10 Rules for Scoring Cyber Monday Deals

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Even staying home and ditching the long lines at stores on Black Friday and after you can score impressive deals on the Internet, thanks to Cyber Monday – Nov. 26 – typically the busiest online shopping day of the year.

And the deals will be more plentiful than last year. Some 85% of online retailers will run a promotion Cyber Monday, up about 8% from last year, according to the National Retail Federation.

When it comes to searching the Web for the best deals, the experts should be your guide:

1. Research

Come up with a plan of which websites you’re going to shop from. Will it be the big box online retailers or some of the smaller sites?

Regardless, Internet shopping always comes with some risk, especially when entering personal information and credit card numbers. “Make sure there’s some type of security badge that’s posted on the website,” says savings expert Jeanette Pavini of Coupons.com.

Typically, you’ll see badges from TRUSTe or VeriSign, which help distinguish the reputable sites from the scammers.

2. Prep and plan

If you come across a deal on Cyber Monday, don’t expect it to last too long.

“To save time, prep by setting up accounts with retailers you plan to shop at in advance. Fill in shipping/billing information and even consider saving credit card information to streamline the process,” consumer savings expert Andrea Woroch says.

3. Live chat

Check to see if the online retailer offers a live chat with a sales representative. Sometimes the chat screen will appear automatically on the screen; on some sites you’ll have to click on a link to initiate the chat.

Using the live chat feature can be helpful when you come across a competitor retailer selling the same item for less. “Ask the salesperson via chat if they can match the price and you can even send them the link of the website or retailer that offers the item at a lower price,” Pavini says.