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Cyber Monday 'Deals' We Can't Let You Waste Money On (And What to Buy Instead)

Some Cyber Monday sales aren't as great as they look.

Karisa Langlo
Karisa Langlo
Karisa Langlo Senior Editor
Karisa Langlo has been writing and editing professionally for over 12 years, joining CNET with two writing degrees and bylines in Milwaukee Magazine, Louisville Magazine and The Masters Review. She started on CNET's mobile team before expanding to all tech and now works across categories to optimize the performance of all CNET advice and storytelling, from Wellness to Money, News and Culture. Karisa also manages strategy for CNET's Tips franchise.
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  • Over a decade of writing and editing experience
Karisa Langlo
2 min read

Last call for Cyber Monday deals. As the clock winds down on the biggest online shopping day of the year, you may be tempted to click that "buy" button before you really do your research. That's what we're here for. We've scoured Cyber Monday deals at AmazonWalmartTargetBest Buy and more, so we know a good deal -- and a dud -- when we see one.

If you come across any of these Cyber Monday deals, consider an alternative. You'll be glad you didn't cheap out. Plus, these are the best Cyber Monday deals under $25under $50 and a roundup of the best impulse purchases to get at Amazon this year.

Skip these Cyber Monday deals

These deals aren't worth your money, but consider some of the alternatives we've found instead.

AirPods Pro (1st-gen): $159 at Walmart

Apple AirPods Pro 1st generation earbuds
Apple

Walmart's got Apple's 1st-gen AirPods Pro on sale for $159. At $20 off, that may sound like a decent deal, but not when you consider that you can get the 2nd-gen AirPods Pro if you spend only $40 more. Apple's newer model offers big upgrades to audio quality, noise canceling and more, and if you ask us, it's worth spending the extra money instead of grabbing this deal.


Fire TV Stick Lite: $15 at Amazon 

Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite with Alexa Voice Remote
Amazon

Another deal that sounds better than it is: a Fire Stick Lite for 50% off. This one, however, comes with a remote control that won't actually control your TV. Instead, we recommend paying $5 more to get the Fire TV Stick, which can control your TV, or an extra $10 to get the 4K model.


Apple Watch Series 3: $179 at Walmart

apple-watch-series-3-black-sport-band
Apple

A sub-$200 Apple Watch sounds like a steal for those looking to get a smartwatch this holiday season. But Apple has already discontinued the Series 3, so it won't receive key software updates and isn't compatible with WatchOS 9. Instead of buying an outdated smartwatch, go with a deal that comes with a little more future-proofing. For example, the 1st-gen Apple Watch SE is on sale for $149. That's $30 less, with the promise of future OS upgrades. Even the 2nd-gen Apple Watch SE, released in 2022, is on sale.


Samsung Galaxy Buds Live: $80 at Amazon

Galaxy Buds Live
Juan Garzon / CNET

Not only are these earbuds now two years old, they're also not the best earbuds for the price. (Here are some better options if you want a great pair of budget earbuds.) If your heart (and ears) are set on a pair of Samsung beans, you can get them cheaper through Samsung directly with an eligible trade-in.


Roku Express: $18 at Amazon

A Roku Express box with the device in the foreground.
Roku

Amazon's Roku Express deal is decent, but spending only $7 more gets you a far superior product, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K, which Amazon has on sale for $25. This version adds higher-resolution support along with TV power and volume control, which is worth far more than just $7.


Cricut Explore 3: $280 at Amazon

Cricut Explore 3
Russell Holly

Paper-crafters, hold off on this Cricut Explore 3 "deal." While Amazon seems to have slashed the price to $280 for Cyber Monday, we've actually seen this electronic die-cutting machine at this price for a while now. 


One Cyber Monday deal you can't miss

OK, so are any Cyber Monday deals worth it? Yes! We've actually found 200-plus deals to recommend, but the no. 1 thing to buy this year is...

New Echo Dot with Hue bulb
Jared DiPane/CNET

Every time that Amazon has offered a bundle like this in the past, it's sold out before the end of the sale period. With this being Amazon's newest Echo Dot, we anticipate there will be a lot of interest in the huge discount, so be sure to grab one now before it's too late.


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