopping at stores and online from Thursday to Sunday. (What recession?)
SEE: Top 5 online retailers for Cyber Monday
Here are 3 savvy tips for Cyber Monday deal seekers:
1.) Go directly to the special deals section
Skip the fluff. While most internet stores like Amazon.com, Best Buy and Walmart have created Cyber Monday sections on their main page, a majority of their sites are still dedicated to regular items and normal pricing. (Hey, these are public companies and they don’t want the price of their stock to tank just because it’s the holidays.)
At internet stores, go directly to the Cyber Week and special deals section to quickly scan which products have the biggest discounts. For example, if you go directly to Amazon’s Deals Week section, you’ll see household items being sold at 80 percent discount, while certain electronics are being offered at 60 percent discount. Spend your time here.
Virtual store CyberMonday.com lists the 10 most popular products at the bottom of the page. Walmart.com is listing a 32″ LCD HDTV for $209 in the weekly deals section.
VIDEO: 10 tips for Cyber Monday shoppers
2.) Seek deals on shipping and returns
Virtually all of the internet stores are rolling back their prices. That’s a common denominator. During Cyber Week, even 20 percent discounts won’t differentiate a retailer when giant stores like Amazon and Best Buy are routinely cutting prices by over 50 percent.
SEE: Amazon.com opens Cyber Monday Deals Week
So look for promotions outside of price points, like free or discounted shipping (such as Amazon.com). Also, look for extended return dates and buy-one, get-one-free offers. Best Buy is giving online shoppers until January 24 to make returns on most items. That’s giving customers nearly two full months to make returns!
3.) Common sense practices for online security
And finally, here are some common sense tips to caution deal seekers.
- Report any complaints to IC3 (Internet omplaint Center)
- If you’re shopping at a mom-and-pop establishment, verify the website’s security settings. Secure websites have addresses that begin with “https://”
- Be skeptical of too-good-to-be-true deals. The more outlandish the offer, do more research to make sure that it’s a legit website and not some phishing scam.
- Use credit cards on cyber purchases; never wire transfer funds. Federal law allows you to challenge charges on undelivered items, and you can dispute any unauthorized charges on your bank or credit card.
- Keep all of your receipts. No exceptions! Digital proofs of purchase protect you if there’s a dispute. Don’t delete confirmation emails until your items have been shipped in a satisfactory manner.
Copyright 2011 Marv Dumon. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed. All rights reserved.