With Black Friday fast approaching, it pays (literally!) to know how to do all your online shopping strategically and safely. While there are lots of opportunities to buy items online with big discounts around this time of year, it’s important to be careful when deciding what websites to shop on and where to give out your personal information.
Let’s break down 12 smart online shopping tips for Black Friday 2022 to maximize your success.
Shopping successfully on Black Friday in 2022 means prepping at least a week ahead of time. Not only should you draw up a list of the things you hope to snag before they sell out, but you should also bookmark specific product pages as you find them.
Why? Bookmarking pages will help you get to key items fast, which is crucial when everyone is trying to buy the same handful of high-value items, like electronics, toys, home furnishings, and apparel.
You can do more to prep for Black Friday this year by signing up for the email lists of your favorite retailers. This is smart for two reasons:
Similarly, be sure to follow your favorite stores’ social media profiles if you’re looking to get in the inside scoop on the best Black Friday deals online. That way, you can take advantage of online Black Friday discounts, plus watch hour-by-hour updates to keep track of stock, know when you should visit a product page to try to buy something, etc.
Information is power when it comes to the chaos of online Black Friday shopping. Tethering your information feeds to your retailers via email and social media is one of the smartest things you can do to get key information and complete your purchase before something sells out
These days, many e-commerce retailers offer “pre” sales on the day before Black Friday. In fact, some retailers start their Black Friday sales in the afternoon or evening of Thanksgiving Day.
If you want to buy hot ticket items that are only available in limited quantities, you may decide to get started on Thanksgiving evening and scroll through your most important product pages to grab those items and put them in your digital shopping cart. Enjoy your Thanksgiving meal as usual but set aside 15 minutes or so afterward to check your top shopping sites for potential steals—after dessert of course!
No matter where you buy your Black Friday items, be sure to compare prices for gifts, clothes, and electronics between retailers. For example, Best Buy may have an excellent deal for a new TV or computer. But you should also check out other popular Black Friday retailers to see what they offer for the same item.
On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, retailers often try to one-up each other by implementing last-minute discounts to draw purchasers to their brands. You can take advantage of this chaos only if you check prices regularly in the minutes before checkout out with your Black Friday treasure.
If your browser supports it, use incognito or stealth mode to do your Black Friday shopping. It’s the best way to avoid so-called “dynamic pricing.”
Dynamic pricing kicks in if you are a frequent visitor to a given website. If it applies to your visitor profile, you might see a higher price for an item than a new visitor sees since the retailer assumes you’ll buy it no matter what the price is based on your visit frequency. Dynamic pricing has the potential to spoil your shopping spree, but you can avoid online retailer cookies and activity trackers by simply visiting sites incognito.
Once Black Friday 2022 rolls around, many retailers adorn their landing pages or homepages with free shipping coupon codes and discounts. These special promo codes and coupons can be found at the top of web pages or in the form of pop-ups. So, it is important to keep a keen eye out while online shopping. Normally, for example, a site might require you to spend a certain amount of money to get free shipping. But on Black Friday, they might offer free shipping to anyone with no minimum purchase.
Write these Black Friday online promo codes down before delving deeper into the catalogs of online stores so you have them ready to use when it’s time to checkout. It’s another way to save successfully during a normally pricy part of the year.
If shipping looks like it’ll take too long or you want to avoid shipping costs and save extra money during Black Friday, you can take advantage of a recent retail development and pick up your online purchases at the store. COVID-19 encouraged many retailers to implement curbside pickup policies and practices. You can use curbside pickup on Black Friday to stay away from the crushing crowds and get home with your presents faster than normal.
Want to tilt the price odds in your favor even further? Put a few discounted Black Friday items in your online shopping cart, then click out of your current browser window. Then check your email inbox.
Chances are that within 24 hours the retailer will send you an email with a special offer just because you abandoned your cart. Many e-commerce sites do this to sweeten deals and convince site visitors on the fence to make purchases. You can hijack this system for your own benefit by strategically abandoning your cart while shopping websites whose email lists you’re already on
If something seems too good to be true—such as a popular item with a great online Black Friday deal having perfect 5-star reviews from 100 reviewers—it probably is. That’s why you should use review-check resources like Fakespot.com. These resources may be able to tell you whether a product’s reviews are legitimate or if they are likely made by bots/paid reviewers. It’s an especially useful tip if you do a lot of Black Friday shopping on Amazon.
To stay safe while shopping Black Friday deals online, remember to make all your purchases with your credit card. That way, if your credit card information is stolen, the thief can only use it up your credit limit, and you can usually get that credit forgiven once you determine what happened, restoring your credit score.
It’s much wiser to shop online with your credit card than a debit card for this reason alone. Identity theft may be possible depending on the stores you choose to shop at. But using your credit card will protect you and your bank account. Not to mention, some credit cards offer cash back on your purchases meaning savings on top of savings!
When you visit a new online retailer, take a look at the address bar at the top of the screen. Does it have a padlock symbol in green or black? If so, it is SSL certified, meaning traffic information coming to and from the website is encrypted and safe. You can also tell that a site is secure if the address begins with “HTTPS.”
Buying on secure sites is the best way to ensure that your personal information and bank account are safe during your shopping spree.
Lastly, don’t use the same password for every shopping website that requires one. It’s convenient, but it also exposes all your purchases – and the information from every card you use to buy products—to potential hackers. Switching up your passwords from site to site, even by just changing one character, makes it much harder for an identity thief to get all your information from a single successful digital attack.
Black Friday is the year’s biggest opportunity to save on Christmas shopping and to get yourself something nice on a super-sale. Keep the above tips in mind, and you’ll not just save a ton of cash—you’ll also shop safely without risking identity theft.
Sources accessed on November 4, 2022.
You can prequalify for your loan online in just minutes. Or, if you prefer, call or stop by your local branch. Our loan specialists can answer any questions and help you fill out an application for the personal loan that fits your needs.