Yesterday, Target attempted to sell the highly-coveted Nintendo Classic Mini NES on its website. Predictably, its e-store struggled to handle the surge in traffic and stock sold out in minutes. It wasn't the first Mini NES flash sale and it likely won't be the last either. If you keep missing out, here are some online buying tips to improve your chances of getting one.
We've all felt the frustration of missing out on an online flash sale. It sucks - especially if you made it all the way to checkout, only to receive a 'sold out' message at the last second.
While there's no way to ensure against website crashes and other technical issues beyond your control, there are a few tips you can employ to increase your chances of success.
- Use fast, reliable internet: Well, duh. If your home internet is a bit rubbish, you might be better off buying through your smartphone.
- Log in well before the sale starts: Load the relevant online store at least 15 minutes before an advertised sale starts. With that said, resist the urge to constantly refresh the page before the sale starts. If we all follow this advice, there's less chance of the website crashing.
- Use two devices: Get a friend you can trust to follow the same process, thus doubling your chances. (If you're both successful, you can then sell the second one on eBay for a tidy profit. You blackguard.)
- Have a backup 'guest' tab ready: During the infamous EB Games website crash, the retailer sent out an urgent tweet urging people not to use their EB World profile. (Previously, customers had been advised to sign into their accounts before the sale to improve their chances.) If a website asks you to sign in for the sale, keep an incognito tab open just in case things go awry.
- Make sure shipping details can be auto filled: If the computer you're using doesn't have any of your details saved, sort this out ahead of time. If the fields can be auto filled, the checkout process will be much faster. (You can do this by purchasing a random product on the relevant site, paying for it and immediately canceling the order. The cookies relating to order processing will now be saved.)
Remember, this thing will likely be freely available in the new year - so if you don't specifically need it for a Christmas gift, we advise you just wait!