Black Friday deals today: How to be a smart online shopper

  • Siladitya Ray, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Nov 28, 2014 16:22 IST

It's the big date you just cannot afford to forget. And you don't have to be a hardcore shopaholic to feel that adrenaline rush. The annual shopping extravaganza, called Black Friday, is 28th November, and it promises some of the most outlandishly cheap deals the click of a mouse. Big screen TV’s for less than $300 (Rs 18,000), designer bags at 40% discounts, and SLR cameras at the price of cheap point-and-click ones are only a few examples.

But for Indian shopaholics here is one big issue though: These deals are mostly available only in the US. Therefore getting access to these deals means reliance on a relative residing there. But the advent of online shopping and global shipping services means you too now be part of this shopping madness.

Here are a few useful tips and hacks to help you get your hands on the best ‘Black Friday’ deals

1. Cyber Monday: While ‘Black Friday’ is the marquee shopping day when retail stores offer big discounts, don’t lose hope if you miss out. Some of the best deals of the week, especially on electronics, are available on ‘Cyber Monday’ (1st December). Most importantly ‘Cyber Monday’ deals are exclusive to online stores like Amazon and eBay which makes it’s easier to order.

2. Global Shipping: Try to make your purchases from site that offer shipping to India. Sites such as Amazon US, eBay and Newegg ship most of their goods to India and will be upfront with the cost of shipping and customs before you check out. This ensures some degree of safeguard against loss or steep customs on arrival.

3. Package forwarding services: Now try as hard as you might, many items on sale simply won’t offer worldwide shipping. But there is a work around for this: Try package forwarding services who get the product delivered to their local warehouse and then ship it on their own to customers abroad. Mind you, these services are not free and require you to provide ID and other documents. You can choose services offered by banks like MyUS(HDFC), Borderlinx (Citibank), Global eShop(ICICI) or use third party services like ShopNShip and Viabox.

4. Shipping and customs: Always take shipping and customs into account before you make the purchase. In some cases it will be cheaper to buy locally than order from the US if shipping and customs are steep. The best way to deal with this is to pick a shipping service that’ll charge for customs up front and will clear it from customs if need be.

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