Cyber Monday: Tech Gifts and Shopping Tips
If the notion of mingling with the great unwashed in crowded aisles of big box stores on the Friday after Thanksgiving is your idea of heaven, you probably already did your sale shopping. But if you prefer to shop in the peace of a quiet room with your computer and a cup of warm spiced cider, online shopping deals may be more to your liking. Ah, the serenity of Cyber Monday!
Serenity by The Art Around Us via Flickr
According to Price Grabber at least 41% of all shoppers are planning to use Cyber Monday to look for online deals. Deals that you can expect will include discounts, free shipping, and sometimes gift cards or credits. Electronics are at the top of the list for online shoppers this year.
Price Grabber ran a survey and found that 59% of consumers would rather receive a tablet than a laptop this year. A tablet is certainly my number one recommendation for tech gifts this year. I think any tablet would be a welcome gift for the techies on your list. As an Apple fangirl, I recommend the iPad. It has the easiest operating system and the most apps. But it's also the most expensive. You can find some good deals on the older models for Cyber Monday. As for the iPad Mini, you will not get a price cut, but ordering online is smart because the little tablets are in short supply in stores.
The Nexus line of Android based tablets are in demand this year and are far less expensive than any Apple tablet.
Don't forget the Kindle family – they do more than just books now.
The tablet market is wide open this year and people will be voting with their gift dollars. If I had to predict, I'd say iPads will continue to lead the market, but I think each tablet has its own merits.
Advertising props to Microsoft for their very appealing ads with people dancing with their Surface tablets. We'll see if that type of cool advertising gives them a leg up competing with Apple this year. For years it was the Mac ads that were cool. I'm wondering how these ads from Microsoft will affect the bottom line.
4 year old techie by veesees via Flickr
For children, the LeapPad2 Explorer is the tablet of choice this year. The iPad Mini is also a favorite gift idea for children.
Everyone is wanting a Wii U this year. Good luck getting one! At Toys R Us, they are already sold out and saying even pre-ordered Wii U devices may be delayed. The Wii U should be a great gaming system and would be welcomed by gamers of any age, but getting one in time for the holidays will be a challenge.
When it comes to a high end DSLR camera I think you would be safe to grab any good deal you find on a Nikon or Canon. There are so many small point and shoot cameras for under $100 that when you find one for a discount from a trusted brand such as Sony, Canon, Samsung, or Nikon you should grab it.
For Android lovers, several places are offering discounts or cash back or Google Play credits when you buy a Galaxy S III. Older versions of iPhones such as the iPhone4S may be available at discount prices.
Inexpensive but Super
There are little speakers now called Jam that use bluetooth to add speaker quality sound to your phone, tablet or laptop. They work within 50 feet of your device and come in an array of colors.
Covers and cases for all your mobile devices are valuable accessories in terms of protection and style. Online retailers will try to sell you a case or cover when you place an order, but don't overlook Etsy for items like this.
A pair of gloves with conductive material in the fingertips so you can operate your touchscreen device with your gloves on is a great gift.
For your favorite gamer, there are new versions of Halo and Call of Duty. Although these are hot items, I haven't heard of any shortages.
Google Shopping has a new tool called Shortlists that is pretty awesome for online shoppers any time of year. You create shortlists of things that catch your eye as you surf different sites in search of the perfect thing. You collect the best stuff in one list no matter what the site. You can even share it with others. Here's how it works.
Stores' Cyber Monday Websites
Many stores have dedicated Cyber Monday shopping pages. These are a few.
- Don't overlook the office supply stores in favor of sites like Best Buy. Often you find great deals on computers, printers and scanners at these stores. Office Max Cyber Monday
- Cyber Monday lasts for a week at Walmart, where they have some lesser known brands of tablets for under $100. Vacuum cleaners aren't exactly tech gifts, but both Walmart and Sam's Club are going to have good deals on Dyson vacuums.
- Amazon started its Black Friday sales early, but is holding out for Monday to begin its Cyber Monday sales. You have to keep checking back because the deals on Amazon change rapidly.
- Here's the Target Cyber Monday Deals page. Target REDcard holders get even more discounts above the special offers.
- Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are combined in one page at Best Buy
- Good deals are common at Overstock.com, but they have specials for Overstock's Cyber Monday
- Savings and free shipping are promised at Game Stop's Cyber Monday site
- Laptops, desktops and other electronics will be listed on Dell's site
- At Sears the deals begin at midnight on Sunday. They should have deals on laptops and tablets.
These resources are not from particular stores, but may help you find good deals.
- PayPal is offering some special deals for Cyber Monday including free return shipping and a price comparison tool.
- You can find deals and coupons at Cyber Monday 2012
- Use coupon codes to save at Cyber Monday Savings Center
- You can earn cash back and find discounts using Spreadsave
Keep it Safe
Trend Micro has some safety tips for you.
- Only visit websites with HTTPS URLs, especially if you’ve never visited them before. The padlock icon at the lower right or near the address bar is also a good indicator of site’s security.
- Websites don’t need all of your personal information. When making a purchase they will never need your date of birth or social security number.
- Keep it Private. Don’t shop in a public “hot spot” or in places with unsecure networks. Limit online shopping to when you are at home, this assures uninterrupted and safe sessions.
Keep Calm and Carry On
Whether you're at the ready at midnight on Sunday or take a more rested stroll through the Cyber Monday deals I hope you find exactly the right tech gift at a perfect price. Happiness is a new gadget!