It’s already in the air. The frenzy of upcoming shopping deals is upon us, with online retailers offering a “BlackFriday Deals Week” or even “Cyber Monday Week”. Amazon.com has been offering Black Friday “countdown” deals for several days, offering customers daily deals on a wide variety of merchandise.
Savvy shoppers that are looking for the best online and locally-focused deals will use technology tools and patience to help them find the best deals without blowing through their budget. The following eight tips provide consumers with some helpful tips to manage the shopping frenzy:
1. Looking for daily deals and other local steals? Use a map-based deal aggregator service such as 8coupons to find good deals. It presents deals from various sources that are displayed in a map, so viewers can quickly see the best local incentives. It also provides a platform for consumers to buy, view, and create their own deals.
2. Start early. Don’t wait until the morning of Cyber Monday to dive into the deals. Many highly promoted items could be a limited inventory, meaning they will be sold out quickly and normal pricing might remain on the rest of the stock. Stay up until midnight eastern on Sunday night to get on top of the best deals right when they go live.
3. Do some recon. Try out some items at a brick and mortar store before you snag an online deal. Even if that new TV is 65% off, if you don’t like the picture quality in the person, then it’s not a “deal” at all. In-person visits help you judge the size and weight of products, and you can even get a feel for the quality of their construction.
4. Focus on the right items. Cyber Monday is especially good for clothes, DVDs, video games, jewelry, and books, which are some of the most common items on most people’s shopping lists. Combine these items with free shipping, and many people can avoid Black Friday entirely. Appliances are also a good buy during this time, especially with the savings of free delivery.
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5. Look for big deals on last year’s products. Electronics change versions very frequently, and in many cases the changes are basically cosmetic. As long as the previous version won’t have “compatibility issues”, then grab a great deal on an item that will be perceived as old, even if it was released 10 months ago!
6. Watch out for “add-on” items that you might not really need or use. While you should get a nice case for your iPad, don’t assume the ones that popup after you buy your device are the cheapest and best options. Retailers suggest items to encourage impulse buys, which are a sure way to eat into your savings.
7. Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals aren’t just for electronics. Many daily deals sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial are also offering discounts on locally-focused deals on services from spa treatments to hotel stays. Simply pop in your zip code and see what deals you can find.
8. A coupon doesn’t always mean you get the best deal. Make sure you do the math to ensure your discount coupon savings is greater than the sale price on the same item offered through another site. Free shipping should be easy to find on Cyber Monday, so the value of free shipping coupons isn’t very high during the sales.
Tips provided by 8coupons
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