Black Friday is undoubtedly the shopper’s event of the season.  Previous years have seen huge sale events, and much of the Christmas shopping completed on this one day- which was officially the 27th of November.  Some retailers claim it is their single biggest day of sales in the year! 

There has been nothing normal about 2020, and so it is no surprise that I lot of the Christmas retailing has already started. Given that we will be under lock down still, when Black Friday comes the usual in-store rush will not exist.  For many shoppers this will see a dramatic change in their habits- forgoing huge cues instore, for arguably more comfort, browsing online from their homes.  

WE’VE COMPILED SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER FOR ONLINE SHOPPING THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON:

  1. Keep a List and stick to it-

                I can be easy when you do not physically have the items in front of you in a trolley, to overspend.  I do some brainstorming ahead of even looking at the shops.  Making a list of people to buy for, amount to spend and items that you would like to buy.  This can help establish a budget for the season (which I know can easily spiral out of control)!

2. Do your research-

                This does not have to be onerous or all at once. Once you have an idea for a gift for someone, compare the retailers offers and details to make the most informed decision. Without walking between many shops and comparing similar items, this can be done a lot more easily from home, with a few tabs open for different retailers on the computer. And where at all possible, please shop from Irish companies.

3. Check online security-

                I honestly was nearly caught last year! I was looking at a popular boot brand for months, which I adored.  On facebook an advertisement came up, advertising a ridiculously good sale on this brand! About 80% off! I followed the link to the site and it looked very realistic.  Professional product photos, well laid out, even went so far as to have very thorough terms of sale and return conditions; but the URL looked a little ‘off’. So before putting in my card number I thought I’d call the Irish brands head office, to check the sale was legit. It wasn’t… The representative said that someone had set up a site, stealing their pics and taking orders for stock that did not exist.  It was an offshore site and they were working on trying to get it shut down.  But in the interim of the few days it was live, many people had been caught.  So if it looks too good, it probably is.  I always like to check the location of the head office, read the section ‘about’ of the website, look where items are shipping from, check google reviews and possibly their social media to ensure it is a legitimate store. You are much safer shopping with business’ that are based in Ireland, for your own civil rights.  It is very hard to dispute problems with overseas business’ if they’re not intending to do the right thing by you.

4. Shipping-

                Even though the site might have .ie, it does not mean the item is based in Ireland or shipping from Ireland.  Shipping can increase your sale amount, so it is best to check shipping terms and prices ahead of spending ages shopping a site; only to see that the shipping cost would not warrant the purchase.  Many sites offer flat-rate shipping- so the same price for shipping no matter how many items are shipped.  Or free shipping over a certain amount spent.  It’s best to be organized and make the most of those shipping rates, by completely one sale with the company.  Having a list of your intended purchases can help with this.

5. Return dates-

                Given the extended period of the Christmas retail season and to avoid crowds, many retailers are extending their return windows.  This way you can shop confidently now, knowing that if the size of style needs changing, it can be done after Christmas. You may like to check this if you are starting your purchases already.

In line with my last blog I encourage you to please shop Irish Brands, shops, and companies this Christmas.  On average many retailers experience 30% of their years’ worth of sales in November and December. If we can keep the Christmas spend within Ireland, we will go a long way to ensuring a stable economy and jobs post-covid. Let’s make it a GREEN FRIDAY, this black Friday.

January 29, 2021 — Roisin Padayachee