The Monday after Thanksgiving, known as Cyber Monday, has historically been a one-day special online sales event. But now, as It’s Black FridayCyber Monday and other holiday season sales are getting bigger and bigger, making it harder to resist the constant pressure to buy.
A solid strategy can help you make the most of Cyber Monday without blowing your budget. Here’s what you have to do.
Know what’s on sale
Cyber Monday (Nov. 28 this year) is a great opportunity to save money if the deals match your shopping. So what is likely to go on sale?
“Retailers are very wary of supply chain issues, and it looks like they’ve been stockpiling a lot. So I think if everybody continues to do that, we’re going to see a lot of sales for the category,” Jay Klauminzer said. , CEO of Raise, a discount gift card marketplace.
For example, large retailers may offer higher savings on all furniture, clothing or other departments. In addition, Klauminzer expects that consumers will see great deals on consumer electronics such as laptops, TVs, phones and headphones, as well as discounts on hotels, cruise lines and other travel bookings.
Check vendor announcements for updates on what will be marked down, and watch for deals early. Some retailers plan to launch cyber sales before Cyber Monday officially arrives. For example, the Kohl’s Cyber Kickoff event starts on Saturday, Nov. 26, and Macy’s Cyber Monday sales start from Nov. 27-28.
Use shopping tools to maximize savings
You will already be online, so why not use a shopping app or browser extension to save time and money? Reputable tools like PayPal Honey, ShopSavvy, Rakuten and Slide can help you compare prices, find coupons and earn cash on Cyber Monday purchases. Check out more tools before Cyber Monday to find the ones you like.
“Comparison shopping is still going to be your best friend,” says Chris Costello, senior director of marketing research at Skai, a marketing platform.
Using a search engine to look for a product is another easy way to find the best prices from retailers. But Costello says shoppers who go this route may be more likely to encounter ads next to regular product listings. Advertisements, which are labeled as such and tend to appear more prominently in search results, can make better deals invisible.
“Yes, you do your research, but at the same time advertisers and brands are trying to beat you,” Costello said.
Understand your budget and your payment options
It’s easy to get carried away with holiday spending, especially online shopping. The convenience of paying with credit cards, “buy now, pay later” programs and services like PayPal can put your funds at risk.
Make a list of everything you plan to buy and set a spending limit before shopping. Knowing how much money you have coming in and going out each month will help you see how much you can actually spend without draining your emergency savings or accumulating debt that you won’t be able to pay off quickly.
Like you plan your budget, think about this: “Do you already have credit card debt? Can you really afford more debt?” says Sharita Humphrey, a certified financial education coach based in Houston. “Asking, ‘Where am I financially?’ I think that will help us understand how to make the right financial decisions that may affect our credit.”
Keep track of what you’ve bought and tally up the costs as you shop. That way, you’ll know when you’ve reached your spending limit. When taking out a loan, compare the costs of different payment methods first. Make sure you know the payment dates and any interest charges or fees you may face if you can’t pay on time or in full. Losing track of these details can make your purchase very expensive.
“Putting it on your credit card thinking you’re going to pay it off and then you end up paying 25% interest later and it takes you two years to pay it off, that’s where consumers start to run into trouble,” Klauminzer said.
Resist the urge to buy everything right away
As temporary as holiday deals may seem, take comfort in the fact that Cyber Monday won’t be your last chance to get discounts. Some retailers extend Cyber Monday savings into a full Cyber Week. And experts are sure there will be plenty of deals to go around.
“I don’t think this year will have the same ‘snooze and lose’ situation that may have had last year’s supply chain issues,” Costello said. “You can be very patient because I think we will see those deals later in the season.”
If you can’t find deals on the items you want now, check back in a few days or weeks.
“Certain categories aren’t going as well as retailers thought they would, and they need to clear those before the holidays. So you’re going to see, essentially, great deals throughout the month of December,” Klauminzer said.
Keep your budget on track, whether there’s a discount at stake or not. Before adding an item to your virtual shopping bag, ask yourself, “’Is this something I need right now? Is this something I can save up to spend?’” Humphrey said. Then you can decide whether it’s in your best interest to delay the purchase for a few weeks or months or skip it altogether.
It’s important to think long-term and focus on “not getting so caught up in the mess that we end up feeling financially stressed after the holidays are over,” Humphrey said.