As the holiday season approaches, retail deals abound, including deals for SBOs. But how do you find the time to scour the internet and store mailings for the best deals to actually make it worth your while? First, know that the game has changed. Second, preparation is key. And third, we’ll offer some advice on perennial discounts on items if you need them.
With the increasing number of shopping days around Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, consumers may not know when to buy what. Recent 2014 shopping predictions suggest that Cyber Monday may not be the best day to secure online deals. For this shopping season and beyond, the game-changer is about a time period vs. a specific day as well as going mobile. So it’s time to gear up.
Compiling data since 2008 with retail data from 1 trillion visits to more than 4,500 retail websites, Adobe Systems market researchersforecast the best online deals with savings of 20 percent to 24 percent, beginning Nov. 24 through Thanksgiving Day. This is not to say that in-store Black Friday, the all-important Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are not important – especially Small Business Saturday. Instead, Cyber Monday, by definition, is a much longer time period now.
Now you may ask – how should I prepare?
- Make a list. It’s easy to get caught up in offers when you shop online or in a store.
- Research store offers. To begin with, visit http://www.cybermonday.com/Small-Business/bc_33___.htm to learn about deals for SBOs. To access up-to-the-minute deals, coupons and more, check out free apps like the Black Friday app or others to help you navigate the dynamic offers.
- Find price-comparison sites and tools. Wondering which retailer has the best price on a specific item, try price-comparison sites such as Price Jump from savings.com, com or Google Shopping. Search for item on these sites and you’ll find a list of the retailers offering the product, prices, shipping costs, and seller information and ratings.
- Check coupon deals; look for codes now. Review apps, retailer websites and coupon-specific sites to find special offers to lower sale prices, such as RetailMeNot, com,Coupons.com and more. Deals from these sites may only be offered on the coupon sites or found via search engines. Make sure to read the fine print as exclusions may apply.
- Look for free shipping. Many online sites will offer it, but you may need to put in a coupon code found on their site or from a coupon site.
Need advice on what is worth searching for and purchasing during the Cyber Monday shopping bonanza?
- Computers, laptops and tablets. Whether you need a new PC or something a bit easier to travel with like an iPad, Kindle, tablet or a laptop, you can begin to search for deals now.
- Computer accessories. Look for deals on keyboards, screens, routers, wireless tools, storage and different type of mouse accessories.
- Printers, copiers, faxes and more. Make your work life easier with one of the new all-in-one tools.
- Server, storage. Perhaps you need more storage space or want to build your own server. Along with all the other electronic offerings, you can search for these types of deals.
- Other small electronic tools. Phones, cameras, headphones, speakers and more will be offered.
- Office furniture. If you need a new chair, desk or file cabinet,
- Office supplies. Toner, files, paper and other office supplies are often deeply discounted.
- Stationary, holiday cards, thank you notes and more. Branded stationary deals are available at this time of year as well.
- Often overlooked by budding entrepreneurs is the need for a vacation. Look for vacation packages offered at this time of year. Research, review and plan a trip for next year. It’s always good to have something to look forward to and every entrepreneur needs a physical and mental break to refuel their engines.
Remember, in the end, deep discounts are valuable if you need the merchandise. Be careful not be lured into online or brick-and-mortar shopping and buy things that you don’t need – or that seem like a good deal, but may not be.