If you don’t want to face the Black Friday crowds, there’s no reason to miss out on the holiday bargains. Cyber Monday, the lazy person’s answer to the seasonal sales, is almost upon us.
In fact, with 97% of online retailers getting in on the action, some might argue that Cyber Monday deals are even better than those on Black Friday.
Of course, with the wealth of options available, it can be difficult to know where to get started, let alone navigating the minefield of discount codes and special Twitter and Facebook offers.
If you do your research, though, and log on early, you can secure the bargains you want, without the risk of sustaining any injuries.
With that in mind, we bring you some of the best deals so far – whether you’re chasing the latest tablet or the perfect party dress.
Amazon: The online retail giant is celebrating Cyber Monday with a whole week of bargains.
Among the best discounts are 80% off thousands of Kindle books; up to 70% off selected headphones (10% off Beats by Dr Dre and Bose headphones) and $25 off spends of over $60 on selected Fisher-Price toys.
Among the best buys will be a Panasonic VIERA 55-Inch TV at 60% off, a Samsung 11.6 in Chromebook for $249, a Dyson DC25 Ball All-Floors Upright Vacuum Cleaner at $299 and DVDs such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 for just $1.96.
Follow @AmazonDeals on Twitter for flash “Lightening Deals”. There will also be special offers on the Amazon Facebook page.
Best Buy: The chain’s Cyber Monday deals will run until January 2, with free shipping for the duration.
Highlights include cameras from $40 and the HTC Titan Windows phone and HTC Wildfire S Android are both free with a new two-year contract. Selected laptops will also be reduced to as little as $279.99.
Cyber Monday 2012 Best Deals
Kmart: Buy-one-get-one-half-off on footwear; Jaclyn Smith and Sofía Vergara comforter sets at $49.99 (from $79.99-$109.99); 75% off all diamond earrings; 50% off selected outdoor Christmas decorations.
Specific offers include 12-in-1 game table for $89 ($60 off), a 19-inch LED Proscan TV/DVD set for $119 and a Pulse Charger electric scooter at $71.99 (40% off).
Kohl’s: The Kohl’s Cyber Monday deals kick off tomorrow, and will run until Tuesday November 27.
Online shoppers can enjoy 20% off their entire purchase, along with free shipping.
There is one perk to shopping in-store though. Kohl’s is picking up the tab for one shopper in every store, every day until Christmas Eve.
Macy’s: Buy-one-get-one-free on selected women’s sweaters and boots; 50per cent off selected handbags; up to 70% off comforters.
Specific offers include a Cuisinart 8-cup food processor for $69.99 and a Travel pro Highlite three-piece luggages set at $139.99.
Free shipping on all orders over $75 with the discount code CYBER on checkout (offer excludes furniture, mattresses and rugs).
Sears: The Sears sale goes on until Thursday November 27.Highlighted deals include a $430 discount on a Maytag washer and dryer, each priced at $399.99, when purchased together.
A NordicTrack elliptical is down by $400 to $499.99 and there is an $80 discount on a Kenmore Elite® 5-qt. stand mixer, down to $169.99.
Target: A number of the retail giant’s Cyber Monday deals will last for the whole week, though most of the bargains won’t be released until the day itself.
Among the deals announced so far are: Buy-one-get-one-half price on selected video games, 25% on all Dyson Vacuums and an Acer Aspire One 10.1″ Netbook for $199.99 (Monday only).
There will also be $50 Target gift card giveaways on purchases including a Motorola Digital Baby Monitor and a KitchenAid Professional 6-Qt Stand Mixer.
Walmart: You can take advantage of Cyber Monday offers from tomorrow until December 2.
Many deals are yet to be announced, but bargain-hunters can already expect to pick up an Xbox 360 Skylanders Family Fun Bundle for $159, a Samsung 55-inch 1080p Class LED television for $1,498 (a saving of up to $1,000) and a Little Tikes Kitchen for $50.
A new survey has found that more customers are opting to shop from the comfort of their homes this Thanksgiving weekend, forgoing the chaos of Black Friday for the ease of Cyber Monday deals.
But web shoppers beware: For the first time, residents in California, Texas and Pennsylvania will be automatically charged state sales tax at the checkout on Amazon and other online stores.
And next year, they will be joined by shoppers in Virginia and New Jersey, and by January 2014, those in Nevada, Indiana and Tennessee.
What comes as bad news for shoppers comes as good news for Amazon’s competitors, who have expressed their relief at finally “leveling the playing field” with the e-commerce giant, which earned a staggering $17.45 billion in the holiday quarter last year.
Other stores have claimed that Amazon’s success is partly due to the fact it can undercut them by avoiding sales tax, which is as high as 9% in some states.
The changes are coming into play after individual states have passed legislation on online sales tax after Congress has failed to pass a national law. Chains including Wal-Mart and Target have been lobbying the bills, Politico reported.
“Now for a sizeable chunk of the U.S. population, Amazon is playing by the same rules as the rest of the retailers,” Jason Brewer, a spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, told the site.
“There are going to be fewer people who shop online solely for the sales tax benefit.”
But Amazon maintains that it expects this holiday season to be its most successful yet.
“As analysts have noted, we offer customers the best prices with or without sales tax,” said Scott Stanzel, an Amazon spokesman.
“We collect sales tax or its equivalent in more than half of the areas where we do business and we are pleased to say we are thriving in those geographies because Amazon offers low prices, vast selection and fast delivery.”
Residents in California, Texas and Pennsylvania will be automatically charged state sales tax at the checkout on Amazon and other online stores
Yet some retailers said they are already noticing a difference in states were Amazon is collecting sales tax.
Best Buy has seen a four to six per cent increase in sales in California, Texas and Pennsylvania compared to the rest of the chain, Amy Von Walter, a spokesperson at Best Buy, told Politico.
“These are encouraging data points,” she said.
“It lends itself to the idea that a level playing field is good for business.”
Online sales during Cyber Monday last year reached $1.25 billion, up 22% from the previous year, according to ComScore. This year, the data firm expects $1.5 billion in sales that day.
Despite changes to sales tax, research has shown that more people are shunning the mania of Black Friday to shop from their homes on Cyber Monday.
A survey by shopping comparison site PriceGrabber.com revealed that almost half of all Thanksgiving weekend shoppers will shop online on Monday – and more than half of these said they would shop more online than at shops on Black Friday.
Of the 5,000 people surveyed, 41% of people said they would shop on Cyber Monday – up from the 37% in 2011, and 33% in 2010, Fox News reported.
Eighty-four per cent of Cyber Monday shoppers said they wanted to take advantage of one-day deals, discounts and free-shipping offers.
A third of shoppers said they would be shopping on Monday after scouting for deals over the weekend.
But although the interest in online shopping is growing, the total sales will still not come close to those in shops on Black Friday. Stores are expected to take as much as $11.4 billion.
Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, was created in 2005 as an online alternative to Black Friday.
This year, as Black Friday begins earlier than ever – with retail giants nudging their opening times into Thanksgiving – e-commerce departments are doing the same.
Walmart emailed customers this week to reveal that its Cyber Monday sale will start this Saturday and last until Sunday, December 2, 2012 for deals on toys, electronics and video games.
Target, Best Buy and Amazon also announced they would have tech deals starting on Black Friday.
Amazon is also offering special Sunday deals – so that bargain hunters don’t have to click from their work computers come Monday – on golf equipment, clothing, lamps, books, clothes and cameras.
Cyber Monday is the start of the holiday shopping season online, and a great day for bargains; but only if you know how to find them.
Here are several tips that should help:
Track the Deals
Use CyberMonday.com and dealio.com to stay on top of all of the Cyber Monday deals across the web, including information about free shipping offers and coupons.
Sign Up for Newsletters
If you plan to shop at a particular retailer, be sure to sign up for their e-newsletter a few weeks before the sales begin. It’s a good way to stay abreast of special deals and promotions, and a great way to score special subscriber-only coupons.
Shop at Sites that Offer Free Shipping
Many, but not all, stores offer free shipping on Cyber Monday; so spend some time looking for those free shipping deals. Don’t see free shipping offered on the site that you’re on? Then, check a competitor’s site.
Cyber Monday is the start of the holiday shopping season online, and a great day for bargains, but only if you know how to find them
Seek Out Coupon Codes
Head to currentcodes.com, retailmenot.com or one of the many other sites dedicated to finding and posting coupon codes. You may just find a deal – free shipping, free merchandise, a percent off your order – to sweeten the pot.
Bonus Tip: Bookmark Retailmenot.com. Then, the next time you’re shopping online, just click on the link, and it’ll display all of the coupons for the site that you’re on – now that’s bargain shopping made easy!
Order through a Rewards Site
Access a store’s website through a rewards site, and you’ll earn points or even cash for your efforts. Some rewards sites worth checking out: Upromise, MyPoints, FatWallet and Ebates.
Before you place an order, use a price comparison website like pricegrabber.com to make sure you’re getting the best deal.