BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you hope to avoid long lines and large crowds on Black Friday or spend more time with your family during Thanksgiving, you can already find countless deals online ahead of the traditional shopping holiday.
One sure way to save big online is to make sure you are not being charged for shipping. Many retailers are already offering free shipping before Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
You don’t have to be an Amazon Prime member to get free shipping on a variety of items. The minimum purchase price for free shipping on millions of items was waived earlier this month. Prime members, however, will still get free two-day shipping but also have access to same-day delivery on more than three million items.
Target is offering free two-day shipping without a minimum order size. Best Buy offers free standard shipping without a minimum.
Walmart offers free two-day shipping on orders that cost $35 or more.
Some notable online deals for electronics include: 15-25 percent markdowns on certain TVs from Amazon, a 55-inch 4K Samsung TV from Walmart for $397 (marked down from $699) and $100 off Google Chromebooks.
You can also find deals from smaller, online retailers advertised on social media.
No matter where you look for your online deal, the Better Business Bureau Serving Central and South Alabama warns that you carefully vet websites you visit and protect your information.
“Always pay with a credit card,” Ande Kral, with the BBB, said. “That’s a lot more secure than giving someone your debit card information and it’s a lot easier to get back your money from a credit card transaction than it is a debit card.”
Kral also recommends shopping on websites that have “https” in the address bar instead of just “http” since the “s” means a website is secure.
If you’re shopping for fashion deals, several retailers have online options for you ahead of Black Friday.
Cole Haan offers 50 percent off hundreds of items, including boots, bags, “grand styles” and outerwear. Everything else is 30 percent off.
Amazon deals include 50 percent off its own clothing labels, up to 50 percent off select denim and 50 percent off Calvin Klein underwear.
Nordstrom offers up to 60 percent off select sale items.
If you’re shopping for appliances, there are several deals available now.
Home Depot offers up to 40 percent off with appliance special buys plus “instant” savings up to an extra $500 on appliances when you buy two ore more select major appliances worth $498 or more. Examples listed on the website include $60 off two appliances and $500 off 6 or more appliances.
At Lowe’s, you can get up to 40 percent off appliance special values (exclusions apply) and up to a $600 Lowe’s gift card via rebate when you buy two or more select major appliances worth $396 or more. Examples on the website are: two appliances for a $75 gift card and six or more appliances for a $600 gift card.
At Best Buy, you can save up to 40 percent on appliance top deals and two or more qualifying purchases of major appliances totaling $999 or more receive a $50 Best Buy gift card. The qualifying purchase of three or more appliances totaling $1499 or more will receive $150 in gift cards.
Most retailers have their pre-Black Friday and Black Friday offerings boldly advertised on their home pages. With all of the deals available online, the BBB wants consumers to be aware of a popular holiday shipping scam.
“You’re buying a lot of things and you’re ordering a lot of things, so you may accidentally click on a fake shipping email and what happens when you do that is if you click any of the links in that email, it could download malware onto your computer,” Kral said.
She recommends keeping your receipts and keeping track of what purchases you expect to be shipped to you.