After they eat all the turkey and leftovers, people scramble to take advantage of the biggest sales days of the year. Although Black Friday has dominated the holiday season in years past, Cyber Monday is becoming increasingly popular. According to Adobe Digital Insights, people spent a record $3.39 billion online on Cyber Monday deals last year.
However, you should proceed with caution. Not every Cyber Monday sale is as great as retailers make it out to be. Instead, you can end up shelling out too much money on inferior products if you fall for these retailer sales techniques.
4 Cyber Monday retailer tricks
Before you add yet another bath bomb or colander to your shopping cart, here’s what you need to know to save money and get a great deal.
Retailer trick no. 1: Fake discounts
Many sites will tout significant price cuts. However, the original price that they display might not be what the product sold for previously. Some retailers will inflate the “original” price to make you feel like you’re getting a great deal. But, if you shop around, you could score a bigger discount by shopping elsewhere.
You can find the best price using a price-comparison site such as PriceGrabber. PriceGrabber will show you what different retailers are selling an item for so you can get the best price.
Retailer trick no. 2: Padded reviews
If you see a brand you’ve never heard of, but the item has hundreds of glowing reviews, you might feel like you’ve stumbled upon a lucky secret. You buy it thinking you’re getting a high-quality item at a bargain price — but your order might not be the steal you thought.
Some manufacturers give away products in exchange for positive reviews. Others have their employees submit fake reviews to make their product more appealing to shoppers.
You can identify which reviews are legitimate and make more informed decisions by using FakeSpot. It’s a site that analyzes reviews and determines how accurate they are. It assigns each item a grade based on the legitimacy of reviews.
For example, this Charmax straightening brush has a four-star rating on Amazon. However, when you submit the link to FakeSpot, the site determined that 90 percent of the reviews were fake. The real reviews were much less positive.
Retailer trick no. 3: Time-sensitive deals
Many big-name retailers, including Amazon and WalMart, offer limited-time discounts on their websites. Often lasting just a few hours, these lightning deals encourage you to purchase items you don’t even need just to take advantage of the price cut.
Instead of succumbing to impulse buying due to time-sensitive offers, come up with a concrete list of what you need to buy and stick to it, no matter how good the discounts are on other items. Writing down a list will help you stay focused and prevent you from buying that Vitamix blender for no reason.
Retailer trick no. 4: Lowest prices of the season
Many stores urge you to buy on Cyber Monday to take advantage of one-day-only sales. They promote a sense of urgency so you’ll make big purchases right away.
However, the urgency might be fake. Cyber Monday may be the start of the discount season, but the prices will likely stay the same through the new year to clear last year’s inventory and make way for the latest models.
To ensure you get the best price — and to ease the fear of missing out— use an app such as Paribus. Paribus scans your emails for order confirmations and then monitors the pricing of those items for 30 days after your purchase. If the price drops, the app handles the price adjustment process for you and refunds the difference to your account.
Staying on budget
Cyber Monday can be an excellent opportunity to snag deals on your shopping list. However, you can blow your budget and end up with junk if you’re not careful. By being aware of retailers’ tricks and using online shopping tools, you can ensure you get the best price for what you really need.
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