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Black Friday is a game. Imagine that you’re Mario, the sites offering specials are Princess Peach, and everything between you and the checkout is the level. Sometimes, these levels are pretty unfair, and laced with design issues. But there are ways to improve your chances of winning the game.
Here are just a few.
Log in to your favourite sites beforehand
Once the crush begins and servers start melting, ensuring that you’re logged in well before enhances your chances of successfully purchasing items. Last year, attempting to log in to any sites after 12am was impossible. Don’t make that same mistake this year.
Open them multiple tabs and leave the tabs open
It’s good practice to do this with every site you intend to visit too. Leave each site open in a pinned tab in your browser window. Once they’re loaded and open, this will also ensure that you don’t put unneeded strain on servers by constantly closing tabs and reloading the pages closer to the time. This will also ensure that you don’t forget to visit any site during the midnight rush.
Use multiple screens or devices
Black Friday is manageable using one device and one screen, but practice better multitasking by using multiple screens or multiple devices. In terms of mobile phones, this strategy may help as apps can often still function even if web sites suffer downtime.
Check your email inbox beforehand
Retailers will flood your inbox before Friday, so ensure you’ve had a look at what each store is offering and when their respective sales begin. Often retailers will give newsletter subscribers more insight into deals too, so take full advantage.
Ensure you have backup internet
You can’t do much if Eskom pulls the plug Friday night, but you can definitely prevent your internet service provider from ruining your day. Redundancy is key, and while your fibre line may be super fast, having a failsafe internet connection on standby will really help if issues should arise.
Know the normal price of products
Retailers will often quote the recommended retail price or original retail price of a product when quoting specials, skewing the discount percentage. Know which devices you want, and make yourself familiar with their normal retail price by visiting multiple stores and checking their price beforehand. This will ensure you don’t pick up a product that’s actually not much cheaper at all.
Double check your shipping address
If you haven’t used a service in ages, double check your saved shipping addresses. Having your special item delivered to your old place of employment because you’ve moved offices is beyond frustrating, especially as delivery teams are stressed and time periods are tight during the Black Friday weekend too.
Sleep well before 12am, or don’t sleep at all
You’ll want to ensure you’re alert before 12am Friday, so take a cat nap well beforehand, leaving yourself with plenty of time for setup, or don’t snooze at all. Often, the majority of the good deals are snapped up within the first hour of sales, and that’s if the servers survive.
Hunt in packs, not alone
Don’t do Black Friday alone — in stores or online. Make a day (or very early morning) of it with the family. Give each member of the shopping pack a particular store or item to monitor. Spreading the load ensures you miss less, and will better your chances of snapping up the products you’re really looking out for.
Ensure your digital wallets are full
If you use digital wallets like PayFast or PayU, ensure that you have funds in your account before shopping. As with retailers, services can buckle under increased load and traffic, and having a balance in your account will ensure you can skip those cumbersome, time-wasting EFTs.
Keep Twitter open as you shop
If an online retailer’s having service issues, you’re more likely to hear about it first on Twitter than anywhere else. Be sure to make a list of your favourite retailers, and keep abreast of service statuses and user reports on the social network.
Remember, there’s always Cyber Monday
Regardless of what you do, there’s a chance all may fall apart on Black Friday morning. But if you can’t find or snap up the product you’ve been hoping for, don’t worry. Cyber Monday is after pay day too, which means you’ll have more than enough cash to splurge on a host of other deals.
Heed our advice and conquer Black Friday 2018. Happy hunting.
Feature image: Bruce Mars via Pexels