How to tackle Cyber Monday

Holidays

FILE – In this Dec. 12, 2016 file photo, a person in Miami searches the internet for sales. Online shopping scams are on the rise as thieves look to take advantage of the increase in people shopping online during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — As with Black Friday, Cyber Monday has many gather around to snatch once a year deals but now with a focus on the online aspect of shopping. As the holiday is so important, it is also important to tackle it in the right way.

So here are some tips, courtesy of MyBankTracker.com:

1. Avoid turning Cyber Monday into the holy grail for online shopping – many retailers are offering deals right now because of the pandemic and posting their “Black Friday” deals throughout the season.

2. Avoid being unprepared or arriving late to the party – do the homework; there are few rules for shopping online this year, so check the circulars and download reputable apps. Many retailers offer secret deals just for app users. 

3. Don’t be shy – many retailers price match, so have the comparison ready and call the retailer’s customer service number or use the online chat feature to ask.

4. Avoid gimmicky sites – don’t fall under the spell of slick websites that most have never heard of and check out the online reviews or the Better Business Bureau for online complaints.

5. Stick to the list – make a list and check it twice, it will act as your suit of armor against unnecessary purchases while staying within the best budget for your lifestyle.

6. Avoid buying without an established budget – don’t max out your credit card, because that bill will arrive before you know it and the interest could quickly wipe out any Cyber Monday savings.

7. Shop with free shipping in mind or buy from the same store – this year, many will celebrate the holidays virtually, so take shipping into account. Consider buying all the gifts for the grand-kids from one retailer to take advantage of free shipping – it may end up saving more money than buying it cheaper from somewhere where shipping isn’t included.

8. Wait to buy toys – Cyber Monday is geared toward electronics and clothing; most Christmas toys go more on sale about two weeks before the holiday.

9. Use online cash back shopping portals – it makes no sense to shop online without using a cash back site when there are so many to choose from like Rakuten. Just go through these secure portals to make the purchases and shoppers can earn cash back.

10. Review the return and exchange policies – some items may not be returnable, so all the savings will be wiped out and other items have a limited time-frame for returns.

Bonus tip:  avoid getting scammed – with millions shopping online, cyber scammers will be out in full force as well; shop using a private, password-protected Wi-Fi network and only check out if the URL starts with “https” to help reduce the risk of credit card fraud.

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