Shoppers looking to buy their favorite products are in for good news as the Cyber Monday sale is fast approaching, bringing various exciting deals and discounts. While retailers go all out to promote their popular products, customers should avoid overspending on things that they do not need. To make the most of the holiday season this year, make sure to avoid the mistakes listed below for the best Cyber Monday shopping experience.
Shopping without a budget or list
Before shopping, set a budget and create a list of items one would like to purchase. With major holidays just around the corner, it is best to stock up on gifts for loved ones or ensure one has all the necessary hosting supplies. Curating a list that accounts for all these expenses will help one stay on track and spend responsibly.
Forgetting to leave some wiggle room
Preparing beforehand is an excellent way of staying under budget throughout the holiday season. However, one may be hit with some surprises along the way, such as an extra party invite or a gift exchange. Build a little wiggle room for all these miscellaneous expenses in one’s holiday shopping budget to navigate these easily.
Failing to check return policies
Some major online retailers offer easy returns. However, this may not be the case across all online stores. Some stores may put up restrictive return policies. When shopping at Cyber Monday sales, check the return and exchange policies to not spend money on items one doesn’t want or need.
Not knowing what one gets
Often, digital retailers sell stripped-down versions of popular items. These may offer fewer features than the original. Therefore, before purchasing, read the fine print to understand the product.
Waiting until the last minute
Shopping early can help one save more. The popular saying, “The early bird gets the worm,” holds especially true for the holiday season. One will have access to a wider variety of deals and offers, and one can also find the exact items one is looking for. Waiting until the last minute will lead to a frenzy – not giving one enough time to compare prices across stores. It will cost more money. Additionally, stores may also run out of inventory through the sale period.
Charging everything on the credit card
Avoid using credit cards while shopping at holiday sales. Since credit cards make it easier to shop beyond the budget, one is more likely to overspend. If one staggers one’s payments over a few months, this could add to interest charges later.
If one wants to enforce the budget, consider buying gift cards in cash from major retailers like Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, etc., before the shopping season begins. Double-check if these can be used for online and in-store purchases. When shopping on Cyber Monday, use these for faster checkouts and to help one stay within the budget.
Spending more for free shipping
Another common mistake many people make is adding extra items to their cart to avoid shipping costs. However, more often than not, it ends up being more expensive. For instance, many stores offer free shipping for orders above $99. But if the cart total is $57, with a $5 shipping charge, paying for shipping may be more economical than purchasing more.
Not shopping anonymously
The prices and selection for many online stores are based on location, time of day, shopping history, and other factors. However, when one shops anonymously (using the browser’s private mode, for instance), the website considers them potential customers, thus showing them their best deals and discounts. Use these to one’s advantage to save money on holiday shopping.
Shopping sleepy or hungry
Think of it as shopping for food supplies at the grocery store – an individual is more likely to shop for things they don’t need. Avoid shopping sleepy or hungry to make better financial decisions during the holiday shopping season.
Not opting in for discounts and cashback programs
Many online shopping sites offer instant discounts on sign-ups, along with special cash back and loyalty rewards. Not signing up for the store’s mail programs will leave one missing out on other sales and discounts they may offer and save more during the holiday shopping season.
Budgeting, planning, and staying organized can help ensure a successful shopping season. With many stores launching early deals already, ensure one signs up for their newsletters to avoid missing out on new updates and promotions during the holidays.