5 Black Friday Online Shopping Secrets

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

If you are thinking about shopping for Black Friday deals, you might be able to skip the crowds and get those rockin' deals online! We have seen two major shifts in Black Friday shopping over the last couple of years, the first is that the deals are starting earlier and earlier every single year. The second, more and more deals are available online and yes, that means some of those HOT doorbusters are available as well.

{5 ONLINE Black Friday Shopping Secrets}

1. Check the Leaked Ads First: Most Black Friday ads have already been released, be sure to check out our 2012 Black Friday page for all of those HOT deals so you can plan your strategy. We can't ever guarantee that every single item will be available but I can tell you that many, many will be available. Also, most deals online begin earlier than the times listed on the ad OR they begin at the exact same time.

2. Save Your Info & Get Ready:  A day or two before the big day, head to the websites you plan on shopping from and make sure you create an account. Save all of your info and if available, load the items into your cart and save them all. Then, when the deals go live, all you have to do is log on and checkout then BAM you are done. If you take too long or if you are not prepared, the website could crash and your chances of getting that HOT deal are gone. Another benefit to saving your cart is that if the website does crash but the store sees that you had the items loaded before the crash, they may let you purchase them later.

This was the case for me at Sears.com a couple of years ago, the site crashed but my cart was already loaded. So, the next day I got an e-mail saying that I could still purchase what was in my cart at the low Black Friday price.

3. Gather Your Coupons: What I love about online shopping is that you can add coupon codes to your low Black Friday price if available. Visit our site or sites like RetailMeNot.com and search for coupon codes that will make those deals even better. You can also call their customer service line and ask if any promotional codes are available. Black Friday prices  + coupons = a GREAT deal.

4. Earn CASH: Want to know my favorite tip? Here it is, earn cash back while you shop online. If you sign up for a FREE account through Ebates.com, you can simply shop your favorite stores right from the Ebates.com website, you can then add a coupon code and checkout all the while, earning real CASH back on each purchase. Yep, it's legit and yep, it works. You'll receive a check in a few weeks with the cash you earn, you can't get that in-store!

5. Know Your Prices First: Ok, this probably should have been tip #1. But, Black Friday marketing is HUGE and major amounts of money is spent on making you feel like you are getting the best deal on the planet. But, are you really? The only way to find that out is to check websites such as PriceGrabber.com or Google.com/Products. Research the items you are buying and make sure you are getting the best deal before you buy. The best time of the year to buy a laptop is in August during back to school season and the best time to buy a TV is actually during Super Bowl season. Again, research before you buy.

For me personally, I'm all about Kohls.com and Amazon.com on Black Friday. The Kohls deals will start early this year, on Wednesday and you can earn $15 in Kohls Cash for ever $50 you spend. As for Amazon.com, the deals have already begun!

If you plan on hitting the stores in person, go ahead and check online before you go out and see if the deals are live. You might save yourself a trip, at the same time, if you just like to get out and shop with the fam-go for it!