If there’s one thing for sure about Black Friday, it’s that Black Friday is a day of retail madness. Even if you’re shopping exclusively online this season, it can be very easy to get swept away in the excitement of deals being thrown at you left and right. Every business will be offering savings, but it’s important to keep your cool and do your homework if you’re planning on dropping a big chunk of change this Black Friday. There are many online companies in the same industry that compete with one another, offering similar products and similar savings. Choosing a company for your big purchases all boils down to trust. A trustworthy company is marked by a favorable reputation–when flashing your plastic for Black Friday, it’s best to be safe and shop at a well established business. How do you determine what constitutes a reliable store in terms of quality products and service? Ask yourself the questions listed below.
Shop at Reliable Online Retailers This Black Friday
1. Is Customer Feedback Generally Positive?
The easiest way to determine the reliability of an online company is to go by reviews. Does the company you’re thinking about buying from have an Amazon or Ebay page? Check their average ratings and scan the customer reviews for personal accounts of how the company was pleasant or horrendous to buy from. Of course, many people tend to leave reviews only if they had a particularly bad experience, and one or two bad reviews does not necessarily indicate the average customer’s shopping experience. Remember: you’re the one giving your hard-earned money to their business, so you should be fully satisfied with everything about your shopping experience because you can always take your business elsewhere! If you’re looking for table linens this Black Friday, check out Wedding Wire to view for company ratings before you place a large order.
2. Do the Savings Match the Ads?
Some online companies will do anything they can to psych customers up into buying from their website. It’s important to review the figures very carefully before clicking that final “confirm purchase” button. As wrong as it is, online stores sometimes follow the poor business practices of baiting customers with promises of lofty sale percentages they can’t follow through with. It can be very easy to jump the gun and trust that the company’s advertisements were accurate without double checking your total order price matches their unbelievably generous sale price. If a company fails to follow through with their promises, don’t be duped–just head on over to the next online store offering similar products with similar savings.
3. How Much Do I Have to Pay for Shipping?
Many companies will advertise their great deals for 40% off or higher, but these savings may be useless compared to the price you’ll have to pay for shipping. Before Black Friday, try taking a practice run on the sites you plan to buy from with a fake order, and figure out how much shipping will run up your total. Ideally, you should look for companies that offer free shipping if your cart exceeds a certain value, or perhaps free shipping all together if you do not plan to spend much on the site.
4. Do They Offer Real-Time Customer Service?
Everybody knows Black Friday is a time of unadulterated chaos. That’s exactly why it’s so important to shop from companies that offer customer service in real-time. The same way brick-and-mortar retail stores can be busy with hustle and bustle of frenzied shoppers, an internet site can be slowed down by heavy traffic as well. When server speeds grind to a halt, it’s important to know there is a team of real people behind the scenes who will resolve your shopping issues–it’s a scary feeling to know your money is suspended in cyberspace somewhere between the checkout and order confirmation pages. Ideally, your online retailer should provide you with both chat and phone support. If a company provides you with nothing but an email address for customer support, it could be days before they respond to your query.
Credits: Customer satisfaction graph by shopseen || Customer feedback snapshot of poor review (NOT LinenTablecloth) found on Wedding Wire || Customer service team found on datel-group || Featured image found on LinenTablecloth’s page on Wedding Wire