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How to Navigate Cyber Monday Like a Pro

Here's what to buy, what to skip, and tips for making sure you're getting the best Cyber Monday deal.

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clothesCreative Lab/shutterstock

Buy: Clothing

While there will be no shortage of clothing discounts on Black Friday, sales in this category tend to be deeper and more flexible on Cyber Monday; think: site wide vs. sales on specific items. Free shipping offers are also plentiful on Cyber Monday, so you can save yourself money plus the time you’d spend battling crowds in-store. The one exception is winter apparel, which we will see deeper discounts in December and January.

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Buy: Small electronics and small appliances

Items including headphones, digital cameras, coffee makers, and blenders will be on sale on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But similar to apparel, the deals will be specific to a certain item on Black Friday, versus a broader site-wide sale on Cyber Monday. That said, if you’re shopping at the mall on Black Friday and stumble across a deal on an item on your list, you might want to grab it because it could sell out and by the time Monday rolls around.

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toysAynur sib/shutterstock

Buy: Toys

Sales on toys will come and go throughout the holiday shopping season, so there’s no real sweet spot. That said, if a toy on your list is on sale on Cyber Monday, get it, especially if it has been deemed a “hot toy.” Better to get it now than to deal with the ramifications when it’s sold out.

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televisionDean Drobot/shutterstock

Buy: Televisions

Deals on TVs are typically plentiful on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Because the deepest discounts are often available on brands you may not be familiar with, we recommend taking some time to read professional and consumer reviews before you buy. If you are skilled at conducting research on your phone in a busy store, Black Friday could present some exciting sale opportunities for you, but if you prefer to take your time, conducting your research from your computer on Cyber Monday might be a better option. This is why Cyber Monday even became a thing in the first place.

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pillowsKittisak Sirichunsuwan/shutterstock

Skip: Linens

If you need new bedding or towels, wait until the new year. January white sales have been around for more than a century and they show no signs of going away.

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Skip: Holiday decor

Now would be the logical time to decorate for the holidays, but holiday decor won’t truly go on sale until December. Can’t wait? Here are 50 cheap holiday decorations you can DIY.

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jewelryAlgirdas Gelazius/shutterstock

Skip: Jewelry

Someone on your list would love a special bangle, but the better discounts are right before Valentine’s Day.

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fitnessNataliya Sdobnikova/shutterstock

Skip: Fitness and wellness gear

In the spirit of “New Year/New You,” early January is prime time for markdowns on things like workout equipment and workout apparel.

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Saving tip: Compare prices

Just because something is on sale, doesn’t mean you’ve found the very best Cyber Monday deal. Before checking out, take a moment and search for items in Google or Bing to see what the prices are elsewhere.

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workUber Images/shutterstock

Saving tip: Set alerts

So you don’t miss a sale on something important, prior to Cyber Monday try Thinkover, a browser extension for Chrome and Safari, to save things you are interested in. If an item goes on sale, you’ll receive an alert.

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Saving tip: Maximize your savings

Another browser extension we’d recommend is Gumdrop by Goodshop. As you shop online, a banner will pop up to alert you when coupons are available, allowing you to save even more. Better yet, many of their coupon have a charitable component where a donation will be made to the school or charity of your choice.

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saleTZIDO SUN/shutterstock

Saving tip: No FOMO

Worried that you might check out and find a better price later? Try signing up for Earny, a service that seeks out refunds for you in the event of a price drop. They take a small cut for their efforts, but they do all the work—and you’ll still save big!

Trae Bodge
Trae Bodge is an accomplished lifestyle journalist and TV commentator who specializes in smart shopping and saving money. She writes for and, and her expert commentary can be found on,,, and, and in magazines like Newsweek, Better Homes & Gardens, and Woman’s Day. She has appeared on-air hundreds of times, including on NBC Nightly News, Inside Edition, and network affiliates around the country. You can find her money-saving tips at and at @truetrae on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.