The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


Diehard Tryhards: Cyber Monday

By: Staff Writers Ishika Chawla, Anthony Chen, Bindhu Swaminathan & Cindy Yuan

After the stampedes of Black Friday fade away, the battle for the best deals moves to the Internet—and so do the Smokies. Four of us faced off in a tough battle to snatch the best deals on a pretend cyber budget of $300.

Individual Backgrounds


I am scared of only a few things and shopping is at the top of my list. I consider running around in crowded malls on Black Friday to be a very personal form of torture. However, I’m a whiz at finding the best online deals in mere seconds. For my strategy, I plan to assemble an army of like-minded scrooges and frantically scour technology and clothing stores for sales until I have blown all of my competition out of the water.



Cyber-what? You’re telling me I have to wage war with people I can’t see just to pick up some discount before it sells out? Shopping has always been a necessity-driven activity for me; the idea of going out of my way to save money by spending it honestly eludes me. However, slap a virtual $300 in my hands, and I will be sure to make the most out of my first Cyber Monday experience.



I’m a stay-up-till-1-a.m.-and-line-up-outside-the-store type of Black Friday shopper. But I’m completely new to Cyber Monday. Being online for hours definitely isn’t new to me, but online shopping ranks below hugging spiders on my list of fun things to do. I’m definitely a newbie in all of this. My battle strategy is simple: get in and out as quick as I can. I plan to hit the big stores first before moving down the line to smaller stores.



I may not have much experience with Black Friday shopping in crowded outlets, but sitting in a chair in the comfort of my home while getting great deals sounds a lot easier to me. My battle plan is to focus on Amazon’s lightning deals, as they cover all subject areas and only require quick clicking, just like a game. I’m going to channel my years of experience with furiously clicking Neopets into Cyber Monday, and come away with only the best deals.


Post-Cyber Monday Thoughts


Turns out that using Google to search for the best deals is the way to go for Cyber Monday shopping. With my trusty sale scroungers by my side, I managed to find some incredible savings for some relatively useless items, if I do say so myself.


Items In the Cart

  1. V400 Wireless Home Speaker Starter Kit (

    -Original Price: $349.99

    -Sale Price $89.99

    -Quantity: 1

  1. DAWGS Women’s 13 Inch Microfiber Boots (

    -Original Price: $89.99

    -Sale Price: $22.99

    -Quantity: 1

  1. Solove Titan Ultra Slim Power Bank Dual USB Portable Charger External Battery Pack (

    -Original Price: $129.99

    -Sale Price: $44.99

    -Quantity: 1

  1. Canvas Print (

    -Original Price: $156.47

    -Sale Price: $25.00

    -Quantity: 1

  1. Mimi Eartha Leather Shoulder Bag by Zac Posen (

    -Original Price: $295.00

    -Sale Price: $79.99

    -Quantity: 1

  1. Becky Cameron Bedsheet Set (

    -Original Price: $159.99

    -Sale Price: $19.99

    -Quantity: 1

Total Spent: $282.94

Total Saved: $1,181.43



I threw away the concept of necessity and just looked for the best deals and “bought” as much of them as I could until they sold out or I ran out of money. It was a surprisingly pleasant feeling to see the “total savings” numbers skyrocket.


Items In the Cart

  1. LG Optimus Exceed 2 (Verizon Prepaid)(

    -Original price: $129.99

    -Purchase price: $14.99

    -Quantity: 2

  1. Photive 25-Watt 5-Port USB Desktop Rapid Charger. Multiport USB Charging Station (

    -Original price: $33.00

    -Purchase price: $16.95

    -Quantity: 15

Total spent: $284.23

Total saved: $725.00



My battle plan was completely useless. With online shopping, there’s only one obvious choice- Amazon. I spent all of my money there, looking at the lightning deals and trying to see the largest possible amount I could save by using the discount tool.


Items in the Cart

1.Proform 440R Rower (

    -Original price: $799.00

    –Purchase price: $77.65

    -Quantity: 3

2.Snapware 7011 16-Inch by 9-Inch Smart Store System (

    -Original price: $269.00

    –Purchase price: $11.65

    -Quantity: 5

3.DataComm Electronics 45-0017-WH Split Style TV Plate with Flexible AV/HDMI Cable Pass-Through (

    -Original Price: $39.00

    -Purchase price: $6.32

    -Quantity: 1

Total spent: $297.52

Total saved: $3,483.48



I was able to nab a few popular picks as soon as they released, thanks to my fast clicking skills. After smoothly amassing a virtual pile of various deals and pondering my cart thoroughly, I ended up settling for a unique combination of my favorite—but not necessarily useful—items.


Items in the Cart

  1. The Dog Hut Hotdog Steamer and Merchandiser (

    -Original price: $426.00

    -Purchase price: $209.99

    -Quantity: 1

  1. Bestway Hydro-Force Raft (

    -Original price: $79.99

    -Purchase price: $47.51

    -Quantity: 1

  1. Coleman Portable Deck Chair with side table (

    -Original price: $54.99

    -Purchase price: $22.49

     -Quantity: 1

  1. Razor Jr. Mini Mod Electric Scooter (

    -Original price: $69.99

    -Purchase price: $9.89

    -Quantity: 1

Total Spent: $299.88

Total Saved: $331.09


Final Superlatives

Most Saved: Bindhu, Most Creative: Cindy, Most Items: Anthony

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