Cyber Monday is coming. A sister, of sorts, to the extreme shopping day, Black Friday, the Monday after Thanksgiving is a popular day for consumers who shop online. And just like stores that start Black Friday deals early, the term Cyber Monday is starting to represent a slew of online sales for gift shoppers.

MSN Money gives advice about the differences between Cyber Monday and Black Friday, as well as a bit of history about the big day of online shopping:

"The term Cyber Monday was coined five years ago by the National Retail Federation's unit to describe sales on this, the second-biggest online shopping day of the year."

To make the most of Cyber Monday, as well as internet shopping on any day, try these tips:

1. Keep Track of Prices Between Now and the Holiday Weekend

Check prices at the store as you do regular grocery shopping. This includes comparing ad sales to an item's regular price so you will know if you are actually getting a good deal when Cyber Monday arrives.

2. Consider Sales Tax and Shipping Costs

For local brick-and-mortar shops, chances are you will be doling out sales tax on anything you purchase. You have a better chance at holiday time getting around shipping costs online than you do avoiding sales tax. Keep in mind that as you drive around from shop to shop, you are spending gas money, but also remember that it's easier to exchange or return a gift with a local retailer.

3. Check Retailer Websites Now

Target has a place to sign up for email offers and Cyber Monday specials. Signing up for these offers means you will likely be inundated with special prices in your inbox for the next few weeks. Depending on your ability to stick to a budget, and buy strictly from a gift list, this may or may not be a good option for you.

4. Decide Whether Shopping Now or Waiting for Future Savings in December Works Best for You

Some retailers are putting on their competitive edge now, and have already started online deals for customers. Walmart has announced free online shipping on thousands of holiday items, no minimum purchase needed. has started marking down lots of toys and games.

Traditionally, however, many companies turn down the prices, and ramp up the savings for last-minute profits.

5. Check Out Coupon/Promotional Codes to Maximize Savings

Sites like and have numerous store sale bargains and codes.

6. Take Advantage of Holiday Savings by Purchasing Family Necessities

Do your children need clothes? Do you need a new cartridge for your computer printer? These items that can be purchased at a big savings in the month leading up to Christmas.

7. ...And Purchasing Items for Charity

Toys, games, clothing, household necessities, groceries: many of these are needed by local churches, food pantries, and other organizations that provide help to those in need. If this is part of your holiday season, consider using the savings as a perfect opportunity to help others.

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