The most competitive annual shopping bonanza – Black Friday – is just around the corner. As 25 November 2016 is fast approaching, the only things you can hear about are great deals, special sale hours, and so on. For bargain hunters, Black Friday is a huge lure. Thronging the stores to purchase gifts and other items at reduced prices is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Online shopping is the newest fad. More and more people want to shop at their convenience and yet get the best deal during the shopping fest. Get on this amazing bandwagon right away.
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Be aware when shopping online
Black Friday is followed by Cyber Monday and refers to the extent of deals available to online customers only. Discount rates and prices are usually kept a secret until the last moment, but you can expect to save a great deal on electrical and other important household items during this annual shopping bonanza. The spends are huge during this time and not to mention, cyber criminals are more active than ever. In such a case, you as a consumer should be aware of your rights and responsibilities.
People shopping online on Black Friday are easy targets for fraudsters. With a little bit of care and information about the kind of online frauds that a customer can get trapped in, you can make your shopping worthwhile without falling into the clutches of cyber criminals. You also need to plan your shopping way in advance if you want to get a good deal for the product of your choice. There are a lot of Android and iOS apps designed to make your Black Friday shopping easier. Find out all about the offers and coupons that you can redeem while shopping for your favourite products.
Check out these useful tips you should know when shopping online this Black Friday:
1) Beware of cyber criminals:
Where there’s money, there are criminals. Black Friday Sale is one of the biggest shopping sprees of the year. Companies make profits in billions during this time and therefore, groups of cyber criminals come up with all sorts of scams designed to cheat shoppers while they’re caught up in the sales hype. Watch out for the fake websites that offer lucrative deals. Websites are easy to create and can be made to look exactly like the official retailers. Once you make the payment online, you’ll end up receiving bad or damaged products or worse still, the product won’t arrive at all.
Always use your credit card to pay for the goods you buy. Credit cards offer consumers protection if something goes wrong with your purchase. You claim your money back if the goods are faulty.
2) Do your research in advance:
Don’t wait for Friday to find out about products and their prices. If you’re planning to buy a gadget, a piece of furniture, household goods or clothes and want a good deal for it, do your research carefully. Avoid getting caught in the frenzy of loud advertisements and read customer reviews to choose the right product. Use various internet shopping sites that allow you to compare product prices.
3) Browse only secure sites:
Avoid buying anything from the sites that don’t have ‘https’ at the start of their URL. The ‘s’ stands for secure and it is an indication that you’re browsing a safe site.
4) Don’t respond to ‘phishy’ emails:
Phishing messages are designed to appear from a trusted organisation like your bank or insurance company and sometimes from significant companies like Apple. They prompt users to reveal important personal details that can be used by fraudsters to get access to bank accounts, credit card details and more. During Black Friday Sale, they can trick you by sending you emails about winning cash prizes and other attractive offers. Don’t fall into these traps and never open links embedded in such messages.
5) Don’t shop on public wi-fi:
Using public wi-fi for shopping can be tempting. But they are highly vulnerable and it doesn’t take much for a fraudster to hack into the network and access your details. Cyber criminals also set up fake hotspots to lure the victims. If you’re shopping online, use your home wi-fi or your own 3G/4G connection to make a purchase.
6) Don’t pay attention to WhatsApp messages:
WhatsApp is a place where people share all kinds of fraudulent information without verifying the source. The attractive offers of gift cards and cash prizes are mostly scams. Delete such messages even if they come from your friends.
7) Check out apps and rewards:
Build a strategy of how much you want to spend on an item and whether you have any store reward points to redeem. Look for the apps that work well for you and check out the discounts that are on offer.
8) Think beyond the holidays:
While shopping on Black Friday, don’t just shop for the upcoming holidays. Think beyond and buy items that you may not get at a discounted rate later.
9) Beware of the ‘click and receive’ scam:
Emails that say ‘click and receive’ gifts or cash should be deleted immediately. Be suspicious of the emails that ask you to enter your details and claim to rearrange the delivery of your items. Nothing in this world comes free.
10) Don’t trust all Black Friday guides:
There are a lot of reliable resources to look up information about Black Friday. Avoid browsing fraudulent sites and use only reliable sites to get information about the deals.
In this era of loud advertising and competitive brands, it’s easy to get confused and fall into the preying clutches of cyber criminals. But with a conservative attitude and thorough preliminary research, you can make it a win-win situation for yourself.
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