Did you opt to enjoy a traditional turkey dinner instead of camping out at Best Buy this Thanksgiving? If so, you might be interested in Black Friday’s first cousin, Cyber Monday, the ceremonial kick-off to the holiday online shopping season. Whereas Black Friday is associated with traditional brick-and-mortar stores, Cyber Monday offers great deals that are available online only. On Nov. 26, “The New York Times” reported that Cyber Monday 2012 is expected to be the biggest online shopping day for the third year in a row. Americans are expected to spend $1.5 billion, up 20% from Cyber Monday 2011. On Monday, “Huffington Post” reported on some of the best deals from Amazon.com. It all adds up to a huge and very important day for traditional and online retailers.
To make the most of Cyber Monday 2012, it’s important to comparison shop to get the best deals and keep in mind important identity theft protection tips.
The history of Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday debuted in 2005, when Shop.org sent out a press release that stated 77% of consumers would return to work after the extended Thanksgiving holiday and turn to the Internet to make their holiday purchases online. Although that idea has not survived the test of time, Cyber Monday has evolved into a significant marketing event, which online retailers now offer significantly low prices and special promotions.
Research is Key
Like Black Friday, there are many websites that help consumers find the best deals on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday.com is one of the biggest and highlights the best deals from over 700 online retailers.
Best Cyber Monday deals for 2012:
For a complete list of coupon codes, go to cybermonday2012.com.
- Macy’s: $10 off $75 purchase.
- Overstock.com: 10% off + free shipping for new customers.
- Toys R Us: 25% off $150 purchase with MasterCard.
- Neiman Marcus: $50 gift card with $200 purchase, $125 with $500, $250 with $1,000 and $500 with $2,000.
- Urban Outfitters: $15 off $75 purchase.
- Home Depot: $5 off $50 purchase.
- Fisher-Price: 25% off any order with free shipping on $75 or more purchase.
- Apple Store: Up to $200 off for students and teachers.
- The Container Store: Free shipping with any $100 purchase.
- Carter’s: 25% off sitewide.
- Target: $5 off $50 purchase.
- Travelocity: 10% off 3-night hotel stays.
- Kohl’s: 20% off plus free shipping on any order.
- Sears: $35 off $300 or more.
- Finish Line: 10% off $50 purchase.
- DSW: $15 off $74, $30 off $149, $50 off $199 purchase.
- Lowe’s: Free shipping with $19 purchase.
Secure Shopping on Cyber Monday:
When the online holiday shopping season kicks into gear on Cyber Monday, the National Cyber Security Alliance recommends the following identity theft protection tips to ensure your online shopping is safe and successful:
- Update core protections: Take a few minutes to update your core protections – anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall – before you go online. Make certain they are set to automatically update against new threats.
- Shop secure sites: Is there a closed padlock on the browser’s status bar? Does the Web site’s address (URL) change to s-http or https when you are asked to provide payment information? If so, you know the vendor has secured their payment process.
- Check sellers out: Conduct independent research on a seller’s reputation before you buy from a seller you have never done business with.
- Passwords are key: Create long, unique passwords incorporating symbols and numbers to increase your security against hackers and others trying to access online accounts.
- Always ask WWW: When providing personal information for any purchase, always ensure that you know who is asking for the information, what information they are asking for and why they need it.
- Not all money is created equal: Credit cards are generally the safest option because shoppers can seek a credit from the issuer of the card if the item isn’t delivered or not what was ordered.
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