Seven reasons to shop online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Historically, Black Friday has been the day with the annual best deals. That might still be true, but you may not have to physically go to the store to cash in on those deals. Skip the madness and shop online.

Fred Greaves/Reuters/File
Monica Galvan secures customers' orders with bubble wrap before they are shipped at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Tracy, California, November 29, 2015. Amazon also had Black Friday deals available online.

In the past, many shoppers have forfeited Thanksgiving dinner to brave the cold in hopes of securing super low prices on holiday gifts. But these sacrifices aren’t necessary anymore.

So take off that jacket and put the turkey back in the oven. We’ve come up with seven reasons why you should shop online this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

1. There aren’t any crowds at home

For many, the worst part of Black Friday is battling hordes of shoppers. At home, though, there are no carts to push, people to dodge or long lines to wait in. You’ll enjoy sales from the comfort of your couch. Completing a purchase takes just moments, and then you can sit back and wait for the goods to arrive at your door.

2. Deals start earlier online

In many cases, online Black Friday shoppers will have an edge on in-store shoppers this year: Many major retailers will kick off their cyber sales hours before they open the doors of their brick-and-mortar stores.

At Staples, for example, customer can buy online starting on Thanksgiving Day, even though store doors won’t open until 6 a.m. on Black Friday. Department store Macy’s will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, but online customers can shop the entire day at macys.com/blackfriday.

3. Coupon codes can mean bigger savings

Shopping online makes comparing prices easy; just browse different retailers online to see how the deals stack up on specific items. The bonus? Before you complete a purchase, you can search the Web for relevant coupon codes. You may be able to add discounts on top of already reduced prices.

4. Wal-Mart is going virtual this year

Many big-box stores are taking their deals online for 2015. Wal-Mart, for instance, madenews this year when it announced that for the first time the discount store will offer the majority of its holiday deals both online and in store. This is welcome news for shoppers who don’t want to visit retail locations.

Other stores that will make some Black Friday prices available online include TargetBest Buy and J.C. Penney.

5. Free shipping is a growing trend

Historically, one of the drawbacks of making purchases online has been the shipping fees. Consumers are in for a treat this year, as many stores are offering free seasonal shipping.

At Best Buy, shoppers can enjoy free standard shipping through Jan. 2 on eligible products with no minimum purchase amount required. Similarly, Target is offering free standard shipping with no minimum purchase amount through Dec. 25. See each retailer’s website for details and exclusions.

6. Deals can pop up quickly

In the world of Black Friday shopping, deals can change quickly. Limited-time offers may disappear as quickly as they appear. In case new deals pop up over the course of Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and the weekend leading into Cyber Monday, shopping online gives you the flexibility to find and act on new sales as they happen. Keep your computer or phone close by to monitor your email inbox and social media feed for news of late-breaking specials.

7. You can still enjoy your Thanksgiving

Perhaps most importantly, shopping from home means you can still enjoy Thanksgiving — even if you sneak a peek at your laptop or smartphone during dinner — without fretting that you’ve missed out on some delicious deals.

This article first appeared at NerdWallet.

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