Tips and Tricks For A Safe and Successful Cyber Monday

If you're not into hitting crowded stores to get the best deals on Black Friday and prefer to wait out the weekend for a shopping date between you and your computer, then follow me after the jump for some Cyber Monday tips to get you started.

List It Out: Going in with a plan is your best course of action. Don't just start strolling mindlessly around your favorite websites. Treat it like a brick and mortar store, get in and get out. That way you won't end up with a bunch of stuff you don't need. Cyber Monday regret doesn't sound like the best way to start off the Holidays.

Do Your Research: Don't wait until Monday to begin comparing prices and reading reviews. Figure it all out over the weekend, and you will go in knowledgable and less likely to get scammed by something that looks like a great deal but really isn't.

Stay With What You Know: Make sure you shop at well known retailing sites to assure your purchases are safe. Don't get scammed by some shop that just opened up over night. If the deal seems too good to be true, it just might be.

Be Social: Follow your favorite shops on Twitter or Facebook for exclusive deals and coupon codes.

Speed Matters: This is not the day to leisurley pile up your shopping cart and start daydreaming about simpler times. There is no guarantee the items "virtually" saved will still be there when you checkout.

Read Between The Lines: Make sure you check out the return policy for Cyber Monday items. Shops often limit and/or change policies during this time.

Shipping What?: Don't get so swept up in a good deal that you don't pay attention to shipping costs. Stores often hike up the shipping to get their money back on an item. Try to shop where they have free shipping if you can.

(Image: Shutterstock )

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Alysha is a photographer and designer living in Seattle who loves dark chocolate, tea, and all things furry. In her spare time you'll find her with paint in her hair renovating her 1919 Craftsman and sharing the process on her blog Old House New Tricks.