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How to Survive Cyber Monday

Much to the delight of retail workers everywhere, gone is Black Friday and its accompanying in-store shopping craze. While the competition for parking spots and premier places in line has come to an end, avid shoppers can still indulge their need for the latest styles on another infamous shopping day, Cyber Monday. Throw on your sweats, grab your debit card and trust Inside Beat to school you on how to survive Cyber Monday.

1.       First Things First, Be a Realist: A USB pet rock, or that discounted set of yoga classes is a great deal when a 25% off offer is applied to it, but be realistic with your purchases in order to conserve your budget. Sure, you don’t have to take that pet rock on daily walks, and yoga could totally relieve your stress during finals week, but if you wouldn’t be willing to buy it at full retail price, chances are you don’t really need it at all.

2.       Smear on Your War Paint: While all may be fair in love and war, such is not the case in retail. Cyber Monday attracts larger shopping populations due not only to its convenience, but also to its deals. Cyber Monday is notorious for having bigger, better sales than Black Friday in the interest of clearing store inventory on the last major shopping holiday before Christmas. Consequently, online competition for the same items will be heightened, so if you love an item, don’t hesitate to put it in your “shopping cart” before another shopper can snag it. Otherwise, the only advice that can be offered is “if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it,” or something like that.

3.       Pin the Tail on the Turkey:  Given the large volume of shoppers that will participate in Cyber Monday, it’s better to start shopping around midnight. Starting early gives you a better chance of getting the exclusive merchandise, and limited time deals that you want. To stay awake, avoid making leftover turkey sandwiches! Turkey contains tryptophan, a chemical blamed for the annual post-Thanksgiving dinner slump.

4.       Follow the “No Ragrets” Principle: Most shoppers lament their Cyber Monday purchases, primarily because they spent too much, or bought items that they didn’t sincerely need. Set a definite budget for yourself, and deposit only the balance that you intend to spend on your debit card, to keep yourself from exceeding that amount. Furthermore, most stores have free online coupons that can be downloaded from coupon websites, and combined with Cyber Monday sales at checkout. Do some research, and be honest about your financial situation to ensure that you’ll end your shopping excursion in bliss instead of blah.

5.      Make a Real Connection: Everyone loves Cyber Monday for one major reason: everything is online. Naturally, to make your Cyber Monday shopping experience much smoother than class registration, connect to a reliable Wi-Fi source to avoid web failure just when you’re about to press “checkout.” Hit up your friends, and casually ask for that Wi-Fi password in between that story about Thanksgiving dinner and discussion about the approaching bowl game. If your friends don’t have personal routers, don’t be embarrassed to find someone who does and make them your “bae for the day” just to get that password. After all, it’s Cyber Monday, not judgment day.

Use these simple tips to your advantage, and within a week your email account will be filled with notifications that your hard-earned parcels have arrived at the Rutgers post office. After that? Strut down College Avenue in your latest ensembles, and thank Inside Beat, of course. Lastly, don’t forget to throw in a few holiday purchases for family and close friends (sigh) to prove that you aren’t as greedy as your parents and siblings think you are.

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