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Cyber Monday secrets the stores don’t want you to know

Black Friday may get all the attention, but some of the holiday season’s best deals can be found online on Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday can feel a lot more complicated than just standing in line at your favorite store on Black Friday and hunting down the sales-flyer bargains. You have to contend with coupon codes, quickly evaluate deals before they sell out, and keep an eye on the security of your credit card.

You can tackle your shopping list like a pro if you know what to do. Here are Kim’s top tips for conquering the deal maze of Cyber Monday:

Find reliable discounts with Honey

You can spend hours combing the internet for coupon codes, but it can be hard to find reliable ones that will actually work when you’re trying to check out. It’s time to pour some Honey on that problem. Honey is a browser extension that works with Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Opera. Add it to your browser, shop like normal, and let Honey do the work of finding and automatically applying the best coupon code available for your purchases.

Honey boasts it can find savings on millions of products sold through thousands of sites. Amazon shoppers will appreciate how Honey searches for the best deals and notifies you right on the page if there’s a better offer. “If there’s a discount, Honey will find it!” said Kim.

If you’re shopping at Walmart this holiday season, then you need to know this trick.

Track Amazon price changes and get deal alerts

With so many flash deals running on Cyber Monday, it can be hard to know if you’re really getting a good price. “There’s nothing more frustrating than buying an item and then seeing the price drop the next day,” Kim said. This is where CamelCamelCamel comes in.

CamelCamelCamel is a price-checking website that tracks millions of Amazon products. Just copy the URL of the Amazon item or use search terms to find it. CamelCamelCamel will give you a history of price changes and tell you whether or not it’s a smart buy at its current price. You can also sign up for alerts and get notified when something you’ve been watching falls below a certain price threshold. You won’t have to second-guess your Amazon bargains ever again.

Save with cash back

Everybody appreciates a little bit of extra money. There are services that will give you bucks back on your online purchases, so Cyber Monday is the perfect time to get started with one of these. “Even if it’s just enough to buy your coffee at the end of the day, it’s free money,” according to Kim, who recommends checking out Ebates.

It’s free to sign up for Ebates. You then shop at your usual stores after using the Ebates site or app as a jumping-off place. Ebates gets a commission from online retailers and shares a portion of that with the shoppers who use the service. You get your cash back through a check or PayPal.

Protect your credit card details

Security should always be hovering in your mind when you’re shopping online. Here are Kim’s quick tips for keeping your credit card information safe on Cyber Monday:

  • Always use a secure internet connection and look for a little padlock in the address bar.
  • Check that the browser URL starts with “https.” The “s” on the end stands for “secure.”
  • Only use secure payment methods like credit cards and PayPal. They offer buyer protection and can help get your money back in case of fraud.

Your username and password might be for sale on the black market. Here’s what you need to know.

Support a charity through AmazonSmile

The holiday season is also about giving back and there’s no better time than Cyber Monday to start doing that. AmazonSmile is just like regular Amazon, except that 0.5 percent of your eligible purchases turn into donations to your favorite charity. All you have to do is head to AmazonSmile to choose your charity and then use that page as the starting point for your shopping. Look for the “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” message in the product details.

Stumped about what gifts to give this Christmas?

Tech gifts are always welcome, but it’s hard to choose from so many options. Kim Komando knows what your friends and family will love to find under the tree.

Click here to read Kim’s predictions for this year’s hottest Christmas gifts.

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