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What to buy – or avoid like the plague – on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday? Maybe you should wait for Tuesday.

Americans are expected to spend $1.5 billion on Cyber Monday, according to research firm comScore, but that doesn’t mean you need to rush out and shop. The best buys aren’t necessarily exclusive to Black Friday or Cyber Monday, and sales and deals will last throughout the season, running well into the December, said Steve Krenzer, CEO of PriceGrabber.

“Certainly there’s going to be sales and deals throughout the season. There’s going to be deals the first two weeks of December as well, “ he told FoxNews.com.

So why all the hubbub over “Cyber Monday”?

“It’s event shopping,” Krenzer said. “Capital ‘E’ for event and small ‘s’ for shopping.”

'It’s event shopping. Capital E for event, and small S for shopping.'

- Steve Krenzer, CEO of PriceGrabber

While many sites offer free shipping deals to entice consumers on Cyber Monday, there are several upcoming shopping dates where a savvy consumer can save as well, notably Free Shipping Day, December 17, an event most retailers participate in.

And the deals began well before Thanksgiving this year, and will stretch on past Cyber Monday. “You’re really seeing this become Black Week” rather than just Black Friday, Krenzer said.

That doesn’t mean consumers should take the day off of course; Krenzer said the smartest move a consumer could make was to spend the time doing research ahead of time. Armed with the right information on trends and features, it’s easy to avoid something that looks like a deal but ends up being a mediocre buy.

And don’t stick to the obvious tech gear that consumers tend to reach for, especially on Cyber Monday. Krenzer said the best deals are increasingly for "soft goods" like women’s boots, running shoes and lingerie -- a trend that even surprised Krenzer.

“I saw this and I thought, wow. Lingerie. Are we getting this right?” Krenzer said.

“The cyber shopping for the holiday is on the wall in your living room but also on the floor of your closet and in your underwear drawer,” he said.

The comparison shopping site’s top deals from Sunday were certainly dominated by tech gadgets, including a discount HDTV from Insignia and a variety of tablet computers from Google, Samsung and others. The site also notes a particular deal on a Calvin Klein jacket and a Ralph Lauren flag print throw.

So how to get the best deal today? How to ensure that you’re not buying something simply because it seems like the thing to do?

“The best way to protect yourself against scams or frauds is take another minute, have another cup of coffee,” Krenzer said.