This was my "haul" last year on Black Friday.
Did you know that most Black Friday deals that are in the stores are ALSO found online? This doesn't apply to some of the biggest sales & limited-supply items...but usually those only constitute a handful of things from the ad. Nearly everything else you'll find in the ad...and even most of the door busters can also be found online.
There's even an unknown bonus to shopping online. Often, the stores will open up their online Black Friday sales at midnight. For stores that are still opening at 4am or 5am, this means you get a good 4 or 5 hour jump start on those waiting in line.
Anyone who has shopped Black Friday online in the past knows that sites slow down considerably once their sales go live. There are a couple of things you can do now to make sure that your online purchases go as smoothly as possible:
- Peruse the ads beforehand and know what you're looking for from each store. Make a list just as if you would if you were going to the store itself. This helps you stay focused and makes sure you don't overspend. (Which is very easy to do on a sale day like this!)
- If you don't already have an account with the stores from which you want to purchase items, open one now. (Typically, online stores don't hold any Black Friday items in your cart. They're not really yours until you hit the "submit" button to finalize checkout. If you don't already have an account, that could add 10 minutes between the time you put the item in your cart & the time you checkout. On Black Friday, that 10 minutes is a LOT & someone could easily buy the item out from under you. Having an account already set up speeds up your checkout time considerably.)
- If you do have an account, log into it now to make sure you remember your password and are ready to go. It take so little time to make sure you get in & out quickly (and back to bed) on Black Friday.
- How will you pay? If you pay through Paypal, Google Checkout, or any other way...make sure that your account has current info, all cards are current (I just had to update the expiration for mine on Paypal), your mailing address is current, etc. Again, log into it now to make sure you remember your password and are ready to go.
- You don't want computer issues like an outdated browser or Java to slow you down when sites will likely already be bogged down. Update your IE, Firefox, or Chrome as well as Java now to ensure you don't have issues on Black Friday.
- As you get closer to the day (like...while your husband is watching a game on Thanksgiving. Okay...just typing that made me laugh hysterically. If you know my husband...you know why. He is so NOT a sports guy.)...anyway, you can go to the actual item and save the URL. When the sales go live, you just enter the URLs in and proceed to check out. If the store creates a new item number for the Black Friday item, you won't be able to do this, but I'd still try.
- Some stores will let you save the item to your cart NOW. Some will actually clear all carts of that item. Yet other stores will create an entirely new item number for the Black Friday sale item. So...it's worth a try to add the item to your cart now, but it might not work.
- Many stores have free shipping offers on Black Friday. You'll often find these on their home page. Be sure to look for them before checking out!
- Don't forget to check for any additional coupon codes that you can usually use in addition to the sale prices. (A bonus of buying online!) RetailMeNot is my favorite site for finding online codes.