Forget Working, Get Your Game on for Cyber Monday

Poor planning is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, says a consumer advisor

By Asha Beh
|  Monday, Nov 30, 2009  |  Updated 12:20 PM EDT
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This holiday season, you'll really need a smart phone to shop your best.

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A little planning can help you score the best deals online on Cyber Monday.
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Didn't feel like braving the crowds on Black Friday? Monday will give you a second chance, minus the shoving.

Cyber Monday -- the ceremonial kick-off of the holiday online shopping season -- can set you up with a lot of great deals all from the comfort of your computer desk. But do your research now, because if you don't "you're going to miss everything that you want," according to AOL's Consumer Advisor LaToya Drake.

Drake, who spoke with News4's Eun Yang Saturday, said that one of the biggest mistakes people make on Cyber Monday is poor planning.

"You've got two days to really get your Cyber Monday game plan together. So the most important thing you want to do: [go to] CyberMonday.com," Drake said.

The site boasts deals from more than 650 retailers, as well as holiday exclusives and free shipping deals. It's not the only place to go, of course.

Tweet-heads can get hourly deals by joining ShopCyberMonday -- another outlet of the CyberMonday site -- or by signing up for tweets from various retailers, who will also be using the Twitterdom to spread the good holiday shopping cheer.

How did all this Cyber Monday madness begin? According to The New York Times, back in 2005 -- the year Cyber Monday was “invented" -- the name grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.

Because nobody's boss minds when they use the company computer to score shopping deals, right?

It's probably a different story here in D.C., but maybe the government security guys already have their hands full dealing with party crashers...

Either way, Drake recommends the best time to shop online is at 6 a.m. and noon. Those are the times retailers update their sites and post new sales.

Just remember, cyber deals can also come with cyber scams, so while you're taking advantage of the great deals, take the time to be wary and protect yourself on the Internet too.

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