Looking beyond Cyber Monday

- Online shopping is where it's at this holiday.  According to Adobe Digital Insights, Black Friday set a new record with more than $3 billion in online sales, while Thanksgiving saw a new mobile shopping high of $449 million.  And Cyber Monday could be the best day yet.

Smart Shopping Expert with www.splender.com, Trae Bodge thinks Cyber Monday will be the most exciting shopping day with some  of the best deals of the year.

Cyber Monday is interesting, Bodge says, because online retailers have more flexibility and can make adjustments.  Last year, businesses like Travelocity, Uggs, Levi's, and Lands' End all offered deeper discounts on Cyber Monday.  Shoppers typically saved an additional 10% on Cyber Monday over Black Friday, with discounts often going from 40% to 50% off.

And while the shopping started early this morning, some sites will be rolling out  Cyber Monday deals all night long.  Bodge says Amazon is one of the online retailers that continues to stagger deals throughout the day.
So if you're an Amazon customer and you're in front of a computer, Cyber Monday is a great day to pop in and see what kind of deals are coming up every few minutes or every hour.

Not in the holiday shopping mindset just yet?  You're not alone.

Sarah Spagnolo, Editor at Large at Foursquare expects two big shopping days in late December.

If you simply can't bear the thought of dealing with the crowds on those days, take Spagnolo's advice on how to avoid them.  She says, if you're shopping for a woman, Monday is a great day. Cosmetic stores tend to be empty around noon. Later in the evening, try accessory, clothing, candy, and jewelry stores.
If you're shopping for a man, Spagnolo says Thursday is your day. Hardware stores are empty Thursday morning. Bookstores and places that sell beer are quieter in the evening.

If you're shopping for a kid, Friday is a really good day. Spagnolo says big box stores are empty Friday morning, toy stores are empty in the evening.  If you're cooking for your family, grocery stores, and supermarkets are also quiet Friday evening.

Other great times to shop? According to Spagnolo, department stores are quietest on Sunday morning. The electronics stores are empty on Sunday evenings.

Whatever you do, skip Saturday shopping. It's the worst day across the board.

And while it can definitely be fun to shop in-store during the holidays, just remember, a lot of the great deals are online this year, so comparison shop on your smartphone before buying anything.

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