First off, a big thanks to Doni for letting me contribute to aNewsCafe.com on a regular basis, or at least until she’s realized what she’s done. The plan with my columns is to enlighten you to some creative ways to make your paycheck go as far as possible every month. Whether it be through online coupons, frugal living, or some fairly unconventional ways to save money shopping, hopefully my articles will teach you how to keep more of your money in your wallet.
As we near the end of November, it seems only fitting that I use my first column to breakdown the whole Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness with some sensible tips that you won’t hear from the mainstream media. I’m all about maximizing your savings without camping out on Thanksgiving Day, and believe it or not, I have a tip that’ll allow you to do just that. Plus, I also have some online shopping strategies that’ll help you save money on Cyber Monday and beyond.
Black Friday (November 29th)
Over the past 12 years, I have done countless radio and TV interviews talking about Black Friday and how to maximize your savings. Through it all, I have one tip that’ll let you sleep in and spend the day with family and friends on Black Friday while still allowing you to score a deal, especially on consumer electronics and laptop computers.
In order to use this tip, you need to understand the mindset of many Black Friday shoppers. Many are the young hipster types who have the time to camp out on Thanksgiving Day to score the great doorbuster deals. These wanna-be entrepreneurs often turn around and sell their loot on eBay.com for a small profit. Use this knowledge to your advantage and shop on eBay in the days after Black Friday to buy gifts at a price only slightly higher than if you had camped out.
Another tip that is often misreported has to do with deals on TVs during Black Friday. Needless to say, people go absolutely gaga over plasma and LED televisions on Black Friday even camping out at their local Best Buy for a chance to get a deal on one. The truth of the matter is that the really great deals on TVs, I’m talking your 50% to 60% off doorbuster deals, are almost always from your 3rd tier manufacturers. If you want a good deal on a quality TV that will actually hold up, you’re much better off waiting until the week before the Super Bowl when TV deals are always at their historical best.
Cyber Monday (December 2nd)
Playing off the idea that folks go back to work on the Monday after Thanksgiving and inevitably spend some time Christmas shopping online, Shop.org coined the day “Cyber Monday” back in 2005.
The single best way to maximize your online savings on Cyber Monday is to combine a website-wide sale with a coupon code. For example, if you go to the L.L.Bean website on Cyber Monday and they are offering a one-day only 25% off sale, don’t be content with that. Pull up Google and do a search for “LLBean coupons” and find a coupon code to increase your savings. This is the one day of the year where you should be able to easily find a coupon to pile on additional savings.
While fewer tech deals are available on Cyber Monday, it is hands down the best day of the year to find deals and coupons from online clothing and shoe retailers. Expect 30% to 40% off coupons from stores like Lands’ End, Ann Taylor, American Eagle Outfitters, and Old Navy, to name a few. In years past, these great coupons also typically include free shipping on your purchase.
Speaking of free shipping, are you aware of something called Free Shipping Day? This year it’s on December 18th and it’s the day when hundreds of top online retailers offer free shipping on your purchase with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. It might actually pay to procrastinate on your shopping this year as you’ll get free shipping on the 18th.
It is also worth noting that you shouldn’t let the allure of free shipping cloud your judgment. Many retailers will simply increase their prices to make up for the costs associated with shipping and handling. Always do your due diligence and run a quick price comparison with a website like PriceGrabber.com to make sure you’re getting the best price. Once you find the online retailer with the best price, then go find your free shipping coupon.