Cyber Monday deals can disappear fast. But some $299 laptops are still around. (VIDEO)

One way to look for Cyber Monday deals is by visiting the websites of your favorite stores, but it's also helpful to visit websites of specialists like

Paul Sakuma/AP
In this 2010 file photo, Consumer Carol Uyeno looks at Cyber Monday sales on her computer at her home in Palo Alto, Calif. Retailers are coming up with names for just about every day of the week during the holiday shopping season.

The online deals for Cyber Monday began even before the clock struck midnight, offering US shoppers some deals that won't last through the day – plus some others that might be around a while.

Yes, some of the best deals are only "while supplies last," and that can be a very short time.

That $299 laptop we were going to tell you about? It's a Dell Inspiron ($100 off) but had a "sold out" label on the Microsoft Store by Monday morning.

Other deals are still available, though. (Oh wait! There's a $299 laptop listed on from Acer.)

One way to look for bargains is by visiting the websites of your favorite stores, but it's also helpful to visit websites of shopping-deal specialists like and

The case of the disappearing Dell Inspiron stands as a reminder of time-tested advice from consumer experts that Cyber Monday shoppers may want to heed: By all means, move quickly when you find a bargain you love, but also make sure you're spending on your priorities (not just what a store wants you to buy).

That's particularly true when it comes to the ever-expanding universe of tech gadgets.

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Should you get that iPad? An Android phone with a 2-year monthly data contract? Or a Nook Tablet that's cheaper than the iPad up front, and which can offer some wireless web-browsing without the cost of a monthly data plan? There's no one "right answer." It all depends on what you really want to accomplish with the purchase.

Lots of online deals were in place during the Thanksgiving weekend, even as consumers flocked to the brick-and-mortar locations of stores like Walmart and Best Buy. Clothing purveyor Woolrich offered a 20-percent off sale on all purchases. That deal ended Sunday – replaced by a 25-percent off sale for Cyber Monday!

The Monitor has offered some other tips here on how to make the most of your Cyber Monday foraging.

And remember: The opportunity to be a consumer doesn't end on 11/28/11. At least we haven't heard of anything on the Mayan calendar about that.

Retailers are eager to grab your business now, but they'll also be wanting people to walk through their doors (real or virtual) come January. And some stores have explicitly stated their current bargains will last beyond Cyber Monday.

Lowe's is one example, with an offer of $89 (some $60 off) for a 204-piece Task Force tool set. The store says the offer lasts until Dec. 30.

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