Top 10 Cyber Monday Shopping Tips From Consumer Reports

Tips Include: Shop Early, Do Your Homework, Get on

can be a joyous shopping occasion. However, it can also seem hectic but it is manageable with a few tips from .  The group has been tracking Cyber Monday deals for year and has a few tricks for the rest of us.

Some of the product categories shoppers will be going for, include televisions, laptops, large and small appliances, and mattresses.

Ten Tips from Consumer Reports:

1. Plan to shop early. 

2. Do your homework. Getting the best deals on Cyber Monday can take some work, since online retailers can update specials, take away or add new deals, at almost anytime during the event.

3. Use price and coupon tools. You don’t have to go retailer-by-retailer to compare prices.

Many major retailers, such as , , Target, and , have their own apps that will alert you to new deals, and sometimes help shoppers in other ways.

4. Get social. The pages and feeds of your favorite retailers are a great way to find out about deals and promotions. Also check their Instagram and Pinterest accounts. Retailers will often reward customers who like or follow them with special alerts to Cyber Monday discounts and incentives.

5. Sign up for loyalty programs. 

6. Create a budget—and stick to it. 

7. Check return and exchange policies in advance. 

8. See if you’ll have to pay shipping for purchases or returns. 

9. Don’t forget brick-and-mortar stores. 

10. Stay safe from hackers. With nearly 165 million people expected to be shopping during the Black Friday-through-Cyber-Monday period this year, according to the National Retailer Federation, it’s also a prime time for hackers and cyber thieves looking to steal personal information. To be safe, here are a few best practices to follow when you go online to shop.

Avoid using an unsecured , or public WiFi, when shopping, since you’ll be probably be entering credit-card information. Also, make sure the URL of the retailer’s site starts with “https,” not “http.” That means the data in encrypted in transit, so if a hacker does tap into the message, they won’t be able to read it.

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