Post-Thanksgiving Sales: How to Navigate Black Friday Online

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Before you blow the month's rent...

Hands of unreconisable woman holding credit card and typing on her laptop.If you have access to Instagram and/or the internet (which, if you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that you do) you will most likely be aware that Thursday commemorated Thanksgiving in the USA; a day, in essence, to give gratitude to all we are thankful for.

Although Thanksgiving is predominately a US-based holiday, it doesn’t mean the rest of the world can’t enjoy what it represents. A flood of interstate and international travel for family reunions, Olympic levels of overeating and drinking (pumpkin pie is grossly underrated), and (arguably) most importantly, the commencement of International Sale Season, otherwise known as Black Friday.

Traditionally, Black Friday referred to a period in the year when retailers began to see a profit, moving out of the “red” and in to the “black”, but has progressed over time to mark the biggest shopping day in the year, with major retailers opening in the early hours of the morning (some even overnight) offering all kinds of weird and wonderful promotional sales.

Black Friday has become such a global phenomenon, in fact, that online giant Amazon Marketplace launched its presence in Australia on Thursday at 2pm, so we can now partake in eBay-esque bidding for all the items on our wish list (at a fraction of the cost) alongside the rest of the world.

Since the introduction of its digital counterpart, Cyber Monday, there’s no longer a need to pack the fold-out chairs and thermos for an overnight stakeout to secure best shopping deals (or have to deal with the hordes of crowds aggressively fighting for that last size). The good news? These pretty little bargains are waiting safely for you online.

The bad news, however, is that without a plan, online shopping can be a terrifying experience. You open a browser to pick up an innocent three-pack of sensible white sport socks (you know, as motivation to make use of that idle gym membership) and two hours later you’re stuck in the deepest, darkest echelons of the internet (Net-a-Porter) wondering how you’ve actually survived life this far without a tartan, suede, tasselled bolero. Add a discount in to the mix and all traditional shopping rules go out the window. There’s nothing – and I mean nothing – as easy as justifying a purchase that’s on sale.

So, to save you from entering a dangerous online shopping vortex, we’ve compiled a guide to ensure you make the most out of your sale-time shopping experience, and avoid making any purchase related faux pas.

Is the cost justifiable?
The most important thing to ask your most rational self is: Can I actually afford it?

Estimate its cost-per-wear relative to its identity
Spending the bulk of your paycheck (or selling an organ) for a one-time-only cocktail dress versus an everyday “investment” bag are two completely different things. A helpful equation: expense of item, divided by proposed use of item. The lower the number, the better.

VERY IMPORTANT: Would you buy it full price?
Think hard. No? Close the browser.

Can you think of three existing items in your wardrobe you could pair it with?
Don’t buy something that’s only going to require additional purchases.

Is it something you’ve seen before/had your eye on for a while?
Is this a fresh something that’s popped into your periphery in the last 25 minutes? Or has it been tagged in your ever-growing wish list for months?

Is the “sale” actually a sale?
Don’t be fooled by a stingy 5 per cent off, or “free shipping” deal. You’re smarter than that!

If all else fails and you find yourself a proud new owner of a mohair bikini top, own it.

We would love to hear your thoughts