I am not a Black Friday kind of gal. I don’t like getting up at the crack of dawn or elbowing my way through the crowds. But I am very much a Cyber Monday kind of girl. Being able to sit at home in my pajamas while I shop? Yes, please!
But as much as I look forward to Cyber Monday, I am not going to let it fool me, and you shouldn’t either. Yes, there are always some great deals out there, but if you are logging onto a website and simply buying stuff, then you are doing it all wrong. You could be saving a whole lot more!
So here are 5 important steps you should be taking to maximize your Cyber Monday savings this year:
1.) Begin researching what will be on sale at each online store and for how much.
This is incredibly important because you won’t be able to move on to Step 2 without this first little bit of legwork. Make a list of all the items that you are wanting to buy, the name of each website, and how much they will be selling the item for. Then, go through each of the remaining steps, pricing out how much you will be saving if you purchase said item from Website A vs. Website B. This is important because while Website A may look like the best deal at first glance, you might end up saving more at Website B once you factor in the rest of the steps.
2.) Next, go to Raise to see what gift cards are available for purchase.
People sell their unwanted gift cards, which Raise then resales on their website. Every gift card is sold for less than it is worth. So a $100 gift card might be on sale for $98. Check to see if there are gift cards for each of the websites you are considering purchasing from, make a note of what value the card, and how much Raise wants for it.
3.) Look up promo codes.
You can do this by visiting RetailMeNot. Simply type in the name of the website you are considering, and it will generate a list of all the currently available promo codes. Note any stipulations or exclusions there might be.
Another way to look up promo codes is by visiting a deal website such as Hip2Save. Collin, the site owner, does a great job of outlining scenarios for different Cyber Monday deals, so you can see not only what promo codes are available but which will result in the biggest savings.
Also, it’s important to remember that some websites allow for more than one promo code at the time. This is called stacking. Kohls, for example, will allow for up to four codes to be stacked at a time. Say what?!?!
4.) Sign up for Ebates.
Ebates is a cash back website. They partner with over 2,000 different online retailers, giving you a percentage of money back from each purchase. Once you sign up, simply search for the websites you are thinking about buying from, and make a note of the cash back percentage.
For Ebates to work, once you are ready to make your purchase, you will log onto www.ebates.com first, and then link to the website you want from there. This is how Ebates verifies your purchase. Within a couple of days, you will see your cash back credit in your Ebates account.
5.) Finally, check for rebates you can claim once your purchase is complete.
Some websites, again like Kohls, have a Rebates link in the footer of their homepage. You can also find rebates by visiting RetailMeNot.
And don’t forget to check Ibotta. Once an app used for groceries, Ibotta has expanded and now offers rebates for some online stores. Check to see if the websites you are interested in purchasing from are listed. Also, if you sign up for Ibotta now through the link above and type in the referral code, ngvpg, you get $10 added to your account. Nice!
Okay, got it? Now, let’s create a scenario, so you see the five steps in action.
Kohls already has their Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals posted (which is a little crazy, but whatever), and one of the items for sale is a vanity mirror I want. So here’s the math:
So, if I add all of that up, at the end of the day, I’ll have spent $64.09 on the mirror, saving $55.90.
It may seem like a lot of work, five whole steps, but once you get used to the system, you can do this in a flash. And the great news is that this system works 365 days a year! Not just on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
Now I want to hear from you! How are you planning on saving money this holiday season?
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