6 Black Friday online shopping tips

Black Friday originated in the US and is the Friday after Thanksgiving when retailers sell their goods at big discounts.

When purchasing items online on Black Friday and Cyber Monday in South Africa, planning in advance and researching potential hidden costs, is crucial.

Do your research on the retailer

Many online retailers are well-known brands, but it is important to make sure that a lesser known company is legitimate and that it has a good reputation. If offers are too good to be true – they probably are. Reputation checks can be done online by checking comments and ratings from previous shoppers on the site itself or on consumer review sites.

Check that you’re on a safe and secure site


Before entering your credit card details online, make sure that you’re on a secure site – look out for the small padlock symbol in the address bar (or elsewhere in your browser window) and a web address beginning with ‘https://’ – the s stands for ‘secure’.

Avoid making online purchases in public places as using Wi-Fi doesn’t guarantee that the network is secure.

Get online early and keep an eye on social media

Start checking out the deals in advance as many offers will be running from the week before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Keep an eye on your favourite retailers’ social media pages for follower/subscriber specials and sign up for email alerts.

Check out billing, guarantees and delivery before you pay


Look out for any additional costs such as for packaging, delivery, returning items and guarantee or warranty information before paying for your purchases.

Keep track of your bank statements


Check your statements regularly for any unverified transactions, as well as to ensure that no fraudulent charges are happening on your accounts.

Use two-factor authentication methods

In the sphere of online shopping and banking, the OTP (one-time PIN) is your friend. This is what is called two-factor authentication – when you need another mode of verification (other than your password) to authorise a transaction. You will usually receive an OTP as an SMS on your cellphone.

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