Black Friday brings together Americans of all kinds. It comes off the back of Thanksgiving and, in true holiday spirit, everyone rejoices, looking to capitalize on often poorly discounted goods. While it’s expanded across other nations, the longstanding tradition is a unique shopping experience in the US to say the least. I think we’ve all seen the videos.
Thousands of frantic and focused men and women arrive en masse to climb the greasy pole for the best bargains; scratching and clawing and sometimes even shooting their way to the top (which is usually some model of TV).
Arriving just after the weekend is Cyber Monday, the kind of relaxed, more rational cousin of Black Friday. Websites like Amazon and pretty much all retailers with an online presence will offer deals on their website. It’s the ideal choice for those looking to avoid the rush, as well as those stuck behind a computer through the week; whether it’s for Uni or work or whatever.
Let’s be honest here, the deals aren’t often great. But if you’re looking to buy something anyway, or it’s just something you might need in the future, then it makes sense. You should capitalize on the chance to get something cheaper; just do your research. Sometimes prices are hardly reduced, but there are plenty of comparison sites to use around the time to avoid this. It’s also worth noting that most places will run sales on their websites on Black Friday, too, they just often differ from those in-store. Oh, and you should also check how Black Friday is done in Japan.
Differences Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday (other than the glaringly obvious)
Black Friday first started in the 1960s and its name comes with several meanings. Other than to denote the insane queues and hustle across stores, it’s also to point out the chance for the retailers to bring their finances from the ‘red’ to the ‘black’. Cyber Monday is a new tradition. It’s only been around since 2005, and discounts on this day can only be found online. It’s a clever way for companies to divert some of the mania from Black Friday, and to encourage shoppers to spend money online.
Countries like the UK and Germany and Canada have adopted these traditions, and they’ve been molded to suit their respective cultures. But it’s rare to see retailers outside the US offer the same level of competition or an equal level of discounted products. It’s why some people even fly to the States to take advantage of the holiday; and why many shops via American sites to potentially save even more.
With the advances of online shopping, online sales during these holidays are beginning to surpass those made in-store. This is great news for smaller retailers because it gives them the chance to turn a greater revenue. It’s also great for us consumers because it means we can take our time shopping without looking over our shoulders.
If you’re planning on spending this year, then be sure to check comparison sites in the weeks leading up. There are certain browser extensions such as Invisible Hand and Honey that will notify you when the item you want to purchase can be found for a lower price.
But for those based outside the US, a VPN is the best way to access the discounts offered exclusively to those in the region. Virtual Private Networks come with many benefits – they keep businesses and personal users safe, but they also allow for ‘geo-spoofing’. Geo-spoofing fools your computer into thinking you’re based in the country of the server you’ve connected to. So, connecting to a server in the States will make your computer think you’re in the States, for example. And with all the added security benefits, it will keep your online transactions secure. But as mentioned before, it isn’t just the US that runs Black Friday and Cyber Monday anymore. This opens you up to all ranges of discounted goods, granted that the chosen retailer can offer international shipping.
No matter what you shop for on the internet, it always pays to be safe while doing so. And even if you’re not looking to make any essential purchases over the weekend, you should still consider installing a VPN for the level of protection and access that they come with.
When it comes to the VPN’s performance, you need to be careful. Not all providers on the market offer the same—or even the most rudimentary—features. Some are better for streaming, others focus on protection. Some providers only want your money, or to sell your data to third-parties for a profit. Make sure that you choose one that has a large number of servers, speedy connections and the highest level of encryption. Additionally, it’s an advantage if the VPN offers some of the following features: a free trial or a money-back policy, strong security protocols and encryptions, leak protection, split-tunneling, and a kill-switch. You can compare and choose the best VPN for your needs here.