Black Friday frenzyMillions of shoppers in America will be out in full force on Nov 23, the sales event of the year knownas Black Friday. Savvy Singaporeans too can cash in on goods offered at deep discounts by goingonline in the comfort of home. By Tay Suan Chiang As the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend is the busiest shopping weekend of the year andmarks the start of the year-end shopping season in the us, there are bargains across categories, andthere is something for just about anyone.- Klas Hesselman, PayPals head of marketing, South-east Asia and IndiaWITH less than a week to go, stores across the United States are prepping themselves for the mosteagerly awaited sales event of the year, Black Friday, when millions of people will be out in force forsome serious shopping.Black Friday is so named because that is when many stores become profitable. It is always on the Fridayimmediately after Thanksgiving, and this year it falls on Nov 23.While shoppers in America are known to camp outside their favourite stores, savvy Singaporeans cancash in on Black Friday sales from the comfort of their home. Plus, there is no need to wait in line orjostle with the crowds."Singaporean shoppers can look out for deep discounts of up to 80 to 90 per cent by major US retailersduring the Black Friday weekend," says Klas Hesselman, PayPals head of marketing, South-east Asia andIndia.Popular items Singaporeans bought during last years Black Friday sales include the Amazon Kindle,Apple iPad and iPod Nano, and Ralph Lauren apparel.Websites such as eBay give shoppers access to thousands of US retailers, many of whom do not have apresence here. Some stores ship to Singapore, but for those that dont, consolidate all your shoppingfrom various merchants to one US shipping address provided by an online concierge, such asHopShopGo or Boderlinx or VPost.Dont fret if you miss out on Black Friday sales. There is also Cyber Monday, the Monday after BlackFriday, where prices are expected to be slashed further online.
"As the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend is the busiest shopping weekend of the year and marks thestart of the year-end shopping season in the US, there are bargains across categories, and there issomething for just about anyone," says Mr Hesselman.He says popular shopping categories this year include clothes, jewellery, gadgets and home accessories.ShopbopSavings on good deals can be dampened by high shipping costs, but not at this site, where shipping toSingapore is free. Purchases arrive no later than three weeks, another reason why Shopbop has becomea popular site for local shoppers.The online retailer offers over 100 brands to choose from. A selection of the items, from shoes, clothes,swimwear and accessories are going at a 70 per cent discount. A Thakoon draped jumpsuit is going atUS$277.50, down from US$925.www.shopbop.comNordstromIt is easy to fill a new wardrobe for everyone in the family with everything from Nordstorm. Apart frommen and women sections, the apparel selection is split into kids and juniors too, which makes findingthe right items a breeze. The site also has a bed and bath section, and one for holiday decor.For the best deals, head to the Nordstrom Rack section, where there are bigger discounts, at least 50per cent, such as a Dalia MacPhee ruffled chiffon cocktail dress for $131.38, down from $339.05.Shipping takes two weeks, which means items will arrive in time for the year-end party season.www.nordstrom.comMacysThe department stores online site has made it easy for first-time online shoppers with its Black Fridaypreview sales, so start browsing now rather than later. Its online sale will start on Nov 24, US time. Thesite also has a virtual shopping list. Shoppers can add items now and come back later in the week topurchase them.Some deals are available only online, such as a BCBG Max Azria clutch that is nearly 50 per cent off at$59.99.www.macys.comAmazon.comThe go-to site for deals for nearly everything under the sky, Amazon sweetens Black Friday sales byoffering them from Monday. Kiasu shoppers need not wait till Nov 23 to shop.Smart shoppers know to sign up with the retailer to receive daily e-mail updates on available deals. Wereceived in our inbox a deal for Alien Anthology on Blu-ray that is 64 per cent off at US$25.With a wide range of goods available, from clothing and books to electronics and toys, its possible tospend the whole day here, so it pays to start browsing early.The deals dont end on Cyber Monday. Amazon is holding a Cyber Monday Deals week from Nov 26.www.amazon.com
Overstock.com This online retailer has begun offering pre-Black Friday deals. There are big items such as leather beds that are going at $620, but keep an eye on smaller items such as a Laura Ashley eight-piece, cotton sateen, 230-thread count bedding set for $225.50. Another good deal is Miss Sixty Womens Faux-fur Hooded Parka for $153, which is likely to cost twice as much in the shops. It is still early, so you can expect more deals to come as Black Friday approaches. www.overstock.com Home Decorators Collection If the home accessories at the local stores dont excite you, then check out this online retailer. It offers a wide variety of items from furniture to lights and storage options. They also have a selection from Martha Stewart Living, which is not available in Singapore. Whats worth checking out is the clearance section, where some rugs are going at a 50 per cent discount. We spotted a wool rug for US$187.99 (S$230), down from US$549 (S$672). www.homedecorators.com Kohls This is another big chain department store which sees queues during Black Friday sales. Its wide inventory means it takes time to sift through what is available online, so the best way is to head to the clearance tab, which shows items marked down 60 to 80 per cent. Check out the Vera Wang reversible floral quilted bedspread pieces. A pillow costs US$15.99, down sharply from US$79.99, while the quilted bedspread which originally cost nearly US$260 is now just US$51.99. www.kohls.com email@example.com ONLINE SHOPPING TIPS Comparison shop: Compare prices online before you make purchases. PriceGrabber (www.pricegrabber.com) lets users compare prices across the different merchants. Beware of shipping costs: You may get a great deal on an item but if shipping charges are high then you lose out. Make sure to check shipping rates before you buy. Some sites offer free shipping if you spend a certain amount. Know return policies: Many merchants alter their return policies for holiday purchases, prohibit returns or only allow exchanges. Be aware of a merchants policies before you buy. Keep receipts for online purchases and credit card statements in case you need to make a return. Never enter your credit card information on a websites checkout page if the URL doesnt have an s after http. An https at the beginning of the link means it is a secure site.