By now you’re probably very familiar with the Black Friday phenomenon. It’s the Friday immediately following Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and it marks the official start of holiday shopping season. So named because it’s a very profitable day for retailers, it’s a day known for its bargains and door-crasher sales.
But Black Friday is also known for bustling crowds, long line-ups and sometimes-violent altercations over deeply discounted merchandise. If you’re not willing or able to venture out on that day, Cyber Monday is the perfect alternative!
In order to compete with brick and mortar stores, many online retailers offer discounts, saving options and free shipping on Cyber Monday, which is the first Monday following Black Friday. In fact, it has become such a success that it was the biggest shopping day of the year in 2017, besting Black Friday by more than a billion dollars.1
How can you make the most of your online shopping experience on Cyber Monday? We’ve compiled some tips and suggestions to help you score the best deals possible – and to do it all safely and securely from your very own home!
- Do your research. Sites like Cyber Monday and Wirecutter can be helpful when you’re tracking bargains. Comparison shopping is easy to do online, so make sure you’re always getting the best deal.
- Make a list. Bargains are fantastic, but it’s still always important to shop within your budget. It can be easy to get sucked in by amazing deals, so make a list of items you are planning to purchase and don’t get distracted by things you don’t really need or want, even if they are on sale.
- Be safe. Always make sure you’re shopping from a secure site (you should see a lock icon and the word “secure” next to the website’s URL when you’ve reached the payment page), and don’t fall for phishing scams sent to you via email. For more information on safe cyber shopping, visit Mashable and Malware Bytes, and to brush up on online shopping safety tips.
- Read the fine print. Make sure you know about return policies and restocking fees just in case something you purchase does need to be returned. There’s nothing worse than scoring a bargain, then losing out because you have to pay for shipping or restocking if you need to return it.
- Start early. The hottest deals can sometimes sell out, so if you have your eye on a hot ticket item, don’t wait too long to snap it up.
- Check the schedule. Some retailers run hourly Cyber Monday specials throughout the day (and night!), so check your favorite online retailer in advance to see if they have set up a schedule so you know what time you need to sit down and shop.
- Monitor your bank account and credit cards. Unfortunately, the busiest shopping season is also the busiest time for fraud and theft. Check your statements very carefully and report anything that is amiss immediately. If you bank online, don’t wait for your paper statement to arrive – check your statements online.
Remember, as a Foresters member you have access to Everyday Money, our toll-free financial helpline. It connects you to an accredited counselor who can help answer your questions about your personal financial matters such as debt management and budgeting. So if you have any money-related questions or concerns as we head into the busy holiday shopping season, help is just a phone call away. Visit MyForesters.com for more information.
Happy cyber shopping!
416770A CAN/US (11/18)