Cyber Monday deals: Your 2012 guide to online shopping's biggest day

Black Friday is behind us, and now it's time to hit the web for Cyber Monday.

The Monday after Thanksgiving is regarded as one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, and the unofficial start to the online holiday shopping season. But unlike Black Friday, Cyber Monday shoppers don't have to spend hours waiting outside in the cold for the best deals.

As you look for the best offers, here are some tips to improve your Cyber Monday shopping experience.

SHOP SMART | Tips to secure Cyber Monday shopping: http://bit.ly/ToJqI4

Shop on sites that offer rebates on items. Several retailers have items on these sites, which will allow you to get money back on your purchases.

Some of the popular rebate sites include:

http://www.fatwallet.com .
http://www.ebates.com

Look for online coupons. Here are a list of some of the websites that are tracking Cyber Monday ads.

http://www.ecoupons.com/cybermondayads .
http://www.cybermonday.com .
www.retailmenot.com/offers/cybermonday/ .
http://www.savings.com/c-Cyber-Monday-coupons.html .

To make the online shopping experience better, there are a few steps you can take to speed up the process. For example, pre-register for the sites where you know you'll be shopping so you don't have to waste time entering the credit card information later in the day.

Also, you get some good deals by signing up for email alerts from your favorite retailers. Some websites will offer deals for a limited time, and they will alert the consumers with an email that has the coupon and the time of the deal. To get those deals, you need to be signed up for emails.

Another way to find the best offers is to perform a Google search for coupons codes offering deals like free shipping.

One of the concerns with Cyber Monday shopping is that you could potentially have your information stolen as you shop. To keep that from happening, the Better Business Bureau offers a list of 10 tips to stay safe while shopping online.

1. Protect your computer
2. Shop on trustworthy websites
3. Protect your personal information
4. Beware of deals that sound too good to be true
5. Beware of phishing
6. Confirm your online purchase is secure
7. Pay with a credit card
8. Keep documentation of your order
9. Check your credit card statements often
10. Know your rights

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