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Keep calm and shop: Black Friday shopping tips

Have you made the list? No, not your Christmas wish list but your Black Friday shopping list. The shopping event to top all shopping events, Black Friday will take place this year on November 24, seeing US retailers from Amazon to Zappos offering their goods at dramatically marked-down prices. Last year, Best Buy offered a 49-inch LED TV for $200; it normally sold at $450. J.C. Penney marked a 12-piece Cooks cookware set from $100 down to $30. See other notable sales from last year here.

As an online shopper, you’ll be spared of having to elbow your way through crowds of other eager shoppers. But with irresistible sales coming at you from every corner of the Web, you will  still have to wrestle the pull of impulsive buying. So make your Black Friday shopping fun and regret-proof by drawing up a plan of attack, an essential part of which is a thoughtfully made list. We show you how to make your own plan here:

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Shopping list: a very easy-to-do tool to keep you from impulsive buying

1. Make a list

When everything is on sale, it’s easy to buy things at a whim, only to realize in the end that you actually don’t need them. Keep yourself from overspending by shopping from a to-buy list. Along with the things you’re buying, include in it the stores you want to shop at. With thousands of stores on sale on the same day, you have to prioritize to get the most out of your shopping.

2. Know the deals

Know which stores are offering the lowest prices through a deal-sharing or coupon site. No need to go to individual stores to know their deals: deal-sharing sites like Deal News and coupon sites like Retail Me Not collect them and bring them in one place for you to browse.  You can also visit comGateway’s own Sales and Deals page in its web site.

3. Compare prices

A deal-sharing site is especially useful when you don’t have a specific item in mind yet and are simply exploring. But if you want to be more methodical about it, a price comparison site like Google Shopping is a handier tool. Say you’re buying a smart TV. You can type “smart TV” in the site’s search field and it will present you with a list of smart TVs, their prices, and where you can get them, making it easy for you to pick the best buy.

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As in everything, planning ahead gives you the best Black Friday shopping experience

4. Set a budget

Having picked deals and compared prices, you’re ready to set a budget. Remember,  budgets are meant to be followed. You don’t set a budget then blow it away after seeing a super-saver deal on DVDs. Practice restraint.

5. Look for the lock

Before you click that Add to Cart button, turn your sight first at the top of your browser. Does the store’s web address have a lock icon before it? If it does, then you’re in good hands. The site is encrypted, meaning hackers can’t steal the data stored in it, among them customer’s credit card information.

6. Stick to the list and budget

When you arrive at a store, zero in on the item on your list right away. Avoid strolling around the store and risk being tempted to buy anything unplanned. Get everything in your list first before you give yourself slack and start looking around.

Keep in mind your budget, though. If after completing your to-buy list you find there’s a few bucks left in your budget, there’s no harm in getting something that has caught your fancy only now. But if the entire budget is spent, there’s only one thing to do: leave the store. Till next Black Friday!

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Bought everything in your list already? It’s time to call it a day.

7. Read the description

Make sure it’s the one in your list by reading through the specs. Is it the right size, material, version, etc.? Pay attention to “what’s in the box” section or the “sold separately” notes. You don’t want to pay for a Polaroid camera thinking it includes film – and discover it doesn’t only when the camera has been delivered.

8. Be quick

Seen the smart TV in your list? Add it to your cart right away, before stocks run out. Although we encourage you to be careful, we also don’t want you to overthink. Others – a multitude of them—are also after the same item so there’s no time for dilly-dallying.

9. Have us buy the item for you

Many U.S.-based stores don’t accept credit cards that aren’t issued by an American bank. There’s a get-around to it, however: Have comGateway buy the item for you. Read a walk-through of our BuyForMe service here.

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ComGateway’s BuyForMe and paying through PayPal or Visa Checkout lessen the risk of credit card fraud.

10. Pay through a service

It’s safer to use a payment service like PayPal and Visa Checkout when paying for your online purchases than with your own credit card. Payment services don’t give your credit card information to stores, thus lessening the risk of credit card fraud. In terms of savings, they also sometimes partner with parcel forwarders to give customers discounts on shipping. Check with your card provider for its partner forwarder.

Still haven’t got a U.S. Address? Get one now for free at comGateway.com and start shopping!

 

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