Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning your holiday shopping so you get what you need – for the best deal. If you prefer shopping online rather than going out to crowded stores, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the dates to mark on your calendar. If you missed out last year, here are some tips to get you through this famous shopping weekend.
Don’t Let the Name Fool You
Cyber Monday used to refer to online sales, while Black Friday was the day sales started in stores. Neither of these dates is a legislated holiday, however, so there’s nothing to prevent online retailers from starting their biggest sales on Black Friday or even earlier. Be safe rather than sorry, and take a few minutes to visit your favorite websites before Thanksgiving. Most will announce when their sales start long before the prices are discounted. If a retailer offers email promotions, sign up so you get these early notifications.
Get Ready to Shop
Make a list of the items you’re looking for. If you’re shopping for the holidays, write some gift ideas beside the name of each person, including their sizes and their mailing addresses if they live out of town. One of the conveniences of shopping online is that you can have the items shipped anywhere in the country. Make sure you have your credit card close at hand when you start browsing. Better yet, create an online account a day or two before the sales start. You won’t want to be scrambling for your wallet or figuring out which username to decide on when they’re low in stock of that perfect item.
Find the Not-So-Hidden Values
Most of us instinctively focus our attention on the product description and the price when we’re on a website. We disregard banners, buttons and the ads around the edges of the page. That’s fine when you’re reading a news article, but it’s important to pay attention to everything when you’re shopping. Those banners and buttons often tell you about related items that are also on sale, as well as special, one-time offers and even free coupon codes – so take advantage!
Watch for Shipping Costs
Keep an eye on shipping costs as you’re finalizing your shopping cart. Many online retailers offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount, so buying an extra $10 item may save you $20 in shipping.
About the Author
David Weedmark has been helping consumers, businesses and governments adapt to fast changing technology for over 20 years. An award-winning writer, he has written thousands of articles and is the author of several books.