Now that Black Friday 2010 is history, we can anticipate Cyber Monday! Cyber Monday is the Monday after Thanksgiving each year, and it’s the busiest day for online shopping. Personally, I already do at least 90% of my non-food shopping online, and what’s not to like about it? No lines, no irritable sales personnel, no crowds, no sore feet from walking 10 miles around a shopping mall, and no traffic to fight. All you need is a computer with internet access, a shopping list, and you’re ready for Cyber Monday.
There are other benefits to online shopping as well. Many online retailers provide free shipping, and often you can avoid sales tax by shopping online. And the time saved is invaluable this time of year!
Here are some suggestions from this seasoned online shopper:
(1) Have a plan. Know what you want, and compare prices at several online sites. I usually try Amazon first. But then I Google what I’m looking for and look at other online stores as well. One store might have free shipping and another doesn’t. So don’t just look at the initial cost of each item. Consider shipping and taxes as well.
(2) Only buy from secure websites. If you don’t know how to determine if a website is secure, find out before shopping!
(3) Credit cards are more secure than debit cards for online shopping since they have more protections for limiting your liability in case of fraud. A gift card is even better since it doesn’t store any personal financial information.
(4) Don’t follow links in emails, and when you type in a URL, make sure it’s spelled correctly.
(5) Check your bank/credit card statements carefully against purchases you’ve made.
(6) Once you decide what you want, look for discounts or coupon codes. I’ve saved a lot of money by Googling the name of the store and “coupon code.”
(7) Make sure you know the return policy of each store you patronize.
(8) Make a STRONG password for your account with each store. Include some upper and lower-case letters, along with a number or symbol or two. Whatever you do, don’t use an obvious password like 12345, abcde, password or your name.
(9) Place your order and then sit back, relax and enjoy the extra time you have for the holiday season.