As most of you know, this upcoming Monday is known as Cyber Monday and it can be a killer way to save money when shopping online. But like any “shopping event” there are secrets to maximizing your savings. Here is what you need to know to make Cyber Monday a great day to save money on Christmas gifts this year.
1. Use Black Friday as Your Benchmark
Ever wonder how the deals on Cyber Monday compare to some of the deals you can bag on Black Friday? Yeah, me too. So a few years ago I started hanging on to the Black Friday ads and comparing them to what I could find on Cyber Monday. I discovered some very interesting things….
- Name Brand TV’s – Black Friday is a terrible day to score a deal on a name brand TV. All of the amazing door-buster deals are from 3rd tier manufacturers that you’ve never heard of. But this is not the case on Cyber Monday. The last couple Cyber Mondays in particular have seen some excellent deals on name brand TVs from Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic. Last year we actually saw the lowest price of the year on a 46″ 1080p TV from Samsung for only $477.99 at Amazon. Look for more of the same this year from Amazon.com, Best Buy.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com.
- Laptop Computers – Budget laptops (ie, pieces of crap) are in full force on Black Friday. Systems that are OK for surfing the web, posting pictures of your cat on Facebook, and answering email, but that’s about it. If you need a laptop for running productivity software, video editing, or running multiple programs at once, you’ll want to shop for a higher quality laptop on Cyber Monday. Unlike Black Friday, they’ll be in full force. Check out this page from Staples.com that is already listing some really great Cyber Monday laptop deals.
- Tablets – Deals on tablets from brands like Apple, Samsung, and Lenovo are going to be good on Black Friday and that’s going to carry over to Cyber Monday. Be sure to look for deals.
- Gaming Systems – Cyber Monday is an excellent day to shop for both the popular XBox One and PlayStation 4. Last year on Cyber Monday at Walmart.com we saw the lowest price of the year on the PS4 system. Always look to bundle as that is where you’ll get the most savings. Bundles usually include the gaming system, an extra controller and a popular game.
- Christmas Toys – Christmas toys are typically never a good buy on Black Friday, and for the most part, the same can be said for Cyber Monday. Your best bet to find the lowest price is to shop the two weeks leading up to Christmas as that is when retailers start to feel the pinch and begin lowering prices.
- Home Goods – Target.com is a great stop on Cyber Monday for items for the house. Last year they had the lowest price of the year on a Dyson vacuum cleaner, Oster blender, and a KitchenAid mixer. I’m talking like close to 45% off the original price.
2. Best Day to Shop for Apparel…EVER
Seriously. Best. Day. Ever. Over the past 5 Cyber Mondays I have been blown away with coupon codes we are given by apparel retailers. If you are shopping for apparel or shoes you need to check out the savings available on Cyber Monday. Last year we saw 30% or 40% off coupon codes from the following websites: American Eagle, Ann Taylor, Lands’ End, The Limited, Hot Topic, J.Jill, J.Crew, Macy’s, Nautica, Old Navy, GAP, Banana Republic, Wet Seal, and the list goes on and on. Also, be sure you know your size at individual retailers. What size jeans do you wear from Old Navy? What size sweater do you wear from Lands’ End? By knowing your sizes ahead of time, you’re going to avoid return costs if those skinny jeans won’t button.
3. How to Get an Even BIGGER Cyber Monday Deal
OK, so you shopped online on Cyber Monday last year and found some good deals and were pretty happy with yourself. Hold onto your horses. I guarantee you can get an even bigger deal this year by doing the following things…
- Hit Up Live Chat. About to buy online and can’t find a coupon code anywhere? Don’t pay full price, instead use my frugal hack of starting a live chat session and politely ask the operator for a coupon code for free shipping or a percent off. Operators are often given coupon codes to hand out if asked, especially on BIG shopping days like Cyber Monday.
- Abandon Cart Before Cyber Monday. Making a large purchase on Cyber Monday? Perhaps a TV from BestBuy.com or a new crib from Babies R Us.com. Consider my frugal hack of abandoning your virtual shopping cart a few days before Cyber Monday in an attempt to trigger a coupon sent via email. Find the instructions here as well as 17 popular online retailers where this will work.
- Black Friday Leftovers. Also try shopping on eBay on Cyber Monday. Why? Because countless “wannabe entrepreneurs” snatch up the Black Friday leftovers and put them up on eBay for a quick cash profit. But the good news for you is that with the saturated eBay market you’re going to score a deal and end up paying only slightly more than if you had stood in line at 11 pm on Thanksgiving night.
- Look to Stack Coupon Codes – The idea of stacking coupons is one I have talked about before and it should not be overlooked on Cyber Monday. For example, just because a retailer might be offering free shipping on holiday shopping doesn’t mean you should be content with only free shipping. Be sure to look for a coupon code to stack on top of free shipping to maximize your savings.
- Start with Free Shipping. Be sure to start your Cyber Monday shopping at a retailer offering free shipping on your entire purchase then look for a coupon code to throw on top of your purchase for even more savings. To help you out, I created a list of 45+ retailers offering free shipping (with NO minimum) on your holiday shopping. It’s a great place to start.
Bonus Tip: Always Shop Safely Online
If you’re shopping on Cyber Monday and the deal looks too good to be true, trust your gut instinct and stay away. This is especially true if the deal or coupon is from a website with which you are not familiar with. Other signs of a fraudulent website include the lack of a contact phone number or a physical address. Also, don’t click unknown links in your email claiming to offer amazing Cyber Monday deals. Your best bet is to stick to brands and sites you are familiar with and have a proven track record of customer service and trustworthiness. Also, make sure your browser url changes from “http” to “https” on the website’s payment page, this ensures the site, and your credit card information, is secure. Bottom-line: Always trust your gut instinct.
Ask the Reader: Are you planning on shopping on Cyber Monday? Any tips I may have missed? Let me know in the comments section below.
By Kyle James
New Black Friday ads seem to be popping up on a daily basis, and along with them, come store announcements of when they’re opening their doors for business. (See: Black Friday 2015 Ads…We Spotlight The Best Deals) To help you effectively plan your shopping, below are the times that most of your favorite stores are opening their doors to this year’s craziness.
As I have written about in-depth, Black Friday has changed, as have the ways you can hack your Black Friday to score the best deal possible. In many cases, this means not shopping on Black Friday at all. But whether you’re shopping on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, or Cyber Monday this year, be sure to sign-up for our free coupon alerts, pick your favorite stores, and we will send you a coupon when we add one so you can maximize your savings every single time you shop.
Here are all of the stores that WILL open on Thanksgiving Day:
- Bass Pro Shops – 8am to 6pm
- Bealls – doors open at 4pm
- Belk – doors open at 6pm
- Best Buy – 5pm to 1am
- CVS – 8am to 10pm
- Gander Mountain – 9am to Midnight
- Goody’s – doors open at 4pm
- Gordmans – doors open at 6pm
- HH Gregg – 4pm to Midnight
- JCPenney – doors open at 3pm
- K-Mart – doors open at 6am (where permitted by law)
- Kohl’s – doors open at 6pm
- Macy’s – 6pm to 10pm
- Meijer – doors open at 6pm
- Michaels – doors open at 4pm
- Office Depot/Max- doors open at 6pm
- Old Navy – doors open at 4pm
- Peebles – 10am to 9pm
- Sears – doors open at 6pm
- Sports Authority – doors open at 6pm
- Stage – doors open at 2pm
- Target – doors open at 6pm
- Toys R Us – doors open at 5pm
- Walgreens – 8am to 10pm
- Walmart – doors open at 6pm
Closed on Thanksgiving, But Open on Black Friday:
- Barnes and Noble – doors open at 9am
- BJ’s – doors open at 7am
- Costco – doors open at 9am
- DSW – doors open at 7am
- GameStop – doors open at 5am
- Guitar Center – doors open at 7am
- Harbor Freight – doors open at 7am
- Half Price Books – doors open at 9am
- Home Depot – doors open at 6am
- IKEA – doors open at 9am
- Jo-Ann – doors open at 6am
- Lowe’s – doors open at 6am
- Marshalls – doors open at 9am
- Michaels – doors open at 7am
- Nordstrom – doors open at 7am
- Pier 1 – doors open at 8am
- Sam’s Club – doors open at 7am
- Staples – doors open at 6am
Closed on Black Friday and Thanksgiving:
- REI – What? Yes, the folks at REI have decided to stay closed on Black Friday.
Shop smart and carry on.
By Kyle James
As we head towards Black Friday 2015, I wanted to start breaking down all of the best deals so you can plan your shopping if you’re heading out to fight the crowd. Be sure to check out my recent Black Friday Hacks article which has a bunch of insider tips to maximize your savings, and save time too. Here are the best deals so far…I’ll keep this page updated as new Black Friday ads are leaked.
Black Friday 2015 Ads
Note-Worthy Black Friday Deals
|Black Friday Ad|
|Sale starts Wednesday, November 25 (Ace Hardware Coupons)
– 50% off any 1 Item, Black Friday Only
– DeWalt 20V Cordless Drill Kit – $99.99 (Reg $149.99)
– Craftsman 10-gallon Vertical Air Compressor – $169.99 (Reg $229.99)
|Black Friday deals have already started at Amazon, via Lightning Deals which Prime members get access to 30 minutes earlier. They’ll have thousands of limited-time Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day, and savings on your electronics, toys, jewelry and more. New deals start as often as every 10 minutes.||Click Here|
|Starts 5pm on Thanksgiving (Sale online all day Thursday and Friday) (Best Buy Coupons)
– Toshiba 49″ LED 1080p HDTV – $149.99 (Reg $599.99)
– Samsung 60″ 4K Ultra HD – $799.99 (Reg $1,499.99)
– Amazon Fire 7″ Tablet, 8GB – $34.99 (Reg $49.99)
– Dell – Inspiron 15.6″ Touch-Screen Laptop – Intel Core i3 – 8GB Memory – 1TB Hard Drive – $299.99 (Reg $429.99)
– Samsung Smart 48″ LED 1080p HDTV – $379.99 (Reg $479.99)
– Apple MacBook Pro, 13.3″, 4GB – $899.99 (Reg $1,099.99)
– Panasonic Streaming WiFi Blu-ray Player – $39.99 (Reg $99.99)
– LG 24″ LED 720p HDTV – $79.99 (Reg $149.99)
|Costco sale starts 11/20, ends 11/30 (10 Best Ways to Save Money at Costco)
– Samsung 40″ 4K Smart TV – $270 off
– Samsung 55″ 4K Smart TV – $500 off
– Samsung 65″ 4K Smart TV – $700 off
– Samsung 75″ 4K Smart TV – $1,200 off
– Vizio 55″ 4K TV – $170 off
– Vizio 70″ 4K TV – $300 off
– LG 49″ 4K TV – $489.99
– GoPro Hero3 – $50 off
– HP Envy x260 Windows 10 laptop – $180 off
– Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Bundle – $250 off
|Starts 6pm EST on Thanksgiving (Dell Coupons)
– Inspiron 14 Laptop, 300 Series, 2GB Ram, Windows 10 – $149.99 (Reg $299.99)
– Xbox One 500 GB – Gears of War Bundle + Fallout 4 – $299.99 (Reg $469.99)
|Starts 7am on Nov 27, Black Friday (Harbor Freight Coupons)
– US General 44″ 13 Drawer Tool Cabinet – $349.99 (Reg $1029.99)
– Chicago Electric 12″ Compound Saw – $136.15 (Reg $399)
|Sale starts at 3pm on Thanksgiving (JCPenney Coupons)
– Keurig K-Cup K45 Elite – $89.99 (Reg $175)
– Keurig 2.0 K250 Brewer – $99.99 (Reg $175)
– 25% off all Nike Shoes and Apparel.
– Cooks Blender, Coffee Maker, Nonstick Griddle, or Slow Cooker – $7.99 (Reg $19.99)
– Drone w/ Camera – $49.99 (Reg $150)
– Cooks Stainless Steel Cookware Set – $27.99 after $20 mail-in rebate (Reg $100)
|Sale starts at 6am – 5pm on Thanksgiving (Kmart Coupons)
– Proctor Silex Iron, Toaster, Can Opener, or Hand Mixer – $4.99 (Reg $9.99)
– RCA 50″ LED 1080p HDTV – $399.99 (Reg $599.99)
|Sale starts at 6pm on Thanksgiving (Kohl’s Coupons)
– 50% Off Toys – $17.99 (Reg $39.99 – $59.99)
– 32″ Westinghouse LED HDTV – $99.99 (Reg $199.99)
– Fitbit Charge – $89.99 (Reg $129.99)
|Starts at 6am on Black Friday (Meijer Coupons)
– Element 55″ LED HDTV – $249.99 (Reg $599.99)
– Xbox 360 4GB System – $129.99 + $50 Gift Card (Reg $179.99)
– Samsung Galaxy Tablet 3 Lite, 8GB – $79.99 (Reg $139.99)
|Starts 4pm on Thanksgiving (Michaels Coupons)
– Thursday 4pm to 2am – 30% OFF your ENTIRE purchase
– Black Friday 7am to Noon – 30% OFF your ENTIRE purchase
– Black Friday Noon to 10pm – 40% OFF Regular-Priced purchase
|Starts 6pm on Thanksgiving (Office Depot – Office Max Coupons)
– Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop, 4GB Ram, 500GB HD – $199.99 (Reg $349.99)
– Toshiba Satellite CL45 14″ Laptop, 2GB Ram – $119.99 (Reg $249.99)
– Toshiba Satellite C55D 15.6″ Laptop, 8GB Ram, 1TB HD – $299.99 (Reg $499.99)
– HP 15.6″ Touchscreen Laptop, Windows 10, 4GB, 750GB – $279.99 (Reg $399.99)
– Acer 27″ LED Monitor – $139.99 (Reg $249.99)
– Samsung Galaxy Tablet 3 Lite, 8GB – $89.99 (Reg $159.99)
|Starts at 7am on Black Friday (PetSmart Coupons)
– $150 OFF Marineland Heartland Fish Tank + Stand Combo, 60 gallon.
– 50% OFF all Pet Treats, lowest price of the year
– Up to 50% all Pet Beds and Furniture.
|Starts at 7am on Black Friday at Sam’s Club
– HP Pavilion HD 15.6″ Notebook, 12GB, 1TB Hard Drive, Windows 10 – $499 (Reg $799)
– Vizio 58″ 4K Television – $698 (Reg $998)
– Fitbit Charge Bundle – $89.98 (Reg $129.88)
– Apple iPad Air 2, $150 off the 64GB and 128GB version.
|Starts 6pm on Thanksgiving (Sears Coupons)
– Kenmore Washer/Dryer Set – $799.99 for pair (55% OFF reg price)
– RCA 52″ 1080p HDTV – $379.99 (Reg $449.99)
– Kenmore Elite 30 cu ft. Refrigerator – $2499.99 (Reg $4299.99)
– Free Craftsman Drill with purchase of Craftsman 3-Drawer Project Center – $99.99 (Reg $149.99)
|Starts 6pm on Thanksgiving (Sports Authority Coupons)
– Free $15 Cash Card for the first 80 people in-line on Thursday.
– Fitbit Charge HR Wristband – $119.95 (Reg $149.95)
– Fitbit Charge Wristband – $89.95 (Reg $129.95)
– Free $25 Cash Card with your $50+ Footwear order.
– ProForm Performance Treadmill – $299.99 (Reg $799.99)
– Lifetime 54″ Steel-Framed Portable Basketball System – $149.99 (Reg $499.99)
|Sale starts at 6pm on Thanksgiving (Staples Coupons)
– Yet to be released.
|Sale starts at 6pm on Thanksgiving (Target Coupons)
– If you shop on Friday, Nov 27th, and spend at least $75, you’ll get 20% off a shopping trip between Dec 4-13.
– If you shop on Saturday, Nov 28th, you’ll get a coupon for 50% off your “Holiday Shop” purchase of $100+.
– 32″ Westinghouse LED HDTV – $99.99 (Reg $189.99)
– 43″ Element LED HDTV – $169.99 (Reg $299.99)
– 60″ Samsung Smart LED HDTV – $697.99 (Reg $999.99)
– Nikon Coolpix L340 20.2 Mp Digital Camera – $99.99 (Reg $229.99)
– Samsung Galaxy Tab a 9.7″ – $229.99 + Free $30 Target Gift Card (Reg $299.99)
– 55″ Element 4K Ultra HD – $399.99 (Reg. Price Unknown)
– All iTunes Gift Cards are 30% Off.
– Apple TV – 25% Off.
|Starts 8am on Thanksgiving (Walgreens Coupons)
– Sega Genesis Gaming Console for $34.99, includes 80 Classic Games (Reg $49.99)
– 25% Off all Regular-Priced Items – Black Friday Only
|Sale starts at 6pm on Thanksgiving (Walmart Coupons)
– Apple iPad Air 2 in Gold, 16GB — $399 (Reg $499)
– Apple iPod Touch, 16GB – $165 (Reg $195)
– Apple iPad Mini with Wi-Fi, 16GB – $199 (Reg $268)
– Xbox One 500GB bundled with Gears of War game — $299 (Reg $349, includes $30 Walmart gift card)
– Beats Studio Headphones — $169 (Reg $299)
– 50″ LED HDTV (Assorted brands) – $269
– 40″ LED HDTV (Assorted brands) – $149
– Fitbit Flex Wristband – $59 (Reg $99)
– 32″ Roku Smart LED HDTV – $125
– 70″ Vizio Smart LED HDTV – $898 (Reg $1,189)
– 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Lite – $79 (Reg $139.99)
– HP 15.6″ laptop, 4GB, 500GB, Windows 10 – $199 (Reg $310)
|Sale starts at 5pm on Thanksgiving (Toys R Us Coupons)
– Yet to be released.
By Kyle James
If you shop on Amazon often, you’ve probably wondered who would ever buy from a 3rd party seller when the price they offer is the same as Amazon’s. But due to high fees, did you know that often 3rd party sellers will sell to you directly at a price lower than Amazon? While this might not make sense on small purchases, it’s a pretty killer frugal hack to get a lower price on significant purchases like HDTVs, laptops, appliances, cameras, and portable electronics. Use this tip not only on Black Friday, but on all your holiday shopping. Here’s how it works…
1st Step: Find Amazon Items Sold by a 3rd Party
The key to making this hack work is to check the price of items on Amazon that are also sold by a 3rd party. Get in the habit of doing this every time you shop, especially on significant purchases. You want to look for items that are sold at the same price by Amazon and the 3rd party seller. When you find this, you stand a great chance of having the 3rd party undercut the Amazon price.
2nd Step: Contact the 3rd Party Directly
When you contact the 3rd party, typically done via email, tell them you found the item on Amazon but would rather buy from them directly. Be polite and simply state the facts. Because most online stores are paying Amazon a selling fee in the 5-15% range, they will often discount their products by 10% or more to get your business. So essentially you save them money, yourself money, and everyone wins. Well, except Amazon, but I think they’ll be okay.
What About Free 2-Day Prime Shipping?
While you might not get the item delivered in 2 days when buying directly from an Amazon 3rd party seller, you still stand a great chance of getting free delivery. The majority of 3rd party websites do indeed offer free ground shipping. Plus, many do NOT charge you sales tax if they are not based in the state you live in. Be sure to crunch the numbers as the sales tax savings could easily make up for any shipping charges.
I’ve personally done this close to a dozen time over the past couple years and have scored a “lower than Amazon” price about 75% of the time. This has easily translated into savings in the $300-$400 range for just a little bit of my time. A total no-brainer in my book. I most recently did this on a new pool sweep and saved a quick $45 in the process. While I didn’t get free 2-day shipping, and had to settle for 5-7 day free shipping, I wasn’t in a hurry to get the product so it really didn’t matter.
By Kyle James
If you’re not hacking Black Friday this year, you’re doing it all wrong. After all, it’s not Black Friday 2007 anymore, where the only way to save money was to set the alarm for an ungodly hour and go fight the unwashed masses for that last cheap 42″ television. The game has changed, and so have the strategies and hacks you should employ on Black Friday weekend. Here are nine Black Friday hacks that will […] Continue Reading…
Why drop $55 for an annual Costco membership when a bunch of popular retailers will happily price-match the warehouse club? Or maybe you’re already a Costco member, but when it comes to shopping for electronics, toys, and tools you have your favorite stores and would rather buy everything from a single place. While many retailers don’t consider “membership clubs” like Costco to be direct competitors, and thus won’t match their pricing, their are plenty who absolutely […] Continue Reading…
A couple years ago Amazon created something called “Add-On” items. You’ve probably seen them. Their marked with a small “Add-on Item” badge next to the price they’re products which are really inexpensive and thus “cost-prohibitive to ship on their own.” Because of this, they require you to order at least $25 worth of merchandise to get the add-on price. Doesn’t matter if you’re a Prime member or not, you still need to spend at […] Continue Reading…
There’s no doubt that retailers have figured out pricing tricks designed solely to separate you from your money. In fact, they often hire psychologists to determine how best to set their pricing and even how to set up store displays to get you to open your wallets wide. These pricing tricks exist because they absolutely work. They have even grown more elaborate as online shopping has flourished the past ten years. Here are six […] Continue Reading…
Today I have a really short, but totally killer, Amazon hack for Prime members. A tip that will quite often get all of your items delivered to you via 1-day shipping for only a small extra cost. Here are the easy steps to make it happen:
1. Add Several Items to your Cart
The first thing you have to do to make this work is to add more than 1 item to your Amazon cart. If […] Continue Reading…
Starting today, October 1st, 2015, Target has updated their price-match policy and you can now price-match like a crazy person at your local Target location. Target will now match the online pricing of 29 websites, up from a messily five. The five websites they did price match were the big players you’d expect: Amazon, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, and Walmart.
But now they price-match a whole new slew of specialty stores that often offer strong […] Continue Reading…