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Deal Diva

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How to make the most of Cyber Monday

By Tara McAlister
Tara McAlister
Tara McAlister is MomsCharlotte.com's Deal Diva, giving you loads of easy tips to save money.

Since the start of Cyber Monday in 2005, its popularity has steadily grown. This year retailers expect consumers to do more than 30 percent of their shopping online.

While online shopping means less time waiting in line and finding a parking place, there are best practices to make the most of Cyber Monday:

• Do your research, using websites such as CyberMonday.com and Dealio.com to find the latest deals. Compare online prices before your decide; pricegrabber.com is easy to use.

• Get started early. Lots of top retailers, such as Walmart, Target and Best Buy, will start some of their cyber deals on Friday night.

• Do not buy anything online without searching for a coupon code. Retailmenot.com is easy to navigate and promises to have the most reliable coupon codes on the Web. Coupon codes can offer free shipping or money off your final purchase.

• Stay organized. Create a folder in your email to store all sale confirmations. This will help with tracking delivery dates and return information. Consider getting the app Slice, which finds store receipts in your email inbox and stores them. It also tracks packages and monitors for price changes.

• Shipping costs can chew up your holiday budget, but there are ways to minimize and even eliminate them. Walmart will ship a product for free to the closest store for you to pick up. If you have a Target Redcard, you can ship from Target.com for free. If you plan to buy several items on Amazon, consider Amazon Prime to get free shipping. Right now take advantage of a free 30-day trial.

• Know the return policy. Find out if there is a restocking fee, and if you get store credit rather than your money back.

Reach Tara at thedealdiva@bellsouth.net.
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