Cyber Monday (or as professionalHashtagologists™ like myself call it, #CyberMonday) is when civilized people choose to stay in their pajamas all day, drinking hot chocolate and knocking out most of their holiday shopping!
So as far as I’m concerned, it’s the most wonderful shopping day ever, and I’m here to make it even better for you with some great apps and tips that can help you save time and money this year.
Retale is a new app and website that brings retail circulars to life digitally! Instead of sorting through hundreds of paper circulars looking for the best deal, you get to see them in an interactive format and you only have to check one place!
Here’s how it works: Just tell Retale the products you want, the stores you shop in and where you live. Then it goes through the circulars to find you the best sales! Sure, if you have time and want to check out all of the circulars for all the stores around you, that’s still an option. But if you are looking for something very specific, like a certain brand of television, this app will show you which stores are advertising in the circulars so you can compare prices in an instant. Save time, money and trees!
RetailMeNot has been around for a really long time, and there is a reason for that — it’s great! I absolutely 100 percent love this app. It has a proven track record for saving people money and on #CyberMonday this year it will really shine. RetailMeNot does all the hard work behind the scenes to give you the best deals online and tell you where to go to make that purchase. When you see a deal you like, you can click the link and Retailmenot will take you directly to the site. If you are not sure what to buy, there's even great gift ideas and coupons for some of your favorite retailers.
This is the best app to track all your online purchases. If you do a lot of shopping on #CyberMonday, keeping track of all the payments, receipts, shipping dates and tracking numbers can be a nightmare. I use an app called “Slice” every year to track all of my online purchases. It's so easy for me to see when an item is being shipped and set to arrive. I find it especially useful on Monday because I buy so much stuff on the one day! Slice not only tracks all of your online purchases, compile all the info you need to track and file those purchases, it will notify you if there’s a price drop or a recall on something you bought. What's more, the app provides the phone number to call to make it right. This app takes the hassle out of being super organized when shopping online.
Walmart’s mobile app
For #CyberMonday, Walmart is making deals immediately available for people who have this app. But even if you don’t have a smartphone or tablet, don’t worry! Walmart is doing the same thing for Facebook users and email subscribers. So, you would be smart to either download the app now, friend Walmart on Facebook or sign up via email. You know the deals are going to be really good at Walmart and you don’t want to miss out on some of the lowest prices this holiday shopping season.
Even more tips for shopping on #CyberMonday
- Make sure to get an early start if you want something specific. Many sale items are limited in quantity.
- Buyers should really know the brand, the item and the site they are planning to shop for it ahead of time. If you find a deal on a site you have never heard of, be sure to really check out the company BEFORE you place your order and give over any personal information. (Pro Tip: Ask on social if anyone has used the website!)
- Make sure to pay with a credit card and NEVER a bank debit card. It would be devastating to give cyber criminals access to your bank accounts.
- Always check to see if the retailer offers free shipping, but don’t always rush to spend more money just to qualify. Remember what your budget is, and stick to it.
- Check up on ALL of the rules on returns — sometimes they are limited and can be costly, other times they are very generous for the holidays. Know this before you buy!
- Make sure to do your homework on EVERYTHING you are purchasing! One big trick I don’t like is when companies try to get rid of older models or poorly selling items to make room for their the new inventory.
- Keep refreshing your Twitter account for search terms like #deals and, of course, #CyberMonday.
Digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong is a technology contributor to TODAY. Read more from him at marioarmstrong.com and follow him on Twitter @marioarmstrong and on Facebook.
First published November 28 2013, 7:47 AM