I used to work retail
at one of those large, find-anything mall stores that litter the country, but no more. Besides the regular long hours for low pay, Black Friday
itself was a nightmare to contend with. So as the online opportunities to spend money grew from infancy to the commercial giant it is today, I learned a trick or two about finding great deals for the holidays without having to suffer the indignities of hitting the mall at midnight.
Online Shopping at Home Black Friday Strategy
The savings begin before I even turn on my computer. By not driving my truck to the mall to spend 20 minutes looking for a parking space, I’ve saved $5 in gas and aspirin off the bat. I live in New Hampshire, and there very well could be a mess of snow in the mall parking lot to contend with, as well as black ice, crowded roads, and little kids darting away from their mothers’ grip. Staying home ensures I’ll stay safe, and won’t hurt anyone else.
Endless Coffee, Central Bathroom
Shopping at 3 in the morning is not a natural state for my body to be in. Much like a casino, the stores over-light the sales floor to ensure you can see what they want you to buy, and to assist you in forgetting what time it is – essentially, they have taken control of your brain. Once into the swing of things with a large basket filled with mediocre merchandise, how likely would it be for me to stop and relax over a cup of coffee, or even postpone the chase for that $20 flat screen television to find the restroom? Not very likely. At home, I brew my own coffee in moderation, and have access to indoor plumbing.
Multiple Shopping Locations Only a Click Away
I have an average internet connection, and with it, can have multiple websites up for browsing at once. Best Buy might be offering a Sony digital camera for $45, but with a simple click, I can see a similar, if not exact, camera for sale at Target for $25. Those savings alone made the 1/2 second effort to check another store worth my time in my easy chair.
No Black Friday Lines
Companies worth their salt have their websites so well-tuned that even the initial rush of consumers logging-in doesn’t affect their checkout speed one iota. And there’s no rush- once an item is in my ‘basket’, it’s there until I pay for it, or return it to the virtual shelf. If I was lucky enough in an actual store to locate a hard-to-find Barbie Dreamhouse and have it in my carraige, I’d have to guard it all night to ensure no one snakes it from underneath me. And the lines- no thank you. I have better things to do with an hour instead of standing behind the one person who forgot to shower that morning.
Free Online Shipping
Online stores, at least the big ones like Macy’s, Amazon, and Lenovo, offer free shipping. So, I don’t have to go out, find a parking space, swim through the crowds, protect my selection, stand in line, or paying for shipping? It makes me wonder, truly, why people still go out on Thanksgiving night.
Same Shopping Deals
At the very least, online selections are identical as the door-busters and discounts at the on-ground stores (and with more stock). Better yet, online retailers will have additional perks as well. Free shipping is one, but you might also find BOGOs, bonus gift cards, and links to companion items. For example, an online store will remind you to buy batteries. Everything I think I need right in front of me on my computer, and using Black Friday.com to start will simplify my search by listing online specials as soon as they are available.
I’ll be staying in again this year, but if anyone has a reason to actually adventure out in the cold and crowds to visit the malls, please let me know with your comments. Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!