Smart Buying

Best Things to Buy on Cyber Monday

It can be worth waiting until after Black Friday to snag some items on your holiday shopping list.

Maybe you simply prefer to make your holiday purchases from the comfort of your couch. Or, despite your best efforts you couldn’t cross off every gift on your list after shopping nonstop on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday. Good thing you still have Cyber Monday, when huge online-only deals are offered on a wide range of products.

Last year, in the weeks leading up to the Black Friday holiday shopping weekend, more consumers planned to shop online on Cyber Monday than shopping in-store or online on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

In fact, there are certain items that tend to be better to purchase on Cyber Monday, because that's when some of the lowest prices will be available over the entire holiday weekend. We spoke with several shopping experts about which types of products are best to buy on November 28. Here’s what they had to say.

Clothing

If you plan to give winter apparel items, such as sweaters, coats and boots, as gifts this holiday season, you'll be able to find the best deals on Cyber Monday, says smart shopping expert Andrea Woroch. Typically, e-commerce sites, such as Amazon.com, Zappos.com and 6pm.com, will offer discounts of as much as 60% off sitewide plus free shipping on all purchases, she says.

On Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, deals on clothing and accessories probably won’t be as generous. An important thing worth noting is that free shipping offers available on November 24 and 25 will likely come with a minimum purchase amount. Woroch warns that these types of requirements ". . . are created to get you to increase your order total to qualify for free shipping, which may cause you to spend more than you initially intended."

Gift Cards

During the 2015 holiday shopping season, gift cards were the most requested gift item, according to the National Retail Federation, and that's expected to be true again this year. So if you have a long list of gift recipients, skip the hassle of in-store shopping and give gift cards instead. They're practically fail-proof.

We recommend purchasing gift cards at a discount from websites that specialize in buying and re-selling them. According to Kristin Cook, managing editor of BensBargains.com, resale sites will be offering discount gift cards from a variety of retailers at up to 20% off face value on Cyber Monday. Be sure do some comparison shopping on sites such as Cardcash.com and Raise.com before making a purchase to ensure you're getting the best price, she advises.

Remember that many of these resale sites will offer discount promo codes on top of the already discounted gift card prices. Last year, for example, Cardcash.com offered an extra 5% off on all purchases on Cyber Monday.

Small Kitchen Appliances

If you want to give a practical gift to a family member or close friend who may be a new homeowner, small kitchen appliances such as a coffee maker, microwave or high-speed blender are thoughtful ideas. These types of appliances are generally best to buy on Cyber Monday, says Kerry Sherin, a savings expert for Offers.com, because many retailers will be offering sitewide discounts rather than markdowns on specific items (which is what you'll typically find on Thanksgiving Day or Black Friday).

So if a retailer is offering 40% off sitewide on Cyber Monday compared to 25% off on a particular electric hand mixer on Black Friday, you'll pay much less if you can wait a couple of days, Sherin notes. Also, since these types of items are much smaller than larger appliances, such as refrigerators and dishwashers, the shipping will be considerably cheaper if not free.

Small Electronics

Holiday shoppers can find big savings on smaller electronic items including headphones, digital cameras and MP3 players on e-commerce sites on Cyber Monday, says Benjamin Glaser, features editor for DealNews.com. While the same items may be available in-store on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, there’s usually a higher percentage off the price on these items on Cyber Monday, he says.

Glaser notes that last year the Powerbeats2 Bluetooth In-Ear Headphones were available on Thanksgiving Day for $100 at Best Buy, while the same headphone set was on sale for just $60 on Cyber Monday on TechRabbit.com. That's a 40% price difference.

Also, keep in mind that in addition to lower prices, many sites will be offering free shipping with no minimum purchase required on Cyber Monday.

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