DETROIT (WWJ) – The busiest holiday shopping period carries on with Cyber Monday.

Started in 2005, the term “Cyber Monday” has grown to become an international phenomenon, with retailers in multiple countries using the phrase to drive sales. Research from comScore puts Cyber Monday sales at $610 million in 2006, and shows consistent growth to $1.465 billion in 2012.

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Many retailers such as Amazon make it a week of deals, not just one day, which gives shoppers a larger window of time to conduct research and price comparisons. The appeal of Cyber Monday is of course the deals, but it is also an attractive alternative for those shoppers who would never go to a brick and mortar store on Black Friday.

Here’s eight tips for shoppers who want to get the most out of Cyber Monday:

1 — Try out your preferred items before you buy them online. Do you have your eye on a certain TV or tablet? Visit a brick and mortar store to try them out and make sure they fit your needs, and then wait for the Cyber Monday sale.

2 — Only buy products from reputable sites. Check online reviews, and be sure the site uses an “https” address and uses security features when you enter your payment information.

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3 — Use online coupons to get even lower pricing. While some Cyber Monday deals are priced as low as possible, many retailers still accept coupons for discounted products.

4 — Don’t get carried away. The golden rule of shopping during a sale is to not buy things you don’t need, even if the price seems fantastic. Remember that online retailers can and do offer sales all the time, so be patient and stick to your shopping list.

5 — Start early in the day. Some items such as the latest electronics might be offered at very low prices for just a limited time or inventory. Check online early in the day or midnight on Sunday to grab the products you desire.

6 — Check out prices before Cyber Monday to be sure you are getting a good deal. Be especially wary of pricing that highlights “80% off regular price” as many products are always offered at lower than MSRP.

7 — Demand free shipping. If a retailer doesn’t offer free shipping on electronics or other items on Cyber Monday, then a quick search means you can find one that will. Don’t pay an extra $6.99 in shipping fees if you don’t have to.

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8 — Sign up for email alerts ahead of Cyber Monday. Some retailers are even offering pre-sale orders where you can save an item a week or two before the big Monday.