Black Friday is not canceled, it’s adapting, and it’s happening now. The holiday shopping season has officially begun, and many stores have already started their sales events, shifting their focus to online deals. But just because we won’t see the hectic Black Friday crowds in store, doesn’t mean that the competition isn’t fierce.
More of us will be glued to our screens in search of great deals, and that means it’s time to get organized. From deal hunting strategies to online shopping safety, our Chief Deals Officer, Nafisa Kassam, shares her top tips to help you conquer the New Black Friday.
Deal Hunting Strategies
Be aware of sales dates
Black Friday is no longer a shopping day, but a shopping season, which means that deals will be available for longer and will vary by store.
Digital ads are a great starting point for the research and planning phase of your Black Friday strategy, as they let you know what’s on sale, when, and where. Flipp is a handy, free app that gathers all your digital weekly ad circulars in one place, and it also lets you clip and save all the deals you’re interested in — so you don’t have to go back and look for them later.
Don’t forget to check out our Black Friday post that’s updated weekly with the latest information on sales events from your favorite retailers.
Create your Watch List on Flipp
If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands for deal searching, don’t worry. You can still find all the Black Friday deals on your list with Flipp’s newest feature, Watch List. The feature will be available to most Flipp app users by November 2nd, 2020, and it lets you track deals for any item you’re interested in buying.
Just add items to your Watch List, and let Flipp do the rest. There’s literally no more guesswork, Flipp will track and continuously update all the available deals at different stores for the items on your Watch List. This is a great tool for Black Friday planning, so make sure you have the latest version of the app downloaded!
Create online accounts ahead of time
Online shopping is easy and effortless, but most stores will require you to create an account to check out or check out as a visitor — which can take just as long. When you’re competing for a deal, the faster you check out, the better. If you know you’ll be shopping at specific online stores, create all your accounts ahead of sales dates to save time once those deals drop.
Just like the traditional Black Friday doorbusters we’re used to, online deals are not limitless. If you’re on the hunt for a big screen TV or any other highly coveted item, the earlier you shop, the better. That’s why the planning phase is so important.
Don’t ignore Pre-Black Friday deals
Just because a deal is not labeled as a “Black Friday” deal, doesn’t mean that it’s not worth it. This holiday shopping season is different, so don’t be surprised if stores release typical “doorbuster” items well before Black Friday.
Compare prices at different retailers
The great thing about online shopping is that comparing prices at different stores is extremely quick and easy. Don’t be tempted by the first deal you see. You might just find a better price a few clicks away. This is where multiple tabs will come in handy.
Sign up for emails
Brands love rewarding their loyal customers with promo codes and exclusive offers, so if you’ve been filtering marketing emails straight to your spam folder, now is the time to bring them front and center. Sign up for your favorite stores’ emails, and check them regularly. There might just be some sweet deals waiting in your inbox right now.
Follow brands on social media
Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Most brands will announce sales on their social accounts first, so make sure you’re following your favorite stores to stay in the loop. Plus, many brands will have contests around the holiday season, giving their followers a chance to win some freebies, so make sure you’re following Flipp on Instagram and Facebook (wink)!
Online Shopping Safety Tips
As we adapt to the New Black Friday, it’s important to be mindful of how and where we shop online. Online stores will be busier than ever, and unfortunately this gives cyber criminals more opportunities to attack.
Here are a few tips to help you shop safely.
1. When possible, purchase from online stores you already know, trust, and have shopped through previously. Cyber criminals create fake online stores that mimic the look of real sites or that use the names of well-known stores or brands.
2. Look out for prices that are significantly better than those you see at the established online stores. If the deal sounds too good to be true, it may be fake.
3. Pay attention to the website domain name. Cyber criminals will slightly alter website addresses and names so that they’re barely noticeable to a distracted shopper. For example, they may replace the letter o for the number 0. If the address looks suspicious, it’s better not to shop there.
4. If a website looks suspicious, type the name of the online store or its web address into a search engine such as Google, to see what others have said about it. Look for terms like “fraud,” “scam,” “never again,” and “fake.”
5. Some websites allow third party sellers to participate in their marketplace, so even if you are shopping on a legitimate website, it’s important to be aware of who you’re shopping from. Review the online store’s policy on purchases from third parties to make sure you are protected. When in doubt, purchase items sold directly by the online store, not by the third-party sellers.
6. Use a unique password for each of your online accounts. This is very important. Can’t remember all your passwords? Consider storing them all in a password manager.
7. Avoid using debit cards whenever possible. Debit cards take money directly from your bank account. If fraud has been committed, you’ll have a much harder time getting your money back. Use a credit card, gift card, or well-known payment services like PayPal instead.
8. Regularly review your credit card statements to identify suspicious charges, and contact your credit card company right away if you find anything suspicious.
Black Friday is one of my favorite times to shop and I hope that by doing a little prep work, it will be one of your favorite times to shop too! Share these tips with your friends and family to make sure you’re spreading your love for savings and safety!