CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Deep discounts are coming today, Cyber Monday, the online shopping equivalent of Black Friday.
Here are some online shopping survival tips for bigger and better discounts:
1. Know the return policy
Check when you can return an item and if you can get a full refund. Big retailers may let you return items in-store. Others may charge a restocking fee or require you to pay for the return shipping.
2. Price match
This topic can be quite confusing, as many retailers continue to change their policies, especially around the holidays.
Websites for companies like Amazon, Toys ‘R’ Us and Target offer online price match programs. However, you need to read the fine print.
Some companies will not honor a price-match for special sales. Some sites, like for Best Buy, only match the prices of select retailers. Many stores, however, only grant this policy with an in-store purchase.
3. Take advantage of free shipping
Online shoppers like Jeremy Kropfeld, of Cuyahoga Falls, say free shipping is expected this time of year.
“I almost always check Amazon.com,” he said. “They usually are very competitive. They’ll even change their prices multiple times per day.”
Many merchants require you spend a certain amount to get this perk.
If stores don’t blatantly offer free shipping, websites like Freeshipping.com can help shoppers find the right promo codes to get items to their house without any added expense.
4. Use online coupons
“We use online coupons all the time. What goes on sale. What the kids might like,” said Jane Moore, of Akron.
Along with free shipping, many Cyber Monday deals offer free gifts.
Websites like RetailMeNot.com connect shoppers to online codes for extra discounts and freebies. It also rates how accurate promotion codes are, as stores change them frequently.
6. Take advantage of cell phone apps
These are particularly handy when shopping in-store. When out at the store, use an app like “RedLaser” or “ShopSavvy” to scan your item.
The apps then search for your item on the web and find the best price. Some retailers will price-match online prices in store, so this can be handy when making those purchases.
On ShopSavvy, you can search hot-ticket items and the app can alert you when the price of an item drops. Other apps, like “Decide” will let you know if the price of an item is a deal or not.
7. Credit Card Cash Back
Some credit cards offer cash back for shopping at certain retailers. Some companies will give you coupons for shopping with those places as well.
8. Use online advantage websites
Websites like MyPoints.com give people wards for shopping at popular retailers online.
The site basically acts like a grocer’s advantage card.
For each purchase, you earn a certain amount of points. Large purchases, like hotel and plane tickets qualify. Members can later redeem those points for gift cards. Membership to the website is free.
9. Shop on websites you trust
If you’re shopping somewhere outside a major retailer, the Better Business Bureau lets you search businesses by their domain name.
The Better Business Bureau's website will show you if the business is BBB accredited and the types of complaints against it.
10. Order early
Because of amount of online traffic during the holiday season, it’s best to shop early, so you don’t experience any shipment problems or back orders.