By Beth Nelan, Carousel30

Get comfy on your couch, cozy under that blanket, and set your hot tea down next to your computer: Cyber Monday is almost here! We love to take advantage of Black Friday-esque deals from the comfort of our own home (ok, we’ll say it: primarily because pants are optional). However, we’re also a bunch of geeks here, so at risk of giving away our best-kept tech secrets, here are the top 4 tips for beating Cyber Monday:

1.    Be a fan. Most companies tend to reward their loyal customers and incentivize new ones by providing early access to sales, or at least advance notice of what will be on sale. So identify the brands you want to watch and start stalking them online: sign up for their emails, follow them on Twitter, and download their app.

2.    Price check everything. It’s easy to get carried away with the frenzy of discounted cat ornaments and unicorn onesies… or is that just us? Whatever you’re shopping for, make sure to use the Amazon Price Check app. Often, Cyber Monday deals are not that great, or at least they don’t differ from ordinary sale prices. So it’s worth your while to check out what other stores are selling the same item for.

3.    Search for coupon codes. You’ve nabbed your items, they’re in your shopping cart and you’re ready to hit purchase. Before you hand over your credit card details, do a quick Google search for coupons or special codes. If you’ve somehow managed to miss the email notification, there will usually be some friendly fellow shopper who’s posted the code on sites such as RetailMeNot or

Stay secure. Avoid sketchy websites and stick to the larger retailers you’re familiar with. A good tip is to look for the “https” in your browser; the “s” indicates that it’s a secure website and your transaction will

This post originally appeared on the Carousel30 blog.

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