Last updated: 25.11.16

Are you going to be shopping this Cyber Monday?

While Black Friday is one of the biggest days for shopping due to the number of retailers putting on offers both in store and online, Cyber Monday is huge when it comes to shopping on the net. The Monday after Black Friday - this year it is on November 28th - is when people take to their computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets to find some of the best online bargains.

Just as with Black Friday, UK retailers have embraced Cyber Monday over the last few years, with many offering more deals that can make up for you missing out on purchasing three days before. Everyone from small retailers to the big names will be offering deals, many of which may be even better than those on Black Friday.

This means that Cyber Monday could be the perfect opportunity to buy your Christmas presents for less and to purchase those big ticket items you've been after for a while. To ensure you get everything you want for a good price this Cyber Monday, here's what you need to know about the day:

How you shop

As the name might suggest, all the bargains on Cyber Monday will be found online, with many retailers offering more cash off in-store sale items. Unlike Black Friday, this means all the shopping can be done from the comfort of your own home.

However, this can mean that you run into a number of problems, including long queues to get onto sites, slow loading and some websites just not working. To help reduce the impact on your shopping experience, make sure you have a secure connection, your device is fully charged or plugged in and that its cache is clear to help it run smoother. These steps may not solve all the problems, but they could help you checkout faster.

When it starts

Many retailers run Cyber Monday from Midnight to 11.59pm, giving you a full 24 hours to get your shopping done. Of course, this also means that you might miss out on the best deals, even if you start shopping first thing in the morning.

Every retailer is different and most will have a banner or announcement on their site that states when their discounts will come into effect. It is a good idea to check for this information from the stores you really want to buy from so you know the best time to get shopping.

Even though online offers will be available all day, there will be peak times where people are trying to shop, which can cause sites to run slowly. Before work, between 12pm and 2pm and after the commute - between 5pm and 7pm - are all likely to be busy periods so try and fit your shopping in between these points in the day.

What deals will be available

Every retailer is a bit different, with some simply slashing prices on everything while others will have specific sale sections. You may find that some retailers only offer discounts on Cyber Monday with vouchers - others may offer these as extra money off - which will likely be posted on their social media pages.

Check what the retailers that you want to shop with are doing beforehand so you don't miss out on extra discounts. You may also want to search for any other discount vouchers that could be online, as these may be valid in conjunction with price reductions to save you even more cash.

If there is a specific item you're after, have a look at several retailers to compare prices, as this will ensure you get the best bargain. Remember to take into account things like postage costs, as this could make all the difference.

It is also worth noting that some sites will only discount the less popular items they sell, so you might not get as good a deal as you initially thought. It can be easy to buy something that is cheap just because you want to save money, but you still need to be sure it is correct and suitable, so do your research and don't get pulled in by deals that look too good.

Get the most out of Cyber Monday

Hopefully, you'll find plenty of bargains this Cyber Monday and save yourself some cash ahead of the festive period. To ensure you get the best shopping experience, remember these tips:

  • Check each retailer's return policy to ensure you're covered in case you want to return an item.
  • Keep all emails regarding your Cyber Monday purchases in case you need to check anything. It is a good idea to put them in a separate email folder to make them easier to find.
  • Create accounts for each retailer beforehand. It can be tempting to just checkout as a guest when you're in a hurry, but having an online account will make it easier to track orders and get help if you need it.
  • Pay securely using services like PayPal and Worldpay as these will protect your details. Some of these services also offer guarantees as extra protection so you won't lose out if something gets lost in the post.
  • Shop at trusted retail sites only and check the URLs are correct before inputting any personal or card details to avoid fraud.