Cyber Monday: Get ready!

I don’t care what you say about the Internet; yes, it provides unparalled access to information and has completely transformed the way that we work and live. But also-it has given us the chance to bargain hunt in our pajamas (if we so choose!)

Are you planning to shop ‘til you drop on Cyber Monday (good thing you’re already in your chair). Here are some things to consider.

Plan ahead

Now is the time to scour the flyers and your favourite retailer’s websites for deals. Remember- deals are often time and/or quantity limited. You’ve got to be ready to pounce once the cyber gates are open.

You can even do a little pre-shopping by loading up your cart with items that you seek. That way, all you have to do is checkout once the sales take effect. Make sure that the discounts are reflected before you finalize your sale.

Read the fine print

Double check on things like shipping and return policy. If you have to spend a lot of time and money returning things, then the bargain factor of your bargain wanes significantly.

There are loads of stores that do offer free shipping during the holiday season. Take advantage of that, and make a point of only using stores that do.

Set your budget

Cyber shopping can be a little dangerous from a budget standpoint in the sense that your shopping excursion will be funded by your credit card. Set a limit and stick to it. Wherever possible, use only one credit card and plan to pay that balance as soon as possible with cash you’ve earmarked for the occasion.

Shop safe

Avid shoppers are not the only ones who will be surfing on Cyber Monday. Hackers will be in hot pursuit of your identity and your personal and financial information.

Protect yourself. Don’t use free Wi-Fi. Get coupons or discounts directly from the retailers, and not from suspicious emails. Check your statement electronically a day or two after purchases to ensure that everything is legitimate.