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Cyber Monday

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IS IT REALLY THE BEST DEAL?

LIZ GUNNBy Liz Gunn || Since I began writing for this website, I’ve been called a lot of things by my beloved “fans”; vapid, superficial, self-absorbed and then some. I pay no mind…if it bothered me I wouldn’t still be here. However, if there is any subject on which I may actually be able to offer you some insight  – it’s shopping.

Today is Cyber Monday in the retail world; it’s always the Monday following Black Friday. I once enjoyed Black Friday shopping, years ago when it was slightly less manic than it is today. I never left my house before daylight or stood in line for hours just to save a buck, but I enjoyed a little competitive shopping as a way to burn some Thanksgiving calories and to get started on my Christmas list.

However, since 2005, Cyber Monday has taken off for on-line retailers, and for those of us unwilling to participate in the chaos of Black Friday. Last year, Cyber Monday sales set a new record at 2.29 billion dollars, up more than 20 percent from 2012. For fashion retail (clothes, shoes, jewelry) as opposed to other retail like appliances and electronics, Cyber Monday is now king, with sales surpassing that of Black Friday.

We won’t know until tomorrow if that trend holds true for 2014, but I have certainly been taking advantage of  some deals this morning. Amazon has great deals today on electronics like televisions, cameras and some gadgets I’m not even familiar with. Some are up to 85 percent off, so it sure seems like a deal! They have discounts on kids toys, but most of the ones that were of interest to me were already sold out. The early bird really does get the worm…or the My Little Pony Bakeshop, sigh.

It’s not a bad time to shop for your family, either, if there is something that anyone in your household genuinely needs – not just for Christmas. Every retailer I can think of has a sale going on today. If you need any basics like pajamas, socks or undies – now would be a good time to stock up.

I, for one, hate procrastinating when it comes to Christmas shopping. I gives me great satisfaction to check things off my list. My husband, on the other hand, refuses to make a single purchase before December 24th.

While this tends to cause great anxiety for someone like myself, I have to admit – that is when you find the best deals of the season. I have joined him the past several years, in an effort to help, and I’ve seen it first hand. Some stores are practically giving things away.

If you’re looking for something specific where quantities might be limited, this is not the way to go. But if you’re looking for the best deal and don’t mind waiting until the last minute – the savings are typically greater.

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday have passed, another day to keep in mind is coming up tomorrow – Giving Tuesday. I’ll have another post this week about my favorite holiday charity event – but in the meantime, be sure to participate tomorrow by giving your time or your money, if you can. Since its inception in 2012, charitable giving on this day more than doubled last year.

Americans give thanks for all the blessings in their life, then immediately start amassing more “stuff” at generous discounts. Giving Tuesday gives us all the chance to create a little balance during this season of “giving”. You can learn more about tomorrow’s giving opportunities here and stay tuned for my post on an easy, but incredible way you can share the joy this holiday season!

LIZ GUNN is a wife, mom, travel enthusiast, food snob, daydreamer and lifelong Gamecock fan. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.
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