How to make the most of Cyber Monday

If Black Friday’s mad dashes, bustling crowds and parking nightmares aren’t your shopping style, then it’s all about Cyber Monday (think all of those amazing deals, but online). Now is the perfect time to upgrade those electricals, shop for Christmas gifts, or treat yourself to a bargain buy. Speed is key to getting what you want before it goes: enter our handy hacks to mastering Cyber Monday madness…

Shop Cyber Monday deals

If Black Friday’s mad dashes, bustling crowds and parking nightmares aren’t your shopping style, then it’s all about Cyber Monday (think all of those amazing deals, but online). Now is the perfect time to upgrade those electricals, shop for Christmas gifts, or treat yourself to a bargain buy. Speed is key to getting what you want before it goes: enter our handy hacks to mastering Cyber Monday madness…

Shop Cyber Monday deals

Make a wishlist

It's so easy to get carried away by the dazzling array of deals on offer, especially if you're a shopper who gets a huge buzz from a bargain. To keep you on track (and your bank balance in the red) make a wishlist the night before. Try categorising your list into 'need', 'want' and 'nice to have' to keep you focused on getting the best deal for yougive or take a few it-would-be-rude-not-to treats of course!

Find your retailers

Now you know what you're looking for, have a think about where you'll go to first to find those products. Having a mental shortlist of retailers will allow you to compare prices quickly on the day so you can be satisfied that you've bagged a real bargain (who doesn't love that smug feeling).

Decide on a (loose) budget

Savvy Cyber Monday shopping is all about getting the best value, not necessarily the biggest discounts. Part of that is having a ballpark figure in mind that you're happy to spend and sticking to it. There's nothing worse than seeing a deal later on that's too good to miss but you've already gone over budget.

Did you know?

Cyber Monday started life way back in the dark days of dial-up internet (gasp, were we ever without Wi-Fi?!) when people used work computers that had a better internet connection to buy things online. After window shopping all weekend, the first Monday after Thanksgiving in the US became a popular time to shop on the internet. When retailers like Amazon noticed this, Cyber Monday was born and is now the biggest online shopping day of the year.

Be an early bird

Some retailers will start their Cyber Monday promotions just after midnight but most will wait until around 5 or 6am. This might sound too early to shop, but trust us, some of the high street heavyweights like John Lewis, House of Fraser, M&S and Currys will see their biggest spike in sales at this time of the day. Stock can run out in a matter of minutes, especially for branded electricals and gadgets. It's highly unlikely these items will be replenished during the day so if you spot an irresistible deal early in the morning, don't hesitate, it might not be around later.

Add items to your basket in advance

If you've got your eye on something specific already that you hope will be discounted, it might be worth finding it the night before and adding to your basket. Some retailers hold items there for a few minutes, others for a few days. There may also be an option to save for later. Be sure to log into an account first so when Cyber Monday strikes, you've already done hard work searching, leaving you a swift and hassle-free payment.

Check your internet connection

At that crucial 'buy now' moment, the last thing you need is a sketchy internet connection letting you down. If you're on the go, make sure you're somewhere with a solid Wi-Fi connection or at home with the router fully booted.

Top tip: Set up accounts now

If you haven't created an account with your shortlisted retailers already, it's worth doing this the night before. By saving your payment details, delivery and billing addresses in advance, your checkout will be much smoother - allowing you to move swiftly onto the next deal!

Read your emails

Your inbox will be flooded but it's so worth looking through the promotional emails you'll receive on Cyber Monday - these will come thick and fast as you wake up. These emails can shortcut your journey to the best deals online and will give you a great overview of the offers available from places you already like to shop. Watch out for great promotions from intu too!

Beware of sites crashing

At peak times, some websites get so bombarded with visitors that they momentarily crash. If you see a message online asking you to come back later, just keep refreshing the page on your browser every few minutes until the site comes back (retailers will be working like the clappers to get online again so any crash shouldn't last too long).

However, if this happens to you during the checkout process, take screenshots just in case your order isn't fulfilled or there's any confusion over whether payment was made. Retailers are processing literally thousands of orders at once so if you're unsure whether or not your checkout completed or you didn't receive a confirmation email, you have something to enquire with later on if need be.

Don't forget about delivery

Many retailers will be offering free delivery as a cherry on top of their Cyber Monday deals. Great! For those that don't, consider a free click and collect service instead so you don't end up spending the saving you made on delivery.

Top tip: Try Paypal

If you're new to PayPal, it's a really simple and secure way to pay for items online, particularly using your mobile. Opening an account is free, quick and painless too. Thousands of stores accept PayPal as a payment method which means you can pay in just one click without typing in any card details or personal info. Easy peasy.

Signing up with new retailers

If you're buying from somewhere new and you're in a rush (especially if on your phone), using your Gmail or Facebook account to sign up is your fast-track super route to the checkout. Tapping in endless personal details when you're about to buy a swanky new TV is such a bore

Check returns policy

If you have time, take a glance over returns policies. Whilst a lot of retailers offer free returns, especially for big spends online, for discounted items the time frame to return your order can be a lot shorter. Now shopping season is in full swing it can be easy to lose track and forget to return unwanted items.

If you miss out

Don't worry! Cyber Monday deals might be the best discounts you'll see for most of December but many retailers are launching their traditional January sales earlier each year. So if you didn't manage to bagsy that coffee machine or – ahem – designer handbag, you might still find a great price if you can hold out until Christmas Eve.

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