Plan Your Cyber Monday Campaign And Keep Calm
1. No war is won without a sound strategy. Write out your list of folks, pick one or two gifts in a broad sense that you want to get for them instead of focusing on brands (i.e. your uncle Dennis might want a stand mixer, not a Kitchenaid). And then and only then dive into the deep, ever-sprawling pile of deals that is Cyber Monday.
2. The mixture of holiday shopping pressure, and tactics like Amazon’s rather shameless timer on deals and steadily climbing “percentage sold” progress bar, can make shoppers just as unhinged as any fistfight over an iPhone case. So, before you leap into the sprawl, remember that if you, or your giftee, won’t use it, it doesn’t matter how cheap it is.
3. Deals come back all the time. It’s easy to forget that prices are decided by the seller, and if somebody decides they can move a TV at a 70% discount, odds are fairly good that discount will return again before Christmas Eve, or another seller will try to top it. And don’t forget; the same scams used on Black Friday also pop up on Cyber Monday, so plan accordingly! So with that, let’s look at some deals!
While there are some surprising Cyber Monday deals out there, like a $700 savings on this 55″ LG TV from Best Buy, the best deal is easily Wal-Mart unloading its entire stock of Samsung TVs at 50% off. That’s dirt, dirt cheap, and if you need a replacement tube, this will definitely fit the bill. That said, if you need a smaller TV and want a gift card to go with it, Target is selling a 43″ Ultra HD Samsung TV for $400 plus a $50 gift card.
There’s never any contest on Cyber Monday for who has the best deals on their own products. Amazon, as usual, is celebrating Cyber Monday by cutting prices on all their stuff. If you use a tablet to surf the web, play games, and Tweet from the couch, the 7″ Fire is perfect.
Cyber Monday is usually a laptop bonanza, and this year is no exception. Whether you’re looking for a gaming laptop, a dirt-cheap workhorse, or an absurdly high-end replacement for your desktop straight out of Hackers for $150 off.
The best deal? $200 to $400 off Microsoft’s Surface, when you buy it direct from Microsoft, which delivers on the promise of a notebook meeting a laptop and then some. That’ll also likely make it cheaper than an iPad depending on where you find your deals.
Expect a lot of game deals on Cyber Monday, both in the form of digital sales and in the form of boxed games. In terms of consoles, though, the best deals are all on the Xbox One. So far, the best deal is buying an Xbox One S bundle directly from Microsoft; anybody who does that gets an immediate $50 discount, a better deal than some Black Friday game sales. If you own a giant 4K TV and not an Xbox One S, however, consider Wal-Mart’s offer of the console, a $40 gift card, and a 4K movie for just $250. Almost as good is Best Buy’s deal where you buy a Xbox One S bundle and get a controller to go with it; the savings aren’t quite as deep but they’re pretty good and ideal for gamers who share the couch with someone.
In non-Xbox news, Amazon is offering some truly ridiculous Cyber Monday deals in gaming, ranging from accessories to, of course, games themselves. Look closely, though, as some are week-long deals and others are on a timer.
Whether yelling at Google’s air-freshener-esque Home or Amazon’s hockey-puck-styled Echo Dot or the Echo itself will ever be a thing is an open question, but they fail it won’t be for pricing. Amazon has trimmed $40 off the Echo, making it $140 and $10 off the Dot, making it $40. Google has the Home at $30 off, meanwhile, so it only costs $100.
Finally, there’s the category that Cyber Monday really exists for: Totally strange stuff you didn’t know existed, but you or someone in your life desperately need. For the college student in your life, a $10 Aroma rice cooker that cooks up to 14 cups is a deal. If you want to learn Spanish, you can get Rosetta Stone and a Kindle Fire together for $150. And if you just want a jump on Christmas, or get the dad in your life a tree that won’t shed needles, a fake Colorado Spruce with color-changing lights built in is just $225 from Lowe’s.
For a look at more must-have gifts this holiday season, take a look at our other guides.