10 Black Friday Online Shopping Tips

By in Money Matter$ on 14 November 2010

Shopping online on Black Friday is practical for parents with small children. This day, recognized as the busiest day in retail business, brings a crowd of shoppers in physical stores even before the sun rises. It may be exciting to line up at dawn and be one of the doorbusters at your favorite store, but it could be a nightmare if you have a kid in tow. Here’s news for you: most Black Friday deals are also available online, in the comfort of your couch! Here are some Black Friday online shopping tips:

1.       Make a list. Write the things you plan to purchase to avoid wasting time browsing around. Make a list of the items and the websites you plan to buy them from. A shopping list helps you control your spending and makes sure you get something for everyone you are gifting.

2.       Shop early. Shop as early as thanksgiving night to get the wildest discounts. Many stores start their Black Friday sales as soon as the clock hits 12:00 midnight. Set your alarm clock to make sure you are awake during this time. It beats driving out to the physical store in the freezing morning hours.

3.       Shop fast. Online shopping competition is as fierce as that in a physical store. Make sure you get everything you need in your shopping cart and check them out fast before the store runs out of stock. To do this, you will need to have all your payment information on hand (or stored in your browser).

4.       Do your research. Read user reviews of the product you intend to buy to keep you from making impulsive decisions. Compare prices using online sites like bizrate.com, pricegrabber.com and even physical stores days ahead of Black Friday. Some online deals may not be worth it. Look for online coupons by doing a quick search or clipping newspaper ads.

5.       Pool your purchases. If you can buy the items on your list from one store, then do so. Many online stores offer free shipping when you reach a certain purchase amount. This saves you more money and may even guarantee arrival of your orders at the same time.

6.       Look for even more savings. Find out if your bank or credit card offers cash back or rewards for online purchases like Bank of America’s “Add It Up” program. You can also sign up on sites like Ebates.com and Fatwallet.com for cash backs.

7.       Save on shipping. Double check your total before sending any payment. Don’t let yourself spend too much on shipping fee because it will just negate the savings you got on the products. Find out if the site offers store pick up for free to rid yourself of shipping fees altogether.

8.       Take care of returns. Check the return policy on the product you are buying. Some items offered at an irresistibly low price may be non-returnable. Request for a gift receipt if it is offered. This makes gift returning easier for your recipient in case you bought the wrong size or color.

9.       Let go. Some items like clothing and shoes may not be the best things to purchase on Black Friday since those eventually go on sale anyway. You can let these things go or at least put them at the bottom of your list. Save your shopping money for deals you know you will only get on Black Friday.

10.   Stick to your list. Lastly, avoid spending more than you can afford because you might end up getting charged by your bank for overdraft or overdue charges. Purchase everything on your list first and leave impulse buys after you’ve computed your remaining budget.

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