Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the US. From offline retail giants to the biggest e-commerce stores, everyone joins in to offer a wide range of products at a discount during the sale. According to Wikipedia, Black Friday is widely rated as the busiest shopping day of the year in the US.
While Black Friday is little known in India, you can still make the most out of it. A lot of US-based online stores that offer deals during Black Friday ship internationally. It is a good time to grab a bunch of electronics at cheaper prices, but there are a lot of things you should be aware of. Not all the deals and offers are worth your time and money, and certainly not all of them make sense to buy from India.
To help you shop online for deals and offers during Black Friday 2018, we've prepared this simple guide that can answer some of your basic questions on Black Friday shopping from India. In case you still have questions, feel free to reach out to us using the comments section below or directly on Twitter and Facebook.
Black Friday Sales: What you need to know
What is Black Friday?
For most Indians, Black Friday has an entirely different meaning. But in the US, it is the day after Thanksgiving Day. It marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Most retailers, both online and offline, start offering deals and offers in the days leading up to Black Friday. Although some of the best deals run out rather quickly, some still spill over the weekend. Last year, shoppers spent a total of $58.3 billion during Black Friday sale in the US.
When is Black Friday 2018?
This year, Black Friday is on November 23.
Can I grab Black Friday deals while sitting in India?
Yes. Some of the biggest online retailers who offer Black Friday deals do ship internationally. However, in case someone doesn't, you can always use a third-party shipping service to get your package delivered in India. These services charge you for shipping and you'll have to pay whatever custom duties are charged at the port of entry in India.
Where to look for Black Friday deals while shopping from India?
As we mentioned earlier, some large online retail stores will directly ship products to India. But this doesn't include the entire inventory. Amazon US ships a big chunk of electronics internationally, including India. eBay is another option but you'll have to be slightly more careful while picking listings.
Newegg is another option but they only ship a limited set of products to India and the pricing isn't always on the sweeter side. It is worth mentioning here again that no matter what sites you pick, you'll have to consider you the international shipping and local import duties as well.
How to find the best deals during Black Friday 2018 sale?
If you're looking to buy during this week's Black Friday sales, you should start planning right away. Make a list of products you're interested in and keep a tab on the local prices. Then visit the online stores that ship to India and add those products on your online wish list. This makes it easier to track products and their prices once the sales go live.
On the day of the sale, and compare the offered prices with local prices. If the gap is considerable — be sure to factor in the international shipping and import duties — you can then decide if a deal is worth buying from India or not.
Black Friday sales are great for buying electronics which are either not available locally or are overpriced here. Just make sure you don't buy heavy products because the shipping will break your budget. As always, we'll be covering the sale extensively and will be bringing you the best Black Friday deals once they go live this weekend.
Should I buy smartphones from the US during Black Friday?
Buying smartphones from the US could be a bit tricky. For starters, most smartphone deals are bundled with carriers. That makes it useless if you're shopping from India. However, in the event that you're able to locate a massive deal on an unlocked phone, make sure you calculate shipping and import duties and compare it with the phone's local price in India before buying.
Black Friday 2018: How to ship products to India?
If you're shopping during Black Friday on an online store that doesn't ship to India, you'll need to use a third-party shipping service. Services like Shop and Ship and Viabox are both popular and reliable. Once you sign up, you'll be assigned your own physical address in multiple countries. You can use this while making your online purchase.
Once the product lands in your virtual account, they will be shipped to your local address in India. You will still need to pay for shipping (apart from the online store's shipping fee) and import duties. Both these services also offer calculators that help you determine estimated prices for shipping products to India.