You’d think ‘Black Friday Survival Tips’ would be a guide on how to curb overspending on your Visa or get through the day without a nervous breakdown from the FOMO (fear of missing out). Well it isn’t, it’s actually a guide on how not to be trampled in ‘stampedes’, avoid shopping stalkers and prevent mugging by techniques such as non-branded brown paper bags. Things clearly get very serious in the US during this annual retail phenomenon – someone actually died last year!
Lucky for us Kiwis, we can enjoy Black Friday without putting our lives at risk. As a person with champagne taste on a beer budget, who loves a good bargain or is just a fervent shopper, Black Friday bargain hunting proves to be a most satisfying activity. However, before you dig into the fun side of spending, here are some tips on how to make the most of Black Friday online shopping:
1. Work smarter not harder - look for sites such as blackfriday.com and retailmenot.com for aggregated lists of brands with Black Friday promotions. Some brands have actually already started with cheeky pre sales. Using websites with a range of labels works more efficiently and saves on shipping costs – shopbop.com is a clear winner on this front.
2. Promo codes - veteran online shoppers and mailing list recipients will be all too familiar with these terrific tools. Research and collate codes for use on the big day! retailmenot.com is an excellent place to start.
3. Stay in ship shape – check before Black Friday whether your chosen sites ship to NZ. If not then never fear, you can overcome the obstacle by utilising NZPost’s fantastic facility Youshop. It can get a bit pricey, but worth it when up against the money you’re saving already.
4. Research - check your favourite sites early and make sure you’ve signed up to the mailing lists for alerts (you can always just unsubscribe after the sales are over). Know what items you want before Black Friday to prevent endless trawling and FOMO creeping in – increased stress levels reduces purchasing productivity. Remember there’s no room for time wasters – the deals aren’t going to wait and neither are the other shoppers!
5. Take the day off work – no don’t.
6. Choose your preferred payment method – credit cards aren’t the only option; Visa debit cards often have lesser fees or you could set up a PayPal account.
7. Timing - before midnight on Thanksgiving you need to get set and on the strike of 1200am EST you need to GO!
8. Be patient - websites will crash, imagine the messy worldwide cyber traffic jam you’re part of. Keep refreshing and don’t worry, the checkout is near!
9. Think - do I need this? Am I buying this purely because it’s cheap? Is this a decent saving? Your impulsive spend could end up another ornament in your wardrobe or a symbol of unnecessary consumerism.
Now set forth and shop, not forgetting that if you miss out on that special Black Friday bargain there’s always Cyber Monday!