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Cyber Monday: 5 things to know before you start shopping

Don’t expect much work to get done at the office Monday.

Your co-workers -- and, let’s be honest here, probably you, too -- will no doubt be surfing the web in search of Cyber Monday shopping deals. 

>> Read more trending news

Cyber Monday is when a variety of retailers trot out some of the season’s best online bargains. 

While there was more of a tech focus in its early days, that’s no longer the case. Hop online this Cyber Monday and you’ll see just about anything you can imagine – clothes, computers, toys and even vacations – marked down to must-have prices. 

Here are five things you need to know about Cyber Monday: 

1. Shop early: Many deals involve products that are only available in limited quantities. That means no rain checks. Once they’re gone, they’re gone. Experienced online shoppers tend to stake out the store’s website days in advance, adding the items they want to their carts. That way, they’re ready to pounce early on Monday, before stock is depleted. 

>> Related: Cyber Monday 2017: Your guide to deals from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and more

2. What’s popular: Of the consumers surveyed by BlackFriday.com and Offers.com, 22 percent said clothing topped their shopping lists this Cyber Monday. Tablets, laptops, PCs and TVs were next, coming in at 21 percent, followed by smart-home devices (17 percent), gift cards (15 percent), toys (14 percent) and travel (11 percent). 

3. Best deals: WalletHub.com says Kohl’s has the steepest discounts, with prices marked down by 66.32 percent, on average. JCPenney is in hot pursuit, according to the site, with discounts averaging 66.3 percent. Other retailers on the list with a Central Texas presence include Sears (52.78 percent) and Macy’s (45.58 percent). 

4. Stack coupons: More coupons, more savings. Many chains allow shoppers to use multiple coupons or promo codes on the same transaction, a practice known as “stacking.” Kohl’s, for instance, lets shoppers use up to four promo codes in a single online transaction. 

>> Related: The best Cyber Monday 2017 deals on tech, clothing, home and more

5. In-store pickup: If your purchase isn’t big enough to qualify for free shipping, consider same-day in-store pickup. It’s free, and Best Buy and other merchants often have online orders ready for in-store pickup in as little as an hour or two (although it might take a little longer during the busy holiday season). If your item isn’t available for same-day in-store pickup, see if there’s a ship-to-store option. Walmart and others don’t typically charge for this service. They’ll send an email or text when your purchase arrives from the central warehouse.

The best Cyber Monday 2017 deals on tech, clothing, home and more

Black Friday is notorious for crowded shopping malls, long lines and total madness. But if the adrenaline rush of the post-Thanksgiving shopping day doesn’t appeal to you, Cyber Monday is another (almost) stress-free option for anyone looking to save big bucks on holiday gifts this year.

>> Read more trending news 

To get the best deals this Monday — and during Cyber Week — you’ll need quick fingers and a proper guide to the best discounts. 

After scouring ads from multiple retailers across a variety of categories, we picked some deals you just can’t miss this Cyber Monday.

» RELATED: All the Black Friday sales you should be jumping on now

Travel deals

The Cloister at Sea Island on the southern coast of Georgia is offering a Cyber Monday special for guests who book two or more nights between Jan. 2 and Feb. 28, 2018. In honor of their 90th birthday in 2018, the resort is giving guests 90 percent off their third night. Rates are typically $395 per night.

Guests at The Cloister will also receive 10 percent off all activities, free breakfast and complimentary wine tastings in January and February. (Forbes)

Intrepid Travel is also offering 15 percent off more than 1,000 trips in 120 countries for solo, family and culinary travel groups. Popular adventure tour group destinations include Vietnam, Machu Picchu, Morocco, India’s Golden Triangle and the Northern Lights.

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Get these Walmart deals on laptops, TVs and more now

The Intrepid Travel cyber sale launched Monday and will continue through Nov. 30 for travel between Feb. 1 and Sept. 30 of 2018. (Forbes)

Liberty Travel is holding a cyber sale beginning Friday through Monday with more than 500 deals with savings up to 66 percent off tours, cruises and several destinations.

See more travel deals at Forbes.com.

Tech deals

Google Home: Priced at $79 in Google’s online store from 12:01 a.m. EST Thanksgiving Day to 11:59 p.m. PST on Cyber Monday. Regular price: $129

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Best Buy ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked

Dell 15.6” Inspiron 15 3000 laptop with Intel Celeron: $199.99. Regular price: $299.99. Dell will have hourly doorbusters on Cyber Monday, and if you order online at Dell.com, you’ll receive free shipping on any order.

Samsung 65” Curved 4K Smart HDR Ultra HDTV: $999.99. Regular price: $1,499.99. At Dell.com.

GameStop has promised lots of deals on your favorite games, consoles, systems, electronics and more. The cyber sale begins Monday, Nov. 27 and ends Dec. 1. Offers will go live at GameStop.com.

Costco’s popular deals on laptops, TVs and more end Monday, Nov. 27, so catch them before they go. Save up to $250 on laptops from HP and Asus, up to $300 on 40- and 70-inch TVs from Vizio and enjoy bundle deals on the Playstation 4 and Xbox.

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Get these Macy’s deals on clothes, appliances and more now

Apparel and accessories deals

Ann Taylor’s Cyber Monday sale begins Sunday at 5 p.m. EST and ends Monday at 11:59 p.m. You’ll get 50 percent off your entire purchase and free shipping.

Banana Republic is also offering 50 percent off everything online on Cyber Monday.

H&M customers will receive 30 percent off online Monday.

JCPenney kicks off its Cyber Monday sale on Saturday, Nov. 25 and it doesn’t end until Wednesday, Nov. 29. The retailer is offering 25 percent off Nike shoes and apparel, 45-65 percent off fine jewelry and 60 percent off women’s sweaters. JCPenney cardholders will receive additional discounts.

»RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Costco ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked 

Nordstrom is offering an additional 20 percent off select sale items beginning at 12:01 a.m. PST on Cyber Monday until 11:59 p.m. PST.

Old Navy is offering 50 percent off everything online exclusively on Cyber Monday. The retailer is kicking off its 72-hour cyber sale on Saturday, Nov. 25. On Saturday and Sunday, you’ll receive 40 percent off everything at oldnavy.com.

Saks Off 5th is giving online customers 50 percent off select apparel and accessories, and an additional 60 percent off cold-weather items.

See more apparel and accessories Cyber Monday deals at Glamour.com.

Home and lifestyle deals

AncestryDNA is offering its kit for $59 from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. Regular price: $99.

HelloFresh: Enjoy 40 percent off your first HelloFresh box using code MONDAY40.

Crate & Barrel: Enjoy 15 percent off full price items using code SAVE15 and enjoy free shipping with no minimum purchase.

Be sure to check other retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, Target and Kohl’s for ongoing online deals through next week.

» RELATED: AJC’s special edition Thanksgiving newspaper is a must-have for money-saving holiday deals

Black Friday 2017: 10 stores offering biggest Black Friday discounts this year

Are you ready for the biggest shopping day of the year?

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: When do stores open on Thanksgiving, Black Friday?

This Black Friday on Nov. 24, retailers are bringing out some major door-buster deals.

>> Read more trending news

Personal finance site WalletHub surveyed nearly 10,000 deals from the 35 biggest U.S. retailers’ Black Friday ad scans to identify stores offering the deepest cuts in a variety of product categories, including apparel/accessories, electronics and computers/phones.

Here are the 10 stores offering the biggest discounts overall and their average discount percentage:

Kohl’s (66.3 percent)

JCPenney (66.3 percent)

Belk (62.8 percent)

Stage (60.8 percent)

Shopko (55.9 percent)

Bealls Florida (52.8 percent)

Sears (50.1 percent)

Macy’s (45.6 percent)

Fred Meyer (43. 9 percent)

Army and Air Force Exchange Service (37.3 percent)

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Macy’s ad deals on clothes, appliances and more just leaked

To find out how much of a discount other popular stores are offering this Black Friday, visit wallethub.com.

The best retailers for each product category, based on Black Friday discounts:

Apparel and accessories

  1. Shopko
  2. Stage
  3. JCPenney
  4. Sears
  5. Belk

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: What to buy, what to avoid

Computers and phones

  1. Stage
  2. Shopko
  3. JCPenney
  4. Guitar Center
  5. Dollar General

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017 at Kohl’s: Massive deals on Xbox One S, Instant Pot, toys and more

Consumer electronics

  1. Stage
  2. Belk
  3. True Value
  4. Shopko
  5. Fred Meyer

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Walmart ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked

Consumer packaged goods

  1. JCPenney
  2. Bealls Florida
  3. Office Depot and OfficeMax
  4. Stage
  5. Belk

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Costco ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked

Toys

  1. Stage
  2. Belk
  3. Shopko
  4. Kohl’s
  5. JCPenney

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Best Buy ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked

Appliances

  1. Shopko
  2. Bealls Florida
  3. Belk
  4. Stage
  5. Fred Meyer

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Dell offers deals today; Kohl’s, JCPenney’s, other ads leaked

Furniture

  1. Fred Meyer
  2. Shopko
  3. Kohl’s
  4. BJ’s
  5. Bealls Florida

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Target reveals massive Black Friday ad, Monday preview sale

Jewelry

  1. Walmart
  2. Target
  3. Kmart
  4. Best Buy
  5. Amazon

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Macy’s ad deals on clothes, appliances and more just leaked

Video games

  1. Walmart
  2. Target
  3. Best Buy
  4. Fred Meyer
  5. Shopko

Read more about the report and its methodology at Wallethub.com.

Target debuts first 'next-gen' store

It’s a first for Target: The red-themed retailer recently unveiled its first “next-gen” store in Richmond, Texas, near Houston.

>> Read more trending news 

The 124,000-square-foot store opened last week. It’s the first of hundreds of stores the retailer plans to open in the next two years.

“With our next generation of store design, we’re investing to take the Target shopping experience to the next level by offering more elevated product presentations and a number of time-saving features,” Target’s chairman and CEO Brian Cornell said earlier this year. “The new design for this Houston store will provide the vision for the 500 reimagined stores planned for 2018 and 2019, with the goal of taking a customized approach to creating an enhanced shopping experience.”

One of the differences shoppers may notice between the new Target design and other locations is how the “next-gen” store is two concepts within one.

According to Target spokespersons, for the convenience of the on-the-go-shopper, one side of the store comes with grocery items and pick-up for those who prefer to order online.

The other side of the Target store is similar to a virtual department store, according to Target representatives. Shoppers can find items from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ new “Hearth & Hand” collection in that section of the store.

RELATED: 'Fixer Upper' couple criticized over new home decor line at Target

“We wanted to tailor the experience to what shoppers are looking for,” store manager Shannon Wolford said, according to the Houston Chronicle.

RELATED: Fans rush in early to make sure they don’t miss Chip and Joanna’s Target line

The in-store Starbucks is even next-gen, complete with patio seating.

Read more at Houston Chronicle and Target

RELATED: Target is making some big changes that will lead to better, faster shopping

Oprah’s 2017 favorite things list is the ultimate holiday gift guide — Here are our 11 top picks

Oprah Winfrey has released her 2017 favorite things just in time for those early bird shoppers and it’s her longest inventory ever, complete with a gratitude jar, genetics test and pizza oven.

» RELATED: Gratitude and hammocks: Oprah's out with her favorite things

Winfrey’s annual list will be featured in the December Issue of “O” (the Oprah Magazine) with special discount codes to use on Amazon.com and other websites.

According to the magazine’s creative director Adam Glassman, he and editor-at-large Gayle King spent the year scouting items for the favorites list and made sure to include something for everyone — men, women, pets and kids. Winfrey made the final decisions.

>> Read more trending news 

“What Oprah always challenges us to do is to find some new brands, some indie brands, mom-and-pop kind of brands. We always have a fabulous mix of tried and true, and big people, but we also like to infiltrate new brands and also brands made in the USA,” Glassman told the Associated Press.

» RELATED: Photos: Oprah Winfrey through the years

This year’s gift guide also features a variety of price points, including a $2,000, 55-inch Samsung “The Frame” TV that literally “transforms your TV into a work of art” and a $199 double hammock.

But you’ll also find $8 earbud cases, free downloads of her Super Soul Conversations podcast and more affordable gifts.

The 102 items on Oprah’s list are currently at Amazon.com/Oprah and on their company websites. Some items are already sold out on Amazon, but check back again for restocks. 

Here’s a look at a few of Oprah’s favorite things:

Explore the full list at Amazon.com/Oprah or at Oprah.com.

Black Friday 2017: Dell announces deals on laptops and more

Black Friday has arrived early with the release of several Dell ads for a variety of products including gaming, Alienware PCs, monitors and other accessories. 

»RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Costco ad deals on laptops, TVs and more just leaked

The company announced the news this week in a press release, revealing that sales began Wednesday as a part of 48-hour early access promotion that ends Friday.

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Dell offers deals today; Kohl’s, JC Penney’s, other ads leaked

Black Friday bargains will then run again as early as Nov. 13 for select customers and last until Nov. 24. Cyber Monday will launch Nov. 27.

>> Read more trending news 

"This year, we are excited more than ever for Black Friday and Cyber Monday," said David Bent, senior vice president, Dell Consumer and Small Business Group. "Our valued customers' technology needs range from person to person and business to business, so we are offering the biggest deals on the most comprehensive selection of innovative products ever."

»RELATED: Black Friday comes early: Amazon launches its Black Friday deals 23 days early

Take a look at a sampling of the savings below:

Dell gaming and Alienware PC deals

  • NEW Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Gaming Laptop - $899.99 (Save $100)
  • Alienware Aurora Desktop - $799.99 (Save $300)
  • Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop - $499.99 (Save $150)

Dell consumer PC and monitor deals

  • Dell Inspiron 14 3000 Laptop - $129.99 (Save $120)
  • Dell Inspiron Desktop - $379.99 (Save $270)
  • Dell 32 Monitor (D3218HN) - $169.99 (Save $180)

Electronics & accessories deals

  • Dell Wireless 360 Speaker System (AE715) - $89.99 (Save $60)
  • Nest Learning Thermostat - $199 (Save $50)
  • LG 65" 4k Smart HDR Ultra HDTV + $150 Dell Promo eGift Card - $799.99 (Save $600)

Black Friday 2017: Costco ad with deals on laptops, TVs, more leaked

Black Friday has arrived early with the leak of a pair of Costco ads. 

>> Read more trending news 

BestBlackFriday.com released the deals Thursday, revealing that sales at the members-only warehouse begin as early as Nov. 17 and run until Nov. 27. Online discounts begin Thanksgiving Day and run through Nov. 27.

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Dell offers deals today; Kohl’s, JC Penney’s, other ads leaked

The store is offering deals on a variety of items including laptops, televisions and gaming systems. 

» RELATED: Couple got married in a Costco food court, and it looked suprisingly beautiful 

Here’s a snapshot:

Laptops from HP and Asus will be available for up to $250 less than the retail price. Bundle deals for the Playstation 4 and Xbox will also be up for grabs for up to $100 off, and the prices for 40- and 70-inch TVs from Vizio will be knocked down by up to $300.

The leak is earlier than usual, so there will likely be more to come. In the meantime, here are some of the in-store and online discounts.

» RELATED: Black Friday 2017: Dell offers deals today; Kohl’s, JC Penney’s, other ads leaked

5 cheap purchases that cost you more in the long run

Saving money often involves finding a way to pay less for something that you want or need. But sometimes the old adage about being "penny wise, pound foolish" applies, as the cheaper way out can end up costing you.

>> Read more trending news

For certain purchases, spending more money up front can help you save in the long run.

Skimping on the following five purchases can end up costing you in the long run:

1. Lightbulbs

Trying to save a few dollars per lightbulb doesn't pay off, according to The Simple Dollar. When comparing incandescent, compact fluorescent (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, the site found that the approximate cost for each bulb was $1 for incandescents, $2 for CFLs and $8 for LEDs.

Though unlikely, it’s possible for an LED bulb to last for 23 years. The savings for just one bulb over a 23-year period can be more than $150 if you switch to CFLs or LEDs. Multiplied by the number of bulbs in your home, this total becomes even more significant.

2. Paint

If you're starting a home painting project, you may be tempted to pick up the cheapest paint you can find in a shade you like. According to Consumer Reports, that's a big mistake.

Its tests found that economy grades of both interior and exterior paints don't perform as well as their more expensive counterparts. Cheap interior paints often require more coats than pricier paints and don't hold up as well over time. Economy exterior paints also don't weather as well as more expensive paints made by the same brand.

RELATED: 5 items that are cheaper on Amazon

3. Mattresses

You spend six to eight hours a day lying in bed, so buying the cheapest model you can find isn't a good idea, according to Money.

Money recommends identifying what you don't like about your current mattress, trying many different types in stores by lying on each for a minute or two and being prepared to invest in one that suits your needs and preferences.

4. Laptops

A laptop is a purchase that's worth saving up for whenever possible, according to Business Insider. Otherwise, the site says, you're walking into "the tech equivalent of a minefield."

Inexpensive Windows laptops often aren't as fast as their more expensive counterparts, and they're usually bulky. You may also find a short battery life, clunky keyboard and lots of useless preinstalled programs that make your computer function even more poorly.

5. Car insurance

Car insurance is one of those expenses that you pay for again and again without a payoff for months or even years. While you should shop around to get a good deal, Consumer Reports warns against skimping on liability coverage.

This pays for bodily injury and property damage that you cause. If you buy only enough coverage to meet your state's mandated minimum requirements, you leave yourself open to extremely costly claims that could jeopardize your life's savings.

RELATED: Save money, stop fraud: 4 things to watch on your credit card statement

Luxury retailer Coach introduces new name: Tapestry

Luxury purse, accessories and clothing retailer Coach (Coach Inc.) no longer wishes to go by its long-familiar name. 

Coach, which purchased luxury shoe retailer Stuart Weitzman in 2015 and Kate Spade earlier this year, will re-image itself under the name Tapestry (Tapestry Inc.) in an effort to unify the three brands under one umbrella. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to The Associated Press, Coach purchased the Weitzman brand in a deal that cost as much as $574 million. It purchased Kate Spade in May for approximately $2.4 billion. 

“We are now at a defining moment in our corporate reinvention, having evolved from a mono-brand specialty retailer to a true house of emotional, desirable brands,” Coach CEO Victor Luis said Wednesday in a company release.

Many, including former Nordstrom executive Andrea Wasserman, reacted negatively to the name change on social media. 

Luis responded to the criticism, telling Reuters, “At the end of the day, some of the social media reaction is misplaced because people think we are changing the name of the Coach brand, which we are not doing. It’s really about creating a new corporate identity for Coach as a house of brands.”

The name change will go in effect Oct. 31, Reuters reported. The stock market ticker symbol for the company will change from “COH” to “TPR.”

Walmart tests ‘in-fridge’ home delivery service for customers who aren’t home

Walmart is testing a new grocery delivery service -- one where you don’t have to be home to receive your order.

>> Read more trending news 

The retail giant announced Friday it has partnered with smart lock startup August Home to create a program where a delivery person can enter a customer’s home and put away groceries.

Delivery drivers would be given a one-time passcode that provides access to the customer’s house if no one is there. Customers would receive an alert notification via the August Home app when a delivery person enters their home and would be able to watch the delivery person through the app. 

The service will be tested in Silicon Valley with a small number of August Home users.

“These tests are a natural evolution of what Walmart is all about -- an obsession in saving our customers not just money but also time,” Sloan Eddleston, Walmart’s vice president of eCommerce strategy & business operations, wrote in a blog post. “This may not be for everyone -- and certainly not right away -- but we want to offer customers the opportunity to participate in tests today and help us shape what commerce will look like in the future.” 

Would you use it?

Read more here.

RELATED: Walmart introduces new options to take on Amazon, but is it better than Prime?

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

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