Watch out Black Friday; there’s a new super-shopping day in town. Cyber Monday, the online sales extravaganza that opens just as Thanksgiving weekend closes, is perfect for shoppers wanting to score a deal — from the comfort of their pajamas.
More and more Americans are doing just that. In fact, in 2013, the biggest virtual shopping day of the year raked in an estimated $2.29 billion, according to Internet Retailer, an ecommerce intelligence service.
So if you’re ready to save some holiday cash with the click of a mouse — or the tap of your smartphone — find out the best ways to snag those cyber deals.
Get on the list
Got a list of favorite online retailers? Make sure they have you on their lists, too. Before Thanksgiving weekend hits, make sure you’ve subscribed to promotional emails and newsletters from your favorite stores (you can unsubscribe later).
This way, you can let the deals come to you instead of searching them out. For additional savings, follow the brands’ Facebook pages, Twitter and Instagram feeds as well.
Be willing to stay up late
Sure, you may have a full-time job, but what’s a little lost sleep when mega cash-savings is on the line? If you want to effectively shop the Cyber Monday deals, be willing to stay up a little late; many of the online sales begin at midnight on the Monday following Thanksgiving.
Since inventory on the hottest items can be limited, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a good place in the virtual line — not to mention that some retailers offer early-morning promotions that could disappear when the hour turns decent.
Search for stackable deals
When it comes to shopping on Cyber Monday, you shouldn’t have to settle for just one promotion; search the internet for additional perks, like free shipping, gifts with purchase, or other discounts.
Many retailers will allow you to stack promotions to maximize your savings — and who doesn’t want to do that? Check out www.retailmenot.com, www.ebates.com or similar sites that archive current promotions by retailer.
Take advantage of technology
Cyber Monday is all about scoring electronics and other goods — electronically. Take advantage of technology that can help you save even more. For instance, some smartphone apps and browser add-on programs can help you find the best deal for the items on your list quickly and easily.
Make (and stick) to a plan
Dazzling websites and killer deals can make anyone swoon — especially holiday shoppers looking to snag a bargain. Before you venture online, make a list of items you’d like to purchase, and outline a budget for each.
This can help you stick to your guns when you’re offered $25 off if you spend a mere $50 more. Not to mention that a list will help you focus on which sites to hit first, ensuring that you actually get the deals that mean the most to you.
Now that you're armed with the tools to make Cyber Monday unforgettable, don't forget to do your finger exercises so that you're quick to click when it matters most. Kristen has a journalism degree and has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.