RPT-YOUR MONEY-How to get the best deals on Cyber Monday

Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:16am EST

By Beth Pinsker Gladstone
    NEW YORK, Nov 23 (Reuters) - In a one-day blitz of shopping,
consumers are expected to empty their wallets of more than $1
billion on Cyber Monday, the online shopping spree on Nov. 26,
according to spending projections from research firm, ComScore.
    The day follows closely on the heels of Black Friday on Nov.
23, which kicks off the holiday shopping season at stores, and
is often the busiest shopping day for retailers. 
    Come Monday, not every Web-browsing window shopper will hit
the "buy" button, and 65 percent of shopping carts are typically
abandoned by online shoppers, says the Baynard Institute in
Copenhagen. These consumers may be motivated by a belief, often
correct, that there's a better deal out there. 
    Cyber Monday 2012 may offer the best deals on technology
products this year, says Brian Hoyt, senior writer for
RetailMeNot.com, a coupon code site. 
    That's because merchants have held back their best deals for
the Black Friday-Cyber Monday shopping bonanza to whittle down
their inventory, and they are likely to sell out without needing
to discount further, he says. 
    Here are strategies that should help you navigate Cyber
Monday and enjoy the best possible prices this year. 
    
    MAKE A LIST
    Successful Cyber Monday shopping is not about aimlessly
browsing or getting everything in one place, says Hoyt. It's
about honing your list down to specific items and searching for
the lowest prices for each of them.
    One way to do this is to browse at stores over the holiday
weekend, to scan bar codes of desired products into a
price-checking application like Red Laser, and to check reviews
or browse ads at home.
    "If I were a consumer trying to be as thrifty as possible, I
would invest my time at the aggregated websites that are
compiling the Cyber Monday deals," says Andrew Baker, assistant
professor of marketing in the College of Business Administration
at San Diego State University. (Some such sites areand)
    And, when stores are shut, check for deals online. 
    "That's what retailers want you to do," says Dan Olds, who
runs Gabriel Consulting Group, a retail trend watching firm. 
    
    MAXIMISE SAVINGS
    Once you've narrowed down your wish list, it should take
minutes to find the lowest price, says RetailMeNot's Hoyt.
Simply plug the item into a search engine like Nextag, Google
Shopping or Pricegrabber, and evaluate. 
    Then, enter details on the stores with the best prices into
a coupon code site (such asor) to see if there
are codes that come up. 
    When you do the math, you may find that the merchant in the
No. 2 spot may be offering a 10 percent discount deal or free
shipping, offering better overall value than the store in the
top spot. 
    Indeed, try to avoid shipping costs altogether. 
    To broaden your chances of finding deals, "Like" and follow
your favorite stores on Twitter and Facebook ; some
retailers will post deals just for their online fans. 
    If you are an active online shopper, you may receive
personalized deal offers as the holiday season progresses.for
procrastinators who want a day of their own.
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