Looking for a bargain? Cyber Monday is just around the corner, and major brands and retail outlets are gearing up to offer some incredible deals. It is a great way to save money, but it can also be a bit tricky. With so many good deals to choose from, it’s easy to get carried away and make some costly shopping mistakes. Here are a few common mistakes shoppers make and some tips on how to avoid them.
Opening suspicious links
As we approach Cyber Monday, it’s important to be cautious when browsing online sales. Cybercriminals often take advantage of the hype surrounding these events to introduce suspicious and phishing links in newsletters and on websites. These links may appear to be too good to pass up, and one will be tempted to sneak a peek into the early bird deals. However, this trap will grant unauthorized access to one’s sensitive information, including passwords and financial details. The bottom line is never to click on links that keep redirecting to pages other than the mentioned offer. And even if one unknowingly clicks on a link, it is important to ensure one does not enter any sensitive information that can be scanned off the keystrokes.
Shopping with unverified vendors
Barring a few top retail websites that handle the logistics of the order, many vendors are actually not verified. They only provide handling, shipping, and delivery logistics for a few days during the shopping weekend. We are specifically referring to fake websites that pose as an intermediary to collect information provided while placing an order. One simple way to verify the authenticity of the vendor is by checking the URL. Websites like TrustPilot allow one to copy and paste such URLs to check if the link is legit and created per the protocols for publishing a website online. One must avoid visiting gimmicky websites and always shop with trusted vendors from which one has previously bought products online. This goes for services as well. Never agree to a subscription before confirming the authenticity of the website offering the deal.
Shopping without a plan
Shopping sale events can get out of hand if one does not have a plan. The sheer number of offers and unlimited range of discounts is the perfect excuse to go overboard. This is where one may end up buying something that is not useful or spending way too much on products and services that are unnecessary. Ideally, one must have a list of things to buy and filter out products categorically. Make multiple lists divided across ‘must haves,’ ‘can purchase,’ and ‘can do without it’ categories. This way, one can also decide on a total spending budget.
Giving into the fear of missing out
Know that there will always be a next time, a better offer up ahead. Never give in to the fear of missing out on a good deal available for only a day or two during the shopping weekend. This is especially true for the products or services one did not put on the original list. But surely enough, the brands and vendors have done a good enough job of enticing one to check out the deal. However, buying something simply because it’s on sale or only available for a short period of time is not a smart strategy and a bad way to spend hard-earned money. If not this year, there is always another shopping event or special offer sale event where the same product will be available, even for a better price. So, never buy out of fear that the deal is simply too good to pass.
Logging in late on the day of the sale
Many shoppers are blissfully unaware of the fact that major brands and retail websites promote early bird deals long before the shopping sale event goes live. Where one lives also plays an important role in determining the time difference. Even though the sale timing is fixed, one may be staying closer or further away from the time zone mentioned in the sale. So, one will have to log in early or late to be on time for the sale. For example, shoppers from the west coast will have to log in at 9 pm Sunday to match the 12 am Monday opening deadline. If one waits, the good deals might get sold out before one even logs in on popular e-commerce sites.
Buying luxury products during the sale
We understand that the whole purpose of shopping on Cyber Monday is to buy some of the most luxurious branded products that are otherwise pretty expensive to own. It’s impossible to pass up a deal where one can save hundreds of dollars on the latest MacBook Pro with the M2 chip. Or one may end up receiving a trade-in bonus for the latest Samsung Galaxy S series, where the exchange practically pays for the cost of the phone. But there are many luxury purchases that one should avoid online as scammers are always on the lookout for gullible shoppers who only look at discounts. Many surveys conducted to analyze these sale events conclude that 13% of the products sold online are counterfeit. So, avoid buying jewelry, high-end designer accessories, and even some gadgets online because these products can be counterfeited. There is no way of verifying its authenticity online.