QUEEN'S ROAD: If you are a bargain-hunter—and who isn't?—there can't be a better day than tomorrow to shop your heart out.
Sites in the US are offering huge discounts on a range of products for Black Friday, a day that marks the beginning of their holiday shopping season. Their Friday starts on our Friday evening, and here we are, giving you enough notice.
Many American sites, such as Amazon and eBay, deliver to India, but not everything on their catalogue is eligible for shipping.
If you have a relative out there, this is a good time to reconnect. Go on, mix business with pleasure.
Sites like PPObox (www.ppobox.com), Borderlinx (www.borderlinx.com), VPost (www.vpost.com) and My US (www.myus.com) step in if you have no kind soul in the US to receive your orders. These sites lend you an address for your products, and consolidate, repack, and ship them to your Indian address. But a word of caution: compare sites, read reviews, and then decide if it's worth the risk.
A week ahead of the 'blowout' day this year, many in Bengaluru have begun scanning for deals. Some buy and get their contacts in the US to bring the goodies down when they travel to India. Remember, you may have to pay customs on some products. The duties vary, depending on products. Visit www.dutycalculator.com to calculate the damages.
Among products shipped to India from sites such as Amazon, some call for expensive packing and shipping, and that takes the sweetness out of the deals. It makes sense to get them to deliver such products to a US address.
The smaller items come without much hassle. For example, you can shop for watches, much cheaper on US sites than at online and offline stores in India. But if you are scouting for bulkier stuff—like speakers and high-end amplifiers—you could end up paying almost as much as you would in India.
Sites specialise. New Egg (www.newegg.com) is a place for PC spares and Think Geek (www.thinkgeek.com) for electronic curiosities. Also check out Deal News (www.dealnews.com) and Deal Catcher (www.dealcatcher.com) for bargain alerts.
Black Friday comes a day after Thanksgiving Day. Soon after saying their thanks and carving turkeys for dinner, people in that country shop like crazy, lured by deals that last just a day. Cyber Monday follows after just two days, and that is when gizmo lovers have a field day. Black Friday offers clothes, shoes, toys, electronics, furniture and a wide range of goodies.
Some Indian sites like eBay (India) bring offshore deals to your doorstep. So without much ado, start shopping. And remember the deals last just a few hours. You could end up with fabulous stuff, or a load of useless stuff you grabbed just because it came so cheap. Either way, you can't go wrong on the price!