Previously featured on the TODAY Show, Martha Stewart, MSNBC, Rachael Ray and Fox & Friends, Michelle Madhok is a well-known online shopping expert who helps shoppers get the biggest bang for their bucks on Cyber Monday and throughout the holiday season. Here, you’ll find her top website picks for online savings, along with our tips for safe, smart shopping.
Cyber Monday shopping websites
ShopRunner.com: This shopping solution offers members fast, free shipping and special discounts through its network of partners that includes FAO Schwarz, Lord & Taylor, Toys”R”Us, Sports Authority, American Eagle, PetSmart and Newegg.com.
Retailmenot.com: This innovator in collaborative coupon and deal hunting and sharing rates and orders every coupon on the site by usefulness. Additionally, every store featured is categorized and ordered by its popularity within that category.
BFads.net: This Black Friday deals site also catalogs Cyber Monday promotions.
CyberMonday.com: A top source for Cyber Monday deals from more than 700 retailers, this site’s home page features links to Cyber Monday pages for major online stores such as Apple, Nordstrom and Home Depot.
Facebook: Many retailers post special Cyber Monday coupon codes and inventory updates on their Facebook pages.
CyberMondayDeals.com: This site keeps a current feed of all the sale ads from major retailers available for Cyber Monday. Check back frequently to take advantage of all the best finds.
CyberMonday2012.com: This year’s go-to site for every Cyber Monday deal under the sun. On top of Cyber Monday deals, the site lists everything from magazine ads to major in-store sales.
Online shopping tips for Cyber Monday
Don’t forget shipping costs. Don’t be so tempted by low sale prices that you forget about shipping, which can put prices well over the in-store cost if you aren’t careful. Scope out deals and promo codes to get free shipping.
Shop safely. Shop only well-known retailers during Cyber Monday to assure your purchases are safe and secure. Don’t risk dealing with online shops that just opened up overnight.
Check the return policy. Many stores change their return policies during the holiday season with shorter time limits and other restrictions. Read over the refund and exchange policies online; if you have any questions, contact customer service before you buy.
Read customer reviews. Don’t order a ton of junk just because of low prices on Cyber Monday. If you aren’t familiar with a product, read reviews and other research before you make your final purchase.
Prepare to shop quickly. Unlike in-store shopping, online shopping does not guarantee that the items in your cart will be there when you’re ready to check out. If you spend too much time at each site, your desired item may already be sold out.
Pre-shop your items. Unfortunately, some bargains are too good to be true. Some sites will make their prices look like sales, when they haven’t dropped at all. Shop around before Cyber Monday to make sure you’re getting the best deals possible.
Use social media. Like all your favorite stores on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to get up-to-date deals. Sometimes stores even offer secret deals to their fans exclusively through social media sites.