Tackle Black Friday 2012 From the Comfort of Your Own Keyboard!
We’ve been talking about Black Friday the last few weeks, and it is almost here! Can you feel the excitement? If you are less than thrilled of the prospect of standing in huge lines out in the cold, dealing with crowds of frenzied shoppers, and don’t feel like driving around town to score the best deals, you just may want to shop online this Black Friday.
Will there be good deals online?
Absolutely! Actually, there may be some better deals online rather than at the store. Plus, if a deal runs out, at least you aren't fighting with other customers that are determined to beat you to the cash register.
The truth is that the “Doorbuster” deals many stores offer won’t be exactly the same online, so if you have your heart set on one of those, you just may need to brave the store, but be prepared because other shoppers may feel the same and it will run out quickly. However, Amazon tends to like to match many of those hot sales, so if you are patient, you just may come across the deal you want.
So, if you want to enjoy shopping at home this year, here is a guide for navigating online sales.
Black Friday (Online) Survival Guide
1. Prepare now. No matter where you are shopping, get ready for those sales by finding the ad previews now for many of your favorite retailers. Many pre-Black Friday sales have already started, too, so check places like Amazon.com, Walmart.com, or Target.com to see how close the online price is to that rock bottom Black Friday price.
2. Make a list of the items you want. Do you want specific brands (a Sony TV or just a flat screen)? Do you need specific sizes, colors, or varieties? The more flexible you are for your shopping list, the better deal you may find.
3. Find out when the online sales will begin for your favorite stores. When it comes to online shopping, some stores will begin their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving (or even midnight Wednesday night!). Pay close attention to the time zone and when it will start because some sales are based with the East coast, while others are West Coast. You may be able to get most of your shopping done before you even have to start cooking!
4. Shop from sites that you trust. If you don’t know a website or it seems a little too fishy, just skip it. A deal is not worth you exposing your financial security. The good news is that you can find many great deals online at some of the same retailers you would shop in-store.
5. Have your coupon codes ready before shopping. Many stores will release coupon codes early, so you can get them ready for the big day. Savings.com or RetailMeNot.com are good resources for finding coupon codes. You may want to write them down to have next to the computer or create a spreadsheet with all the codes you plan to use.
6. Get cash back on your purchases. You'll be able to get anywhere from 2% - 20% cash back and your favorite retailers. Plus, sites like Ebates will have holiday promotions to get even more cash back than usual. Have fun shopping and know that some of that spending will come right back to your wallet.
7. Stick to your budget. Just like shopping in-store, it will be easy to impulse buy, but know what you can afford to spend ahead of time.
Miss a deal? Don’t worry – you can always start shopping again on Cyber Monday (that is the Monday after Thanksgiving – November 26 this year)!
If you do plan on hitting the stores on Black Friday – don’t miss the Black Friday (In-Store) Survival Guide. With sales starting at such different times, there really isn’t a reason you can’t do both online and in-store shopping!