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Don't Work -- It's Cyber Monday!

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Thought the holiday uber-shopping craze was limited to Black Friday? Welcome to Cyber Monday.

Admittedly, the day was first a gimmick by Shop.org (they coined the term back in 2005), but over the years, more and more stores have jumped on board and as many as 82% of online retailers are offering special discounts for online purchases today. (Of course, those tricky retailers will mostly likely offer similar discounts for the rest of the holiday season, too.) And there's a rapt audience, some industry experts say that more than 50% of consumers will do some of their shopping online this year.

But, if knowing that it's basically just a well-orchestrated ad campaign doesn't deter you from playing the Cyber Monday game, here are a few hints.   

Go to the source: www.shop.com is a one-stop clearing house. All of the larger retailers and a good number of smaller shops have offers there. You can see them side-by-side for feature comparisons. There are some very good deals online today. For example, Wal-Mart is offering a Compaq CQ50 notebook computer, HP printer, carrying case and 8 GB USB flash drive for $498 total.

Get the secret codes: Go to www.cybermondaydiscountcodes.com for promotional codes that get you the super-sale prices. We saw $100 off selected computers at Circuit City and buy-one-get-one-free offers from Lane Bryant .

Stop by www.retailmenot.com for more discount coupons.  A quick scan showed $5 off any $30 purchase from Sears, $5 off any $50 purchase from K-Mart, and free shipping on purchases for more than $25 from JCPenney.

Don't forget www.overstock.com/cyber-monday for more great deals, especially if you're looking for refurbished electronics. We saw refurbished HP laptop and desktop computers starting at $500.

-- Olivia Flores Alvarez

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

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