For those of us who don’t particularly care to venture (perhaps a couple pounds heavier) into freezing temperatures in the middle of night, Cyber Monday’s existence cannot be appreciated enough. Come December 2, loading our virtual shopping bags with highly discounted goodies serves as a much-needed reward after a marathon weekend of expanded stomachs and exhausting family members. This celebration definitely shouldn’t be cause for distress, so we’ve created a 10-step guide for flawlessly navigating Cyber Monday, the Lucky way:
1. Narrow down your shopping list into three sections: need, want, pending.
By dividing and conquering your wish list into different areas of desire, you’ll know what to prioritize when it comes time to sift through your favorite sites. Be able to differentiate between for which pieces to actively hunt, for which to keep an eye open and for which you’ll only swoop up given a decidedly low price. That being said…
2. Figure out a maximum price cap—and stick to it.
We more than anyone understand the excitement triggered by a great shopping deal, even if it may fall a tad out of your price range. That’s understandable for one select item, but on occasions when you’ll most likely be loading up on multiple pieces, it’s important to have a hard-and-fast price cutoff—and don’t forget to calculate in shipping costs. Your credit card will thank you.
3. Do your research.
Once you have your shopping list and price limit finalized, make a retailer list and separate it into respective categories. When it comes time to finding yourself a chic vanity tray, you’ll know exactly at which home goods locations to start looking.
4. Take a break and regroup later in the afternoon.
Once you commence shopping in the morning, it’s probable you’ll develop tunnel vision on your (organized!) shopping list, disregarding other worthwhile sales in the process. There could be a 75 percent off sweater from your "want" category you could have missed while scouring your "need" list, so take the time to comb through your selected retailers again later in the day.
5. Be patient.
One of the few negatives of online shopping is the dreaded wait between clicking "Process Order" and anticipating for your purchases to actually arrive. Be realistic about your shipping needs: if you don’t have a concrete reason for which to overnight an item or two, resist the urge to succumb to the jacked-up express deliveries.
6. Note the timetables.
While compiling Cyber Monday deals for our own personal research, we noticed that quite a few e-retailers offer sales starting on Black Friday—or even earlier. Take note of these exceptions, and act quickly when you can.
7. Make a wish list at your favorite sites ahead of advance.
As Cyber Monday gets more and more advanced, many sites are making your shopping process as easy and glitch-free as possible. Creating a virtual wish list now goes far beyond the days of your Limited Too holiday round-up you’d send your parents come December 1—on Cyber Monday, retailers will often automatically move the goods from your wish list to your shopping list once sales start. Like we said, it literally couldn’t be easier.
8. Sign up for email alerts.
Don’t want to miss a second of your favorite sales? Register for email alerts at your aforementioned list of stores to get live updates on select items or even the deals as a whole.
9. On the go? There’s an app for that.
Is your Monday morning jam-packed? Your sites may have a fancy, convenient shopping app, or browse one of our go-to shopping apps. Take Hukkster, which tracks your favorite goods online and alerts you the moment they go on sale, and PeeqPeep, which automatically removes all shopping emails from your inbox and creates a catalog for you to browse. Don’t forget RetailMeNot Coupons and Coupons App, where coupons at your favorite stores are updated daily.
10. Create a guide to any applicable codes.
If some Cyber Monday deals seem too good to be true, that’s because they are. Many retailers provide checkout codes to select customers in order for them to receive discounts. Comb through newsletters, emails or the site itself to make a list of these codes, when applicable, to guarantee you get the lower price.