Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you are aware of the massive sales happening online this weekend. Known as ‘Black Friday’, this weekend is dedicated entirely to economical spending before the Christmas shopping season officially begins. Black Friday, a relatively new concept, was introduced in countries abroad, to encourage consumers to begin their Christmas gift shopping early by scoring the best deals online. It begins the day after Thanksgiving, which is an American holiday traditionally celebrated on the third Thursday of November.
If you are a true shopaholic like I am, you probably mark your calendars for major sale dates, well in advance. Black Friday sales are the best time to invest in items you may need, as well as international services and content that may not fit into your regular Indian budgets. Many Indian businesses have also jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon in recent years, hoping to cash in on the universal shopping frenzy. The Indian sales may not be as widespread or as generously discounted as the international ones, but this period is the best time to save money while shopping.
The multiple brands and numerous call-to-actions constantly thrown in your face, can be quite overwhelming. Hence, here are a few tips for you to make the most of the Black Friday sales online:
1. MAKE A LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU NEED AND WANT
You may be tempted to buy everything you like, but that is highly impractical from a financial viewpoint. I recommend beginning your shopping spree with a rough list in hand. The items you need should be listed on top, and those you want should be at the bottom. You may end up buying a few things that are not on your list, but this process helps you narrow the field and makes your shopping experience more efficient.
2. COMPARE PRICES OF SIMILAR ITEMS BEFORE DECIDING
Do not be in a rush to buy the first item you see and like. There is no harm in browsing through similar items available in different brands or websites. Make a considered purchase after researching the best quality and best price available for the same or similar products in different online stores.
3. SIGN UP FOR NEWSLETTERS OR DOWNLOAD APPS
Identify your favourite online shopping websites and sign up for their weekly newsletters. Even if you despise newsletters and spam mail in your email inbox, let me assure you these newsletters will keep you ahead of the crowd and help you prepare for the best deals in advance. Usually people who sign up are the first to be notified about online sales and made privy to website and app-only discounts.
4. LEAVE THINGS IN YOUR SHOPPING CART
This may sound strange but putting things in your shopping cart and leaving them there, is a wonderful way to avail extra discounts. When websites notice that you have an item in your cart, and that item is not a hot-selling one for them, they offer even greater discounts for you to buy that particular item. Additionally, in case it is an item you wanted earlier but forgot about, you will remember to buy it at a discounted price during the sales when you see it in your cart.
5. CONVERT CASHBACK TO SHOPPING VOUCHERS
The concept of cashback may sound dodgy to those who have not tried it, but it works wonders. People who use cashback websites, or keep track of the cashback earned through their cards and other methods of online payment, are literally paid to shop! The cash you earn from this medium, can then be used to shop further. Some websites offer shopping vouchers instead of cashback, making it a complete win-win situation.
These are my tips to score the best deals during the Black Friday sales or any online sales in general. Being prepared beforehand is the best way to make the most of this time and save your money. However, do stick to buying things that you need and make sure not to go overboard with the spending!
The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles on her successful blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be found on Instagram @nooranandchawla.
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