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Yahoo! Shopping Expert Offers Cyber Monday Tips

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(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

(ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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Pamela Woon, from Yahoo! Shopping, spilled some Cyber Monday secrets to KCAL 9. Here’s what you should know to ensure that you walk away with the best deals:

How to score the best Cyber Monday deals:

  • Find deals today. Stores are offering deals and promos earlier and earlier in the season… you don’t have to wait until Monday, you can start now!  
  • Know what you’re looking for. Before you do anything, make your gift list and decide what you’re going to buy. That way when you go online you have an idea of what you’re looking for, instead of haphazardly searching the Web.
  • Sign up for deals ahead of time. Before Cyber Monday, go to your favorite e-retailers and sign up to be on their email list, Twitter stream and Facebook fan page
  • Shop at midnight. Many retailers set up their sales to begin then. This is especially important if you’ve set your sights on a certain item. You can also call the store’s customer service number in advance and ask when their sale will start. Remember, just like in stores, online sale items can run out. If you really want something and it’s a hot item, act fast.
  • It’s all about the code. This is the top day of the year for retailers to provide coupon codes. Check Yahoo! Deals (deals.yahoo.com) for coupons offering discounts and free shipping.
  • Search the web for the best deal. Put in as much information about the item you’re looking for (brand, color, etc.), then compare the places and prices that come up. 
  • Look for incentives. Before you buy, see if the item is being offered with any additional accessories or discounts toward other items. This happens most often with electronics (buy a camera, get a media card free, etc.). 
  • Get free shipping. Check the retailer’s site to see if they’re offering free shipping. If the store isn’t offering free shipping, e-mail the customer service department and tell them you want to buy from them but don’t want to pay the shipping cost – many times they will honor your request, and what do you have to lose?!?
  • Shop though a site that gives cash back. Some retail sites now reward customers with cash back or points toward merchandise when you buy items through their site. Search for “cash back websites” and you’ll find many. You may as well make money while you shop!

Tips for Safe Online Shopping:

  • Shop sites you know and trust – Yahoo! Shopping has vetted all the vendors and all are safe and trustworthy merchants. 
  • Read online ratings and reviews to familiarize yourself with a merchant you’re not familiar with before you make the purchase.
  • Shop from a secure computer, best not to use a publically shared PC.
  • Purchase with a credit card not a debit card. This way you can easily dispute any false charges without affecting your checking account. 
  • Make sure the URL atop the payment page say “https” – The “S” stands for secure and means your information will be encrypted. 
  • Read privacy policies and understand how your contact information will be used. 
  • Keep an email file for receipts and any communications regarding your purchases.
  • Trust your instincts. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Yahoo! Shopping predicts these items to be the hottest items this year:

Facts, Figures & Trends from Yahoo! Shopping’s 2010 holiday shopping survey:

  • It’s about whose MOST important! Friends and immediate family top the list of gift recipients. On average they are spending $888 this holiday season on gifts for about 12 people.
  • The majority of shoppers (58%) will start shopping well before the holidays. Around a fifth plan to spend even more on clothing, entertainment items & toys this year. Mass merchandisers, online retailers and websites will be important across categories.
  • The time period leading up to Thanksgiving will be key for holiday shopping this season. Consumers who begin shopping early buy for a larger number of people, spend more money, shop the most across categories, most interested in online offers and most proactive to seek them out.
  • The internet, and specifically mobile internet, is most likely to be used by early and thanksgiving shoppers. They are also more inclined to do more research and use coupons. Late shoppers claim they are taking a more ‘wait and see’ approach, and are more likely to pay cash.
  • A majority of holiday shoppers are interested in offers and promotions with free shipping the key. The earlier the shopper, the greater the interest in holiday offers and promotions. December shoppers are most interested in offline coupons and deals but online is still high on the list.
  • A 2 in 3 majority of mobile owners will use their devices while shopping this holiday season. This is especially true among the early and the Thanksgiving shopping period. They are planning to comparison shop, deal hunt, take/send pictures, communicate with others about shopping, and use a search engine while on-the-go shopping
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