Cyber Monday deals are driving commuters to be behind the wheel distracted

Close to two out of every five of Americans have shopped on their mobile devices while behind the wheel. That’s 39 percent, up from 35 percent in 2018, according to a new Harris Poll conducted for Root Insurance.

Drivers think Cyber Monday deals will expire by the time they've finished driving they're shopping online while behind the wheel being a nuisance to everyone else on the road.

Even CouponFollow shopping expert Tiara Rea-Palmer said there's no reason to drive distracted for a retailer's sale.

"These retailers try to make it seem like it is a very limited time deal, when in reality that deal is going to be there all day. Items probably aren't going to sell out. Waiting that extra five, 10, 30 minutes to get to your destination isn't going to cost you that, extra five percent, 10 percent that you're saving," said Rea-Palmer.

The head of retail relations said to prevent from being overwhelmed from so many retailers' deals, pre-plan during holiday shopping season.

"If you know in advance what you're looking for, you can check Amazon ahead of time to see when that deal is going to roll out, maybe go in a little bit late to work that day, try not to be on the road when you're shopping for these things," said Rea-Palmer.

She said you get better deals if you're in front of a computer, not on a smart phone. To really save, download Cently.com, which is a free tool that helps you add coupons automatically to your shopping cart and gives you cash back.

She added Amazon's Deal of the Day last for a couple of hours and those do tend to sell out.

Here’s her tips on how to earn cash off your Cyber Monday and holiday shopping:

  • 1) Make a list of the items you want so that you’re prepared and 2) Download a browser extension like Cently which offers cashback and automatically applies the best coupon codes at checkout. You’ll never miss a deal this way, and you’ll get cashback on your purchases too!
  • Make sure you’re a member of all store loyalty and rewards programs before you shop.
  • Take advantage of deals that offer store cash in return for purchase. Places like Kohl’s, Hot Topic, Torrid, and BoxLunch offer cash certificates usually at 50% off your next purchase. For example, Kohl’s Cash during the holidays is huge, with cash certificates up to $15 off for every $30 you spend!
  • Sign up for a store credit card at the time of purchase. Around the holidays, there are usually some amazing incentives like cashback on your credit card purchases and extra coupons.
  • Booking flights for the holidays? Signup for the airline credit cards; they usually have free flight, companion pass, or bonus point promotions available this time of year.
  • If you’re shopping at Target this year, make sure you’re a Target Circle member. With signup you get 10% cashback in your account for everyday purchases. Combining this with the cashback you get from Cently means you’re earning twice as much!

Tips on saving money on Cyber Monday/holiday shopping:

  • All of the above PLUS
  • Make sure you signup for all store newsletters BEFORE the holidays. That way, you’ll be ahead of the curve and know when their biggest sales and coupons go live.
  • If you don’t have an Amazon Prime account, start your trial a week or so before Thanksgiving. You’ll get access to Amazon’s Lightning Deals 30 minutes before they’re live on Amazon to the general public, as well as free 2-day shipping on a ton of purchases, and you can cancel anytime within 30 days.
  • ALWAYS clear your browser cache before shopping! This will ensure you get the best, most up-to-date deals on all store sites.
  • Know a student? Have them help you purchase. Students often save 10-40% more with student discounts.
  • Abandon your shopping cart, because many retailers will follow up with an immediate pop-up or email that includes a coupon code you won’t find anywhere else.
  • Some sites only offer coupons and savings on your “first order” as a “new customer”. To get around this if you’ve shopped with them before, signup a new account with a new email address. You may have to get creative and put a family member or friend’s name, use a work address or PO Box, etc. But it’s worth it to save a little more.
  • Always, always, always stack coupon codes when you can! Some sites don’t allow this or there’s fine print about “cannot be combined with sale or clearance”, but you’ll be surprised how much you can save with this trick when it works.
  • Buy discounted gift cards online before you shop, and then use those cards when you purchase. You’ll normally save about 5-10% with the gift cards, but then you can still use coupon codes on top of that for even bigger savings!
  • Use Ship to Store or In-Store Pick Up options when possible, as those are usually free.
  • Check the Black Friday circulars you get in the mail, or find them online on the store’s site.
  • Check the store’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and leading up to the winter holidays. Brands will often have extra deals posted there.

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