You might have noticed the avalanche of early sales, the catchy online ads and a swarm of email offers optimised to catch your attention. Yes, Black Friday (27th of November 2020) and Cyber Monday (30th of November) have rolled around again. With some spectacular savings being offered Black Friday and Cyber Monday are probably the two biggest shopping events in the retail calendar. While much of the world reels from the reintroduction of restrictions due to the pandemic, the shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday aren’t letting 2020 slow them down and are powering full steam ahead.
As these mega sale days approach, this is the time to consider how to make them work for you and how to truly make a saving while avoiding overspending.
So how do you stop yourself from getting lured in by all these exclusive offers?
Make a list
Make a list of the people you want to buy for, what you hope to buy for them and the advertised prices you see online today. Then save the links and compare the prices later. This lets you see exactly what savings you’re making with those Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. It always helps if you assign an amount you can afford to spend on each person to ensure you spend within your means.
Plan your budget – just because it’s the biggest shopping weekend of the year doesn’t mean you have to buy everything! What you do purchase shouldn’t totally drain your wallet. To keep your finances in balance, you should set out in advance what your online shopping budget is and what you’re able to spend. Budgeting helps you make the discounts work for you.
Tips for smart saving:
Don’t put yourself into debt
It’s only a great deal when it doesn’t put you into debt, or further in debt. If you’re planning to pay with a credit card and you can’t pay the balance off in full then the value of any deal quickly disappears due to the cost of interest charges. Keep this in mind as you plan how much to spend.
Shop with Cash-Back offers
When shopping online on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday, consider looking at whether your visa debit/credit card has any cash back offers to see if you can avail of money back from your purchase.
Avoid Shipping Costs
For the online shoppers, don't forget about the delivery costs that are part of your purchase. These can often be avoided by having the items shipped to the nearby store for click and collect. Certain sites might offer free delivery if you spend over a certain amount. But don’t just add to the basket to save on shipping costs! One way around this is to review the list of purchases you need to make and see if you can include some of your purchases in the same online store to save on the cost of delivery. Also you should check out the retailer’s delivery timeframes to ensure you are happy you will receive your purchase(s) on time.
You may want to follow the retail stores you love on Social Media
You may want to follow the stores you want to target on Black Friday/Cyber Monday on social media. Retailers are confident of the fact that you'll be checking and following their social media profiles and they may want to reward you for doing so. Many retailers may offer exclusive deals in the form of codes to enter at checkout. This may include free shipping, discount codes, or even a free item. You never know what deals may appear over the weekend.
KEEP YOUR RECEIPT
Check out the return policies of stores you plan to purchase from. How many days will you have to return an item that does not meet your requirements? Does the retailer offer free returns or will it cost you to return an item? If so, keep this in mind as you shop. As is best practice always, keep your receipts in case you do need to return an item. Finally, if the items you are purchasing are gifts don’t forgot to avail of a gift receipt, if available, online and instore.
Watch out for scams
Today’s fraudsters are highly skilled at creating fake websites which appear genuine and persuading consumers to share payment information. But, if you’re not careful you might get more than the free shipping you bargained for. Over the weekend of sales be mindful of
- Clicking on links in emails
- Be suspicious of “free” offers
- Monitoring your credit/debit card transactions
Know what you can do to shop online safely and securely by visiting bankofireland.com/security