Category Archives: Shopping Tips

Black Friday 2018 Trends

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In recent years, there has been a shift in focus when it comes to shopping tendencies. Traditionally, days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday dominated as the most profitable, for both consumers and retailers.

However, in 2018 it is expected that more retailers will try to get ahead of their competition by offering their deals as early as a week before Black Friday. Consumers may be vary and thinking about waiting for the “shopping prime time” to get the best deals, but those who are proactive about spending their money and willing to do some research can maybe snag some hidden gem of a deal early.

Although some retailers will offer their deals as early as Monday, Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve) and Thursday (Thanksgiving) will emerge as the most dominant pre Friday shopping days, especially when it comes to online shopping.

When it comes to the retailers, Amazon, being the ruler of online shopping world is expected to dominate once again this year. If you are looking for traditional in-store deals however, Walmart remains the best option. After them come Kohl’s, Best Buy, Target, Macy’s and others.

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Cyber Monday: What You Need to Know

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With the holidays approaching people are starting to prepare for online shopping season. Most are aware of the great deals that are available this time of year and it would be silly not to take advantage of the great discounts most online retailers will offer.

How Cyber Monday came to be?

 

Back in the days of dial up internet, people were eagerly awaiting Monday to do their shopping from work computers because that was the only way to get fast internet speeds and some retailers offered deals after the Black Friday weekend. Whether that was happening on mass scale or not, retailers noticed the trend and started offering better deals.

The dial up days are long gone and now most retailers wouldn’t miss a chance to seize the day and earn even more profit and with fast internet being widely available everywhere, many shoppers prefer to do their shopping online, from home, their mobile device or tablet.

 

What can you expect on Cyber Monday?

 

Each year, retailers expand and prolong their offers, many of which are starting as early as Thanksgiving Day, which will give you plenty of time to find and nab those juicy deals you’re looking for. In case you’re busy during the Thanksgiving weekend, Monday is an ideal time to make up for the missed shopping opportunities and in many cases find even better deals.

Despite Black Friday being the unofficial king among shopping days, many retailers, especially the ones focused on online shopping, choose to save their best deals for Cyber Monday.

While excellent deals on things like tablets, smartphones, 4K TV’s and other electronics are to be expected, many retailers will also focus on smaller items that sometimes get overlooked on Black Friday due to people focusing on getting their big purchases first.

If you’re an avid online shopper, check out membership programs and loyalty cards. If you’re not ready to shell out cash for them, don’t give them up just yet. Some of them offer free trials. Amazon Prime is something we recommend checking out. Another thing are the gift cards, some stores offer discount if you spend a certain amount of money or load up your gift cards for the first time.

 

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Black Friday: Ins and Outs

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The biggest shopping day of the year and the day that really starts off the holiday season is definitely Black Friday. This year it’s on November 24, the day after Thanksgiving.

The statistic that really demonstrates the significance Black Friday has for retailers is that 30% of all annual retail sales occur between Black Friday and Christmas. For certain retailers, such as jewelers, that percentage is even higher, around 40%.

Black Friday remains the biggest shopping day for stores. Around 101.7 million people hit the stores in 2016. That’s noticeably more than the 74 million from 2015. Saturday was the next biggest day with 64 million shoppers. 33 million shopped on Sunday and on Thanksgiving, only 29 million.

The Black Friday weekend saw 137 million people visited the stores. That’s around 30% more than the 102 million in 2015.

According to National Retail Federation, November and December are considered holiday shopping season and Black Friday is a big part of that. Black Friday sales show a steady rise of around 2.5% a year. In 2002 the sales were $416 billion and in 2016, $935 billion. NRF predicts they will be around $967 billion in 2017.

Another benefit Black Friday has on economy is seasonal employment. The record year was 2013 when 764,750 workers were employed and it’s estimated that around $500,000 to a $550,000 seasonal works will be hired in 2017.

 

Getting the best Black Friday Sales and Deals

 

If you want to find the best Black Friday days, you can use this unexpected trick, look for deals in the days prior to Black Friday. In the competition to make the most sales, retailers are offering deals earlier each year, even upstaging Black Friday.

According to research, best electronic deal are available early in November. If you’re looking for Christmas decor, try November 22, it has up to 25% discounts. If you want to make your children happy with some new toys, the day before Thanksgiving has the best prices.

The week before Thanksgiving has excellent in store discounts, going from 20% average. That raises to 37% during the Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Saturday.

If you’re looking for online deals Thanksgiving Day offers some really good ones on electronics, sports equipment and video games with discounts of around 24%.

However, if you’re looking for TV’s, appliances or jewelry, Black Friday still has the best online discounts.

 

Useful tips for shopping on Black Friday

 

  • Start early and make sure you check the online prices, many of them match even the door busters.
  • Use mobile apps for retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target or Best Buy to get early notifications on best deals
  • Try haggling, some managers are allowed to offer a 10% discount in order to match the competition.
  • Make sure you check out Cyber Monday, if you miss the deals you wanted on Friday, you can still get lucky or even do better on Monday, as online prices come down significantly.
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6 Common Shopping Mistakes

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Online shopping offers a lot of benefits and it’s by far the most convenient way of shopping today, allowing you to shop from the comfort of your home and avoid crowded stores or long trips altogether.

However, online shopping is not without dangers and you can sometimes make mistakes that could jeopardize your privacy or cost you money. So here are some common mistakes to avoid

 

1) Avoid saving your personal information

 

While it may seem convenient to save your personal info for further purchases, if the retailer’s site gets compromised, your account info might be in danger and you may end up losing money, so it’s best to never store personal info on retailer’s website, especially not your credit card number. Saving a username or a password is fine though.

 

2) Ignoring Shipping costs

 

Some shoppers tend to overlook this and end up paying more than they initially thought. When shopping for items online, make sure you check the shipping price. Most retailers allow you to filter the results to include shipping costs, so that might be a good idea to get the accurate cost on the items you’re buying.

 

3) Ignoring the Return Policy

 

When shopping online, be sure to check the return policy. It contains information of who is financially responsible for the return shipping as well as the time frame in which you can return the product. If you’re not paying attention you might end up with a product that is very costly to return, to a point that it just doesn’t pay off doing it and you end up stuck with something you don’t want.

 

4) Not doing your research

 

While you may be accustomed to using a certain store or a website, it’s always recommended to explore other places too. The convenience of online shopping allows you to quickly find and compare the prices of the product you’re interested. This can save you money and help you get the most for your buck.

 

5) Shopping from a public WiFi

 

While it might be convenient to shop from a local cafe, you should always avoid sharing delicate private information on a public network. You never know when a hacker might be lurking and some of them specifically target insecure or public connections. Be patient, wait until you get home to your private network.

 

6) Not reading the customer reviews

 

A lot of people skip this step, but you really shouldn’t. If the product is bad, people will express their anger, so to avoid really bad purchases, learn from other people’s mistakes. Most accurate reviews are the ones that give the product a middle of the road review, taking into consideration both the flaws and the qualities so it’s recommended to pay attention to those.

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7 Christmas Shopping Tips

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We all love Christmas. For many of us, it’s the favorite time of the year. Most like to treat their loved ones and themselves with gifts. It’s easy getting swept up by the holiday mood and ending up spending way more money than planned.

There is nothing wrong with being careful with your money, making plans and avoid spending needless amounts. Here are some Christmas shopping tips that will help you do that:

1) Use a cashback credit card

 

When using this type of card, with every purchase you make, you’ll get a percentage back, usually around 5%. This immediately makes shopping cheaper and on top of the already available discounts, however make sure you have a debit card to repay the debts at the end of every month as you may end up paying big interest.

 

2) Buy online

 

Going to the store during Christmas is a great experience for a lot of people. Everything is decorated, the displays are packed and you can feel that Christmas mood in the air. But if saving money is your priority, check out amazon and other online retailers as they’ll probably offer similar if not better deals on the items you want.

 

3) Be humble

 

Buying a present for a loved one, family member or a friend is very gratifying, but there is no need to spend insane amounts of money on each present. Remember, it’s the attention that counts.

 

4) Use loyalty cards

 

Many stores have loyalty cards. If you’re smart, you can save them throughout the year and score a nice discount when it counts the most.

 

5) Stay organized

 

Make a list with all your family members and friends, dedicate an approximate amount of money for each of them and list possible gifts.

 

6) Black Friday and Cyber Monday

 

Whether you are brave enough to hit the stores on Friday, or you prefer online shopping and Cyber Monday, these two days offer significant discounts and are definitely a valuable pit stop for a lot of shoppers.

 

7) Start early

 

Don’t wait a few days before Christmas to start your shopping. Starting early will give you enough time to wage prices and find the exact items you want without having to resort to last minute purchases.

 

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In Store Shopping vs Online Shopping

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While online shopping has seen a massive surge in the past few years, in store shopping still remains dominant in profits and a lot of people prefer to have a more hands on approach to their shopping.

Whatever your preferred method of shopping is, with the holiday season approaching, it’s good to get informed about the pros and cons of both.

 

Online Shopping

 

Pros:

It’s easy and convenient: You can do your shopping from the comfort of your home, you can compare prices between different stores, and find more deals faster.

It saves time: Going to the store requires you invest certain amount of time, you have to consider the working hours of the store, gas money, and your working hours.

It saves money: Even though it may seem you’ll be tempted to spend more money online because of the convenience, you might be surprised. Stores use different marketing techniques that are created to make you spend more money, like lightning, music, salespeople…

Cons:

Shipping prices: Depending on your location, shipping something can be far too costly to be worth buying, not to mention having to return the product if it doesn’t meet your requirements.

Can’t physically evaluate product: Sometimes looking at a picture is just not good enough. Even though you can find many reviews and information, it’s still better to actually see or test some of the items in person before buying.

Privacy issues: Online shopping requires you to share your private information with the store, giving them your email and then being spammed with their marketing. Also, if you’re using an insecure connection your data might get hacked or compromised.

 

In Store Shopping

 

Pros:

You can see and try the product before buying: This is especially relevant to items like clothes or furniture, but it’s generally better to see what you’re buying.

Salespeople: You have a real person you can talk to, get more detailed information or even try to haggle and get a better price. You get relevant first hand recommendation and advice.

No waiting: While online shopping is more convenient, you still have to wait for your item to get shipped. When you buy in store, you leave with your desired product immediately.

 

Cons:

You need to travel to the store: This can sometimes mean dense traffic, gas money and wasted time and nerves. With online shopping you never have to leave your home.

You end up spending more than you planned: Marketing techniques used by stores can sometimes make you buy stuff you haven’t even planned to. You see something, you want it but know you don’t need it, but you can’t help it. That’s the goal of their in store marketing.

Crowds: Sometimes going to the store can mean long lines and dense crowds especially when you’re shopping during the holidays and days like Black Friday.

 

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Biggest Shopping Days Of The Year

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If you’re an avid, conscious shopper that aims to find the best deals and save the most money, you might wonder when it’s best to do your shopping. Traditionally, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year, both by the amount of money spent, and the number of shoppers.

For years, Black Friday has been the biggest, most important shopping day of the year, but recently, its throne has been rocked. Known for its crazy discounts, doorbusters and sometimes not so friendly crowds, the importance of this day has been diluted in the past few years.

The main reason for it is the competition. In order to gain edge over competition, retailers are offering massive discounts earlier and earlier each year in the never-ending combat for customers. These days, you don’t need to wait for the Black Friday to get those juicy deals. Most retailers are offering them throughout the whole Thanksgiving week.

Not only that, but retailers are trying to offer lucrative deals all year long, reducing the importance the Black Friday once had. According to ShopperTrak, Black Friday sales saw a decrease of 12% compared to the previous year and the biggest shopping day this year is expected to fall on December 23rd.

Don’t count Black Friday out just yet though, it will still draws massive crowds and offers some pretty sweet deals that are hard to pass.

RetailNext did a research showing 10 most important shopping days of the year and here are the results

 

  • Friday, December 23
  • Super Saturday, December 17
  • Black Friday, November 25
  • Thursday, December 22
  • Wednesday, December 21
  • Sunday, December 18
  • Saturday, December 24
  • Saturday, December 10
  • Friday, December 16
  • Saturday, December 3

 

As expected, holiday season is the hottest time of the year to make those purchases you want and snag the items you’ve been eyeing over the year. But don’t rush, weight your options enjoy the attention and effort the retailers are investing to draw and please their potential customers.

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5 Holiday Shopping Tips

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With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us are starting to make plans on finding the best deals on all the fun stuff we want and save as much money as possible. However, for a lot of us, getting organized can be difficult and we end up spending way more money than we planned or buying items we don’t really need.

Here are some tips to follow in order to get the best possible shopping experience:

1) Making a list

 

List all the people you want to get presents for, name the potential present ideas and dedicate the approximate budged. This will help you stay organized and not waste time figuring what to buy on the spot and keeping track of your budget.

 

2) Early bird gets the worm

 

Most people wait for Thanksgiving to start their shopping, but many retailer’s put out great deals throughout the year. If you’re dead certain on the item you want to buy, looking for deals on it regularly can be a good idea as you may end up on a deal you can’t pass.

 

3) Do your research online

 

Nowadays, you can easily find great online deals. Not only that, but you can also compare prices from various retailers and find customer reviews. Reading the reviews can be a good idea because it’s a great way of making an informed purchase and not ending up with a low quality product. If you see that a lot of people tend to be happy with their purchase, that’s a great sign that the product you want to get is actually worth it.

When you decide on a product, be sure to compare the prices for major retailers before you jump the gun. Sometimes, being patient and dedicating time to research can be a great money saver for you.

 

4) Black Friday

 

We all know what it is, it’s the biggest shopping day of the year. If you feel brave enough, you can hit the stores and try to snag one of those doorbuster deals. Due to the amount of interest and profit it generates, a lot of retailers are deciding to offer deals earlier, even before Thanksgiving. So be on the prowl for the whole Thanksgiving week and you’ll be sure to find some pretty sweet deals.

 

5) Cyber Monday

 

If you prefer to do your shopping online, Cyber Monday is your day. Although you can find some great online deals on Black Friday, waiting for Cyber Monday is still the better option if you’re determined to do your shopping online. Cyber Monday gets bigger every year and is now the biggest online shopping day of the year

 

 

 

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How To Stay Safe While Shopping Online

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There are many benefits to online shopping. It’s fast, convenient, you can find the best deals and prices and you can do it all at your own comfort from your phone or PC. However, with all the benefits it offers, it’s still important to make sure you follow certain unwritten rules to avoid getting tricked and make sure your shopping goes as planned.

Here are some tips on what to do to stay safe while shopping online:

 

  1. Use a secure computer environment.

 

Use your own PC, your private network and Wi-Fi. Most places nowadays offer free and public access to the internet. While this may seem convenient, it’s best to avoid sharing your sensitive private information over such networks. If you really want to do some online shopping while you’re out or on the road, it’s recommended to use data provided by your own network provider.

 

  1. Be careful about the information you give out.

 

Usually you’ll be asked to give out certain information like the method of payment, email address, shipping address, phone number and that’s perfectly normal. However, if the seller requires additional information like your driver’s license number, social security number or your bank account information, walk away and look for another seller.

 

  1. Use a credit card over a debit one

 

The federal law protects credit card users from fraud and limits individual liability to $50. Another thing you can do is to designate a credit card solely for online purchasing. If the card gets compromised, you can shut it down more quickly and without affecting your other transactions.

 

  1. Check for https

 

On the page that requires you to enter your credit card number make sure it has https in the beginning and not just http. The “s” means the information is encrypted.

 

  1. Stay with trusted retailers

There are many places online where you can shop, but generally it’s better to stick with known brands like Amazon and EBay. These sites are extremely trusted and offer almost 100% chance your purchase will go exactly as planned and that you’ll get the product you bought.

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Reasons to Consider Online Shopping

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In recent years, the availability of fast internet, along with smartphones and social media, has made online shopping see a surge. Online stores became highly competitive, not only against online competition, but also traditional brick and mortar stores.

The ability to compare prices, look for deals from the comfort of your home and being able to read other customer reviews also made things easier and more compelling.

Most retailer’s offer no shipping charges and some of them do not pass on sales tax, which can add up to substantial savings.

There are many other advantages to shopping online:

  • You can do your shopping any time you please, the “doors” are open 24/7
  • You can shop in your pajamas and avoid crowded stores
  • You will save on gas
  • You won’t have to deal with aggressive salespeople
  • No hostile crowds or long lines
  • Customer reviews are easily accessible
  • If you’re looking for refurbished products, online shopping offers better deals
  • You can find coupons, gift cards and free shipping
  • Online stores can offer better prices because they save money on overhead

 

But to be fair, there are some disadvantages too:

  • You can’t physically see the product you’re buying
  • You can’t haggle
  • Back ordering issues
  • If a problem arises, you don’t have a person to talk to
  • Getting refunds is often easier locally
  • No seasonal tax free events

 

All things considered we’re living in the golden age of shopping. Many online stores offer numerous deals and the offer is bigger than ever. As a shopper, it’s good to have options and for those looking to save the maximum amount of money, it’s definitely worth checking out various places, both online and in the physical world.

 

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