Here’s what you should and shouldn’t buy if you want to save this Cyber Monday

Nov. 26 expected to be biggest online shopping day
Here’s what you should and shouldn’t buy if you want to save this Cyber Monday
Cyber Monday could rake in as much as $6.6 billion in online sales, a 16.5 percent increase over last year.

Americans are expected to click their way into the record books this Cyber Monday, Nov. 26.

Online shoppers are expected to spend $1 trillion this holiday season and a whopping 60% of that will be online.

In the past, Cyber Monday has been a single day of deals, but the holiday shopping event has since expanded to the entire week, causing some retailers to call it “Cyber Week.”

TV’s, computers, and clothes are just three of the biggest items you can expect to see with slashed prices online today.

Amazon, Walmart, and Target are offering some of this year’s biggest deals. Some retailers, like Best Buy and Bed, Bath, & Beyond already got a head start on their Cyber Monday deals over the weekend.

As for what not to buy: jewelry, smartphones, toys, and workout equipment tend to be cheaper at other times of the year.

Because so many deals are now online, many local shops are even changing the way they run their businesses. Cyber Monday not only saves customers the hassle of having to brave crowds; it offers a way for smaller retail websites to compete with larger chains.

“There are a lot of local businesses that have done a really nice job curating some very unique things, who talk to customers and get to know them,” said Jerry O’Brien of the Kohl’s Center for Retail at the UW-Madison. “These are things that are tough for the giants to do.”

As times continue to change, financial experts say bigger businesses have to change their models, too.

“It appears that an awful lot of brick-and-mortar retailers are doing an order online and pickup in-store. Those numbers get a little fuzzy because I don’t know if we’re going to label that an online sale or an in-store sale,” said O’Brien.

“There’s retailers that are responding well to the economy and how well we do with the online versus in-store. And then there’s a lot of other retailers that haven’t caught up. I think this year we’ll see winners and losers.”

Experts say Black Friday may have had some better in-store doorbuster deals, but the difference is most likely going to be only a few dollars.

The Better Business Bureau is also warning consumers going into today: if something seems to good to be true, or if it seems a little fishy, it probably isn’t something worth buying online. Make sure the websites you’re visiting have all words spelled correctly; that’s oftentimes a giveaway the site isn’t what you think it is.

The BBB also suggests all shoppers stick to a strict budget, avoid add-ons, and use price-comparison tools like Shopify and Pricegrabber. And to avoid retailers targeting you with products in the days and weeks after Cyber Monday, experts suggest clearing your cart before logging off your computer today.

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