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Ask A Philadelphia Expert: Tips For Shopping On Cyber Monday

Most people know the ins and outs of shopping on Black Friday, but within the past decade, Cyber Monday has provided an alternative to tackling crowded shopping malls, big box stores and other retail outlets. The internet is home to an unlimited amount of online retail outlets located around the world, and with so many possible options, the task of shopping online may seem overwhelming. Here are some tips from a Philadelphia online shopping expert.

Joan Silverstein
Center City Concierge
Philadelphia, PA 19146
(215) 735-2959

About Joan Silverstein:

Joan Silverstein is the founder and president of Center City Concierge. A Philadelphia native, Silverstein founded the company to provide customized personal assistant services to individuals, small businesses and international corporations. Companies benefit from concierge services in that they help to reduce absenteeism by completing tasks -- such as picking up the dry cleaning -- for their employees. She'll run ho-hum errands, research vacation hot spots, find the absolutely perfect gift for that impossible-to-please someone and locate a personal trainer, pet sitter, decorator or house cleaner.

As a busy professional, Silverstein said she understands the needs to economize time, thereby reducing frustrations involving delegating what time an individual has available. The trick is to balance the obligations of work and daily life. A former employee of major Philadelphia corporations, she has received numerous awards for her work.

Related: Top Specialty Food Stores In Philadelphia

About Center City Concierge's services:

Silverstein said the company will provide any services needed, as long as the task is legal and ethical. By delegating routine tasks, such as shopping or taking the car in for inspection, individuals and companies can reduce the amount of time spent on such mundane responsibilities.

The company provides personal shopping services, runs errands, arranges corporate meetings and events, performs market research for businesses, participates in mystery shopping, organizes and de-clutters homes and offices, sends personal and corporate correspondence makes hotel arrangements among many other things.

Here are her tips:

Tip 1: Start planning now. It's a good idea to have a list for Cyber Monday. Determine who are you buying for, whether it's friends, family, co-workers or yourself. Listen for clues or ask about size, color, model, etc. It's early enough to ask questions without raising suspicion.

Tip 2: Set your budget. It's easy to get carried away, so be realistic. Search company websites for all of the latest product options. If looking for specific items, manufacturer websites are not always cheapest.

Tip 3: Subscribe to mailing lists for discounts, coupons and deals.

Tip 4: Review shipping, return and guarantee policies. Check online dealer reviews such as Nextag. Be certain shopping sites are secure and are verified.

Tip 5: Some sellers have higher prices, high shipping charges, re-stocking fees, etc. Use Google shopping, Nextag and Epinions and look for vendor-verified symbols.

"Cyber Monday can be intense, so if you want to take part, be ready. Or hire Center City Concierge to tackle your shopping list," Silverstein laughs.

Related: Top Spots To Buy Luggage In Philadelphia

Jeffrey B. Roth, has won numerous state and national news and feature-writing awards during his career. A well-known crime writer, investigative reporter and a feature writer, Roth writes for a number of magazines and newspapers. Listed in the Locus Index of SciFi and Fantasy authors, Roth is the author of a number of published short stories and poetry. His work can be found on

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