So you’re looking to find great deals, but you don’t know if you can stand the stress of shopping in stores on the busiest day of the year?
Here are nine reasons to opt for shopping online this Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
1. You Can Skip the Crowds
Everyone knows what Black Friday can look like: As soon as doors open, throngs of shoppers burst through to grab limited supplies of low-priced items. It’s not uncommon for fights to break out over discounted towels, and even more violent incidents have been known to occur.
This year, you can stay far away from the masses by sticking to your computer, where you can access the best deals with the peace and quiet of your own home.
2. It’s Way Faster
By shopping online, you can save a significant amount of time. You don’t have to leave the house, and you can skip the hassle of waiting for doors to open, standing in line at the cash register and running from one store to the next.
Online shopping lets you hop right to the store by merely starting up your computer, and you can even browse multiple stores at the same time with only a click of the mouse. You don’t even have to waste time putting on shoes or a jacket!
And best of all, online stores have search boxes. No need to walk through aisles of irrelevant merchandise – by searching for what you need electronically, you can find products quickly and painlessly.
3. It’s Easier to Compare Prices
With your computer at your fingertips, you can check the prices offered at other stores, both online and brick-and-mortar. Of course, if you have a smartphone, you can look at ads in the store, too — but no phone offers the flexibility of pulling up dozens of windows side by side. And it’s especially difficult to juggle your phone when you’re in the midst of throngs of shoppers.
4. You’re Less Likely to Get Your Pocket Picked
Black Friday attracts crowds, and along with those crowds come thieves. Focused on getting your hands on the best deals, you may fail to notice a quick reach into your bag or pocket until you get to the cash register and realize you can’t find your wallet. That’s a hassle no one needs.
By choosing to shop online, you can keep a closer eye on your money. Make sure that sites you shop at are secure, and you’re unlikely to have your information stolen. And in the rare case that your credit card is hacked, it’s much easier to reverse those charges electronically than if your physical wallet has been stolen along with all your IDs and other cards.
5. No Unnecessary Driving
By staying in the comfort of your own home, you’ll save money on gas and avoid the worst traffic jams. You’ll also stay safer – with masses of sleep-deprived drivers on the road, accidents are rife. Keep your family and vehicle in one piece by choosing the information superhighway instead.
6. No Carrying Bags or Boxes
Last year, a man in Las Vegas was unloading his new smart TV from his car when he was attacked by a man looking to steal the television. During the ensuing struggle, the shopper was shot in the leg.
Even if you don’t anticipate any street fights over your purchases, by ordering online you’ll enjoy the ease of having them delivered to your house. No need to lug heavy items to your car or borrow a friend’s truck to pick up large items.
And keep an eye out for free shipping offers, which are often advertised during promotional periods like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
7. More and More Places to Shop
Cyber Monday, intended to be the online equivalent of Black Friday, debuted in 2005. Not even a decade has passed since then, and you can find hundreds of e-commerce retailers participating in the shopping holiday. Some online sales stick to Cyber Monday, which falls three days after Black Friday, and others even precede the standard shopping day by kicking off on Thanksgiving or even earlier.
8. Web-Only Sellers and Deals
Amazon in particular was home to some of the lowest prices of the season last year, offers you couldn’t get your hands on at any brick-and-mortar location, no matter how far you drove. For example, the Seiki 32-inch LED HDTV sold for just under $100, compared with its retail price of over $200. At brick-and-mortar competitors like Kmart, the same item cost $169.
In other cases, stores that have both brick-and-mortar locations may limit some of their deals to online shoppers. For example, last year AT&T offered some of its best bargains exclusively on its website, including extra-low prices on Apple iPhones. Shoppers at Walmart, a major player in Black Friday sales, could find some items available only on its website.
9. You Might Make Better Purchases
In-store shoppers who drive or wait in line for hours to grab a doorbuster often miss out on the items they planned to buy, and having invested all that time and money in getting to the store, they might feel compelled to buy other items just to compensate.
Online shoppers, on the other hand, have no need to spend more time than necessary in a store that doesn’t have what they need. You’re not wasting time or gasoline by browsing an online store, and so you can stay focused on the items you need. Without the pressure of shoppers scrambling around you, you’re much less likely to make purchases you’ll regret later. Furthermore, you probably won’t buy a product with terrible reviews, since all the ratings and reviews will be right in front of you.
Written by Melinda Szell
Shop Online Image via Shutterstock.