Everyone wants the best possible deals when shopping for the holidays. Stores bring out the bargains the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday), but that also brings out the crowds and, occasionally, the crazies. The shrewd holiday shopper might prefer to wait three more days for Cyber Monday, to enjoy some great online bargains, without the long lines and empty shelves.
Online stores, like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, don’t reveal sales ahead of time. But they usually have some great deals. And most feature free or discounted shipping to get your gifts to you quickly and cheaply. They may even gift-wrap and ship them directly to the lucky recipients. It’s all just a few mouse clicks away.
Here are a few websites worth visiting on Cyber Monday and throughout the 2011 holiday shopping season:
Need a Blu-ray player or a book? How about groceries or a shirt or an accessory for your cell phone? Amazon’s got all this stuff and a whole lot more. And their already low prices drop to basement levels on selected items for Cyber Monday. Amazon even hints at what they’re going to do the Saturday before… so check the site out beforehand.
Apple is known for being a little more expensive than its competitors—but you get what you pay for. The online store features deals similar to those in the brick-and-mortar store, saving you the hassle and grief of the local mall. Free shipping is often added in to sweeten the deals.
If you’re looking for computer and home electronics stuff, then Fry’s has you covered. They’ve got everything from notebooks and tablets to routers and hard drives to cameras and camcorders. It’s all here and more. The Cyber-specials will save you loads on what you want and need. You don’t have to be a geek to love what you’ll find (though it doesn’t hurt).
Blockbuster is more than just rentals; it’s also a DVD and video game store. You can give a membership or buy discounted movies and games to give as gifts. The deals get even sweeter when Cyber Monday rolls around. But you’ll have to visit that day to see what’s up because they’re not revealing anything ahead of time.
Home improvement items may not seem like the most exciting gifts ever. But the deals on appliances, tools, gardening, lighting and other household needs can make any homeowner smile. Gift options extend to the patio and the backyard too. There’s something for everyone, whether they’ve been naughty or nice.
Those who like to create things know that supplies are the backbone of any project. Hobbyists and craft lovers flock to Michaels expecting what they need will be there. The online Cyber Monday specials should help fill your online shopping cart, and get the creators on your list started on their next project.
Forget about going to a drugstore to pick up tape, batteries, candy or any of a thousand other items that you might need for wrapping presents and stuffing stockings. Dollar Tree has all that in bulk, and it’s priced to move faster than Santa and his reindeer. This is the place to go for a lot of the little things.
Big holiday meals often begin with a trip to the grocery store. But they don’t have to. Netgrocer has everything you need to put food on the table, including natural, organic and Kosher options. And they’ll ship it to you anywhere in the country via FedEx.
This jungle of gift cards has something for every type of person on your shopping list. The already discounted prices fall even further when Cyber Monday rolls around, so get there early to find exactly what you want. And come back after the holidays to trade in any unwanted gift cards.
Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.