Like Black Friday, Cyber Monday has become more of a broad term than a sale specific to the Monday after Thanksgiving. Still, just because promotions now start as early as Nov. 1 as a huge part of every company's efforts during the fourth quarter, that does not mean digital and traditional retailers will be ignoring Cyber Monday. 

Like the rest of the shopping season, Cyber Monday has expanded with many retailers launching their sales on Sunday. There are some major savings to be had, and it could be your best opportunity to buy toys, appliances, clothing, and more, according to DealNews.com

Of course, shoppers need to be careful and remember to run comparative price checks while also considering whether they actually want the item in question. There are some great deals being offered by the companies below, but it's only saving money if you buy something you need and use. 

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT): The physical retailer will start its Cyber Monday by making 2,000 deals available on its website Sunday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. EST. The company laid out some of the offers it will have in a press release:

  • LG 65-inch 4K Ultra HDTV -- $799 ($500 savings) 
  • Microsoft Surface Pro 3 -- $599 ($200 savings) 
  • Air Hogs Star Wars Remote Control X-34 Landspeeder -- $19 ($15 savings) 
  • 14-ft. Trampoline with Enclosure -- $189 (nearly $80 savings) 

The company is also offering free shipping on all order over $50. 

Wal-Mart is starting Cyber Monday on Sunday. Source: Wal-Mart 

Target (NYSE:TGT): Hoping to turn Cyber Monday into a weeklong affair, the company is offering deals on its website as early as the Sunday before Thanksgiving, but it will ratchet things up on Cyber Monday itself by offering 15% off sitewide to shoppers who use the promo code CYBER15. The retailer will also offer about 75 "doorbuster" limited-time deals with about 75% of those being at least 50% off regular prices, the company said in a press release. Some of the best deals include:

  • Xbox One 500GB Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle, $299.99 (reg. $349.99), plus free EA sports game and free three-month Xbox Live subscription with purchase 
  • 50% off licensed kids' cameras including Frozen and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 
  • 50% off select Sennheiser In-Ear Headphones
  • Swagway x1 Hands-Free Smart Hoverboard, $399 (reg. $499) 

There will also be 30% savings on select toys, apparel, and shoes, according to the company. Target has been offering free shipping since Nov. 1 and will continue to do so through Christmas. 

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN): More than any other company on this list, Amazon has embraced the idea that the month of November can be one giant sales season. The company has been offering limited-time "Lightning Deals" all month, but it does not release its Cyber Monday deals ahead of time. That's not to say it won't have any, but it won't tell people what they are in order to keep attention focused on Black Friday.

Overall, Amazon is largely using a strategy of forcing customers to visit its deals page often in order to see what's on sale.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY): Like Amazon, Best Buy has only confirmed that it will offer Cyber Monday deals in its stores as well as on its website. The retailer has not released any specific offers or products that will be marked down other than promising "great prices on products in all departments, including appliances, cell phones, TVs, tablets, laptops and more."

eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY): Again, eBay has acknowledged that it will offer Cyber Monday deals, and it even has a page promising discounts of "up to 90%" without disclosing specific promotions.

Beware the temptation
Cyber Monday can be dangerous for shoppers who view it as a last chance to score if they missed out on Black Friday. In reality, the biggest savings on some items often happen closer to Christmas. In other categories, the best deals are at other times of the year. For example, TVs tend to be cheapest the week before the Super Bowl, and tools tend to be marked down the most near Father's Day.

This Monday will see some amazing offers, but sorting out the good deals from the hype requires research. Consumers should be wary and go into the online sales event looking for bargains but also be willing to keep their wallets closed as well.

Daniel Kline owns shares of Microsoft. He does very little holiday shopping. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon.com and eBay. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.