If you’re like most American consumers, you’re eagerly awaiting the holidays to roll around. Prepare to be immersed in family, good cooking and shopping. Black Friday is great, but who wants to fight with their neighbors over that last toy just to stand in line for a few hours? The real way to do it this year is to participate in Cyber Monday. There’ll be free shipping and great deals that will compete with the Black Friday sales that you wish you had the energy to go out and pursue.
But wait, Cyber Monday already passed! No worries, the reality is that Cyber Monday ends up lasting all week and ends up molding into some other “Holiday Savings” event. Most sites just use this time of month as marketing opportunities, so there will be endless savings. Even more niche sites, like custom furniture, are maximizing on holiday spirit. For example, Country Lane Furniture features a large “News Alert” for Christmas ideas.
Here are some tips to continue taking advantage of December Deals Month.
Organize Sites and Deals
Open up a Google spreadsheet or Excel and start logging all the big eCommerce sites like Amazon, BestBuy, NewEgg, etc. For each site, record upcoming deals (they usually announce them in advance) and prices.
If you’re not a fan of spreadsheets, you can always create a new email for the occasion, and sign up for deal-specific feeds from these sites. For example, Amazon has an exclusive “Gold” deal feed that displays the biggest discounts.
Search for Coupon Codes
Most people think that the cheapest prices available are those advertised on the website. However, many retailers will offering coupon codes to further reduce these prices. You’ll have to do a little searching to find them, but you should be able to access codes ranging from free add-on items to a certain percentage off the purchase price.
Also, if your retailer doesn’t automatically offer free shipping, make sure to check for a coupon code. There are hundreds of retailers who are all competing for your business on the same day, so you should be able to find a code for free shipping if you aren’t already automatically provided with it.
Use Cash Back Rewards
Shopping online in December is usually a great way to capitalize on cash back rewards. For example, the Chase Freedom card offers 5% back on all Amazon purchases for the month of December. If you check with your credit card provider, you’ll often find that there are financial incentives for shopping at certain online retailers. Not only will you snag a great deal, but you’ll receive cash back to use on future purchases.
Sites like Ebates and NerdWallet are helpful as well because you’ll receive a set amount of cash back with each purchase.
And don’t forget about mail-in rebates. If you have the patience, MIRs can add massive future savings to your orders. Most MIRs go for at least $10 and upwards of 40-50 depending on the product. If you’re spending ~$200 on Christmas gifts, a few MIRs could net you 25% return. This would take a few weeks to process, but if you stick out you’ll end up with enough for free gift!
Shop With Trusted Retailers
One of the easiest ways to ensure that you have a smooth online shopping experience is to stick with trusted retailers. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. You should avoid clicking on third-party advertisements on websites, because scam artists and hackers are notoriously on the prowl around this time.
If you’re trying to get a good price on a TV, but it seems a little fishy, just stay away from it. No matter what the deal is, compromising your financial security isn’t worth it.
Pro Tip: If you’re unfamiliar with a site, you can look up their info with “Whois.net” and just look for the age of the site. If it was created a couple months ago, you should be skeptical.
Social Media is a Goldmine
As social media continues attracting businesses that used to be skeptical, many “regular” users have been faced with a tough decision:
- Do we go up in arms with all the business propaganda in our Facebook feed?
- Or do we take in stride and follow brands that market respectfully?
If we take the later route, we’ll experience some very unique opportunities that many people are still missing out on. For example, the leading pest control company in the country Victor Pest, created a Facebook contest to receive one of their high-end products. The contest was exclusive to social media channels and your chances of winning were extremely better than.