Cyber Monday may not be as infamous as Black Friday, but often times there are better deals to be found. Plus, there's no crowds of shoppers pushing and shoving to get there first. If you'll be doing your shopping online, here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you get the best deals you can — and stay safe doing it.
Sign Up with Cash-Back Sites
Websites like Ebates
refund you a percentage of your purchases from select stores. Just sign up for a free account and click through to one of the thousands of available retailers.
Sign up for email newsletters from your favorite retailers, follow them on Twitter and “like” them on Facebook. This may get you special coupon codes, exclusive deals for newsletter subscribers or a jump on special offers revealed on the fly.
Just because a store says it has the lowest prices doesn't mean you should take their word for it. Use Pricegrabber
or Google's product search
to compare prices from different stores to be sure you're getting the best deal possible.
If a site you've never heard of has an unbelievably low price on a popular item, just remember that when things sound too good to be true, they usually are. Thousands of scam sites exist solely to get you to enter your personal or credit card information so they can do a little shopping of their own — on someone else's dime.
Spencer Platt, Getty Images
Most credit cards have fraud protection to keep you safe even if your card number falls into the wrong hands — something that may not be true of your debit card. Credit cards also allow shoppers to dispute charges if the item ordered is never received or substantially misrepresented. And if a merchant asks you to wire cash? Don't even consider it.
Don't Forget the Shipping
Before you even start shopping on a site, check its shipping charges. Many retailers ship for free or will do so if you order above a certain amount, but FreeShipping.org
has free shipping codes for thousands of sites too. And if you're buying gifts, also make sure the site's shipping times will get your items to you before the holidays.