by Staff Writer
When you can avoid the crowds and the cold by shopping for Black Friday deals online, it only makes sense to put down the cars keys and turn on your computer. But before the day-after-Thanksgiving sales begin, make sure you're ready to search for the best prices on holiday gifts. Here's what you need to know about shopping for holiday gifts online on Black Friday.
Go to a website you trust. The first step to finding great Black Friday deals online is to go to a retail website you trust. A website's qualities, such as wide selection, excellent customer service, and low prices, will be amplified during Black Friday. A wide selection means you'll be able to find the deals you want, which is especially nice when you aren't fighting crowds. Great customer service means you'll be able to resolve any issues you may have, while low prices during the rest of the year mean even better Black Friday sales.
Sign up for exclusive access to Black Friday sales. Well before Black Friday, make sure you have access to a few places where your favorite online retailers share their sales and promotions first. Try free methods first: Sign up for email, follow them on Twitter, or like them on Facebook. These deals will open to the public eventually, but when you sign up for exclusive access, you get to see them before everyone else. If there is a membership rewards club, those deal alerts will probably be even better and the alerts will be even earlier, so if you plan to shop mainly at one retailer, that loyalty club will be worth the money.
Buy popular products first. Even when you are first in line, the best Black Friday deals and most popular sales will go quickly, so buy them first. You never know what may sell out. If there are brand-name HDTVs, tablets, cell phones, or kitchen appliances on your shopping list, buy them first before they sell out.
Buy less popular deals second. Once you've bought the fastest-selling Black Friday deals, you can move on to the items that won't sell out as quickly. Because these sales are less popular, they may have even better prices, plus they won't cause you much stress. Products less likely to sell out include books, DVDs, music, sports equipment, bedding, and bath products.
Remember holiday decor and supplies. Black Friday is one of the best times of year to stock up on decor and supplies for major holidays, especially winter holidays like Christmas. Artificial evergreen trees, tinsel, ornaments, wrapping paper, and more are often on sale the day after Thanksgiving. Stock up now on holiday decor for the rest of the year, too; Halloween, Thanksgiving, and autumn-theme decor will likely be on sale since the season just ended.