TAMPA, Fla. — Black Friday and buying gifts this holiday season is happening online more than it has in the past because of COVID-19.
The day after Thanksgiving, best known for long lines and in-store deals, is changing too. To avoid having too many people crowded into stores, a lot of big box retailers that traditionally offer deals have shifted their approach this year. They've been offering deals starting in November, rolling out new sales each week.
You can save a lot of money by knowing how to use the sales and online coupons together while staying safe at home.
"If you're a savvy shopper or you need to be a savvier shopper this year, it's a great time to be someone looking for sales," said Andrew Gretchko, the Vice President of Communications at Coupon Cabin.
He says there are so many ways to save money and it's easy to "stack". You can combine store sales, promo codes, deal aggregators like Coupon Cabin, Honey or Rakuten and then a cashback credit card together. Gretchko used a FitBit Versa 2 as an example.
A FitBit Versa 2 normally retails for $180.
- At Kohl's, they're offering it for $129.99
- You can get Kohl's Cash to use on a later purchase, $30 in this case
- If you use Coupon Cabin, you'll get 3 percent cashback
- You can also use a cashback credit card on your purchase
So after all is said and done, you've saved at least $83 off the original price of the watch.
It's important to shop safely this year as well, as more thieves are trying to use increased online shopping to their advantage. The United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency gave these tips for safe online shopping:
Only do business with reputable vendors. Check website URLs to make sure everything is spelled correctly and there's no malware on the site. Also, look for legitimate contact information.
Make sure your information is being encrypted. Many sites use secure sockets layer to encrypt information. Look for URLs that begin with "https:" instead of "http:" and a padlock icon. If the padlock is closed, the information is encrypted. The location of the icon varies by browser; for example, it may be to the right of the address bar or at the bottom of the window. Some attackers try to trick users by adding a fake padlock icon, so make sure that the icon is in the appropriate location for your browser.
Be wary of emails requesting information. Attackers may try and get information from you by sending an email and asking you to confirm account information. Never click links sent to you in an email. Directly log into the website yourself by typing in the website.
Use a credit card. Debit cards draw money directly from bank accounts. Using a credit card limits the amount of damage an attacker can do if they get your information.
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