(US News & World Report) -- Cyber Monday, which takes place on the Monday after Thanksgiving, is a chance to score online deals on everything from apparel to electronics. Read on for the best tips for a budget-friendly Cyber Monday.
Start shopping first thing in the morning for the best chance at scoring limited items. In fact, you should consider shopping a few days before Cyber Monday since many retailers are rolling out online sales on Black Friday — or earlier.
Use a secure site.
Ensure that you’re not falling for scammers and identity thieves by making online purchases on a secure site. Look for “https” instead of “http” in the web address bar. Or look for a padlock symbol, typically in the right-hand corner of your screen.
Skip shopping at the office.
Don’t let your deal-seeking jeopardize your job. Limit online shopping to after hours or your lunch break.
Don’t blow your budget on Black Friday.
Make sure that you stick to your holiday shopping budget. If you have your eyes set on some Cyber Monday sales, rein in your Black Friday shopping.
Avoid shopping on public Wi-Fi.
Entering your financial information on a public network leaves you open to hackers and online thieves. Shop on a trusted wireless connection, like the one you have at home.
Factor in shipping costs.
Shipping fees may add to the cost of your Cyber Monday shopping spree. Look into whether you can score free shipping by having your items sent to a nearby store instead of your doorstep. If not, free shipping day is on Dec. 16 this year.
Use your credit card.
Opt to shop with your credit card, not your debit card. It’s typically more straightforward to contest fraudulent charges on a credit card. Of course, it’s always better to repay your entire bill in order to avoid incurring interest charges.
Anticipate product shortages.
If you’ve got your heart set on a specific item, don’t be surprised if it sells out early. Product shortages may peak around Cyber Monday.
Avoid fishy-looking sites.
If a site looks suspicious, or a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Steer clear of fishy-looking sites by shopping on your computer. It can be tougher to spot red flags on your smartphone.
Review your statements after your spree is finished.
Once the shopping frenzy has ended, check your credit card statement online to ensure that nothing fishy was charged to your card. If you find something off, contest it with your bank or card issuer as soon as possible.
Cyber Monday Deals
Amazon — Expect discounts starting the weekend after Black Friday, but the real sale starts Monday, Nov. 28.
American Eagle Outfitters — 40 percent off purchase sale begins Nov. 26 through Nov. 28 at 1 a.m. PST.
Burlington Coat Factory — Cyber Monday sales start Nov. 28.
BuyDig — Black Friday blowout sale continue into Cyber Monday Nov. 28.
Costco — In-warehouse savings through Nov. 28.
Deal Genius — 20 percent discount coupon valid only on Nov. 28.
Dell — Cyber Monday deals begin Nov. 27.
Dick’s Sporting Goods — After Black Friday sales end at 2 p.m. Nov. 25, Cyber Monday sales pick up Nov. 28.
GameStop — Online sale runs Nov. 28 to Dec. 2.
GoSkills — Discounts on online courses from Nov. 25 to Nov. 28.
hhgregg — Online and in-store sale until 11:59 p.m. Nov. 28.
IKEA — Holiday savings offers from Nov. 23 through Nov. 29 in stores and online.
JC Penney — Over 50,000 online deals Nov. 27 to Nov. 28.
Kohl’s — Each day between Nov. 27 through Nov. 30 will feature new special sales.
Kmart — Cyber Monday sales start Nov. 27.
Levi’s — Cyber Monday sale on top of Black Friday discounts starts Nov. 28.
Macy’s — Its Cyber Week offers sales from Nov. 27 through Dec. 1 in stores and online.
Newegg — Black Friday sales continue into Cyber Monday sales through Nov. 28.
Old Navy — 40 percent off online sale from Nov. 26 through Nov 27.
Overstock — A two-day Cyber Monday sale on Nov. 27 and Nov. 28.
REI — Certain deals go through Nov. 27 and others end Nov. 28.
Sam’s Club — Online sale ends midnight Nov. 26, In-store sale picks up Nov. 25 to Nov. 27
Sears — Sales begin at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 27 and run through Nov. 29.
Shopko — Online only sale runs for a week starting Nov. 26 until Dec. 3
Staples — Sales start Nov. 28.
Target — Goes on Nov. 27 to Nov. 28.
Toys R Us — From Nov. 27 through Dec. 3, there are special Cyber Week deals.
Ugg — Cyber Weekend sale runs Nov. 24 to Nov. 27.
Wal-Mart —Wal-Mart will release its first series of cyber deals at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 25 and a second series at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 28.