Monday is expected to be the busiest Internet shopping day of the year – known as Cyber Monday, 85% of online retailers are expected to run a promotion, according to the National Retail Federation. In addition to the deep discounts, follow these online shopping strategies for Cyber Monday and Beyond:
1. Free 2-day shipping
is a service that provides free 2-day shipping for nearly 70 online retailers, such as Lord & Taylor, PetSmart, Calvin Klein, Sports Authority, Toys R Us and Drugstore.com
Sign-up for the site’s free 30-day trial – once that expires, you can either cancel or continue the program for $8.95 per month – though the savings in shipping will pay for the service itself, especially if you frequently shop at the site’s participating online retailers.
2. Return policies
Even if you’ve scored free shipping on your online purchase, check to see if you have to pay for shipping should you need to return the item. Sometimes the retailer provides a free shipping label, but if you read the fine print, you may learn that the shipping cost will be deducted from the amount of the refund or exchange.
Otherwise, try to shop at online retailers that also maintain brick-and-mortar stores, since these locations will most often accept returns that have been purchased at the online store. Think: Macy’s, J. Crew, Bloomingdale’s, Best Buy – all of which have robust online and brick-and-mortar stores.
3. Abandon your shopping cart
When shopping online, add items to your cart and then delete each item from your cart. In response, the retailer may send you a discount or coupon code via email to encourage you to return to the site.
Retailers don’t want to lose your business, so emptying your shopping cart is a quick way to snag a coupon.
4. Prep your web browser
Download the “PriceBlink” web browser add-on for Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari. Anytime you’re shopping online, the app will let you know if there’s a coupon available for the item you’re trying to buy.
PriceBlink even scans 4,000 retailers to make sure you’re shopping on the cheapest website.
5. Live chat
Take advantage of the “live chat” feature on store websites, which allow you to instant message a store representative. This is the perfect opportunity to ask the store rep to match the price of an item – especially if you found a competitor that sells the same item for a lower price.
Or, if you’re having trouble finding a free shipping code for the retailer, ask the store rep on live chat if they can provide one.