Here are a few tips from Loot to ensure that you have the best possible online shopping experience on Black Friday. Photo: Nokuthula Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

DURBAN – Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving Day where retailers dramatically drop their prices on a host of different items, causing downright chaos. 

In the past three years or so, South African retailers, both physical and online, have taken on the beast that is Black Friday. 

One way to avoid the large crowds and long queues is to do all of your shopping online, from the comfort of your own home or even your favourite coffee shop. 

Here are a few tips from Loot to ensure that you have the best possible online shopping experience on Black Friday.

Set up accounts and payment methods in advance

Make a list of all the online retailers you might be likely to shop with and sign up for customer accounts as soon as you can. In addition to this, set up your credit card (if that's how you'll be paying) details so that you are able to make a swift checkout once you have what you want in your cart. 

Make use of a credit card for payment

There are a range of different payment methods for customers to utitlise including eBucks, and InstantEFT. However, for the best possible experience, a credit card is probably your best bet. It's fast, it's easy and it's quite safe since reputable sites abide by 3D Secure Verification when processing the transaction.

Create a custom wishlist

Having a wishlist of things that you want or might possibly want is an important way to prepare. Add the things you want to your wishlist so they can be easily added to your cart in order to have the best chance of securing the items you desire. Creating a custom wishlist specifically for Black Friday is helpful and, Raru and Takealot and Amazon all have this neat little feature.

Bookmark your preferred sites

Bookmark the sites where you are looking to shop. Once you've bookmarked your desired sites, you're able to click once to open up the site. Plus if one site goes down, you can swiftly move onto the next one.

Opt in for newsletters and mailers

Online retailers will be sending out focused mailers regarding Black Friday and you are definitely going to want to be receiving those. It'll usually have info on what exactly is discounted and if a store is doing waves of Black Friday deals.

Stay up

Staying up until midnight to be the early bird is beneficial. Getting your shopping done before anyone else has woken up on the day is a good way to avoid disappointment. Just a hint, the sweet spot for low site traffic seems to be between 2:00 and 04:30.

Set a budget

This is something everyone should do, be it for online shopping or when going to a physical store. Know how much you have to spend and try to not exceed that. Crunch the numbers and come to a total of just how much money you're willing to part with and stick to that.