Despite its American origins, Black Friday has become a much-anticipated event in both the US and the UK, and offers shoppers an opportunity to grab a bargain on a wide range of products.
Whether you’re on the hunt for Christmas presents or just fancy treating yourself to some new photography kit, here’s everything you need to know about the global shopping extravaganza if you didn’t already, and how to bag the best deals.
Make sure you do your research before hitting that buy-it-now button this Black Friday
How to get the best Black Friday deals
It might be easy to dismiss some of the sales you spot during Black Friday as underwhelming, with reduced sale prices not seeming all that cheaper than usual. This is common, as some retailers will over-emphasize their RRP prices on price tags or stickers so that the reductions seem more appealing (a practice known as “price anchoring”).
However, if you’re well prepared, eagle-eyed and willing to put the effort into finding some bargains, it’s more than possible to save some decent money on the items on your list and make the most of this pre-Christmas shopping bonanza.
Here are our eight top tips for grabbing the best Black Friday bargains:
Start by making a list of items you want to purchase. Whether it’s tech gadgets, clothing, home appliances or boring Christmas gifts like socks for your Uncle Bob, knowing what you’re looking for will help you stay focused and avoid splurging unnecessarily on impulse buys.
Set a budget
Before you dive into the Black Friday sales, decide how much you’re willing to spend. Sticking to a budget will prevent overspending and eventual buyer’s remorse.
Do your research
Look up the products you plan to buy in advance. Read reviews, compare prices and familiarise yourself with the regular retail prices of the items you’re interested in. This way, you’ll recognise a genuine deal when you see one.
Follow your favourite retailers’ socials and newsletters
Many retailers send out exclusive deals and early access offers to their newsletter subscribers or social media followers. Sign up for your favourite stores’ newsletters and follow them on their social platforms. That way you’ll be the first to know about any Black Friday promotions they might be doing.
Use price comparison tools
Online price comparison tools and browser extensions can help you find the best prices across various retailers. They provide real-time price comparisons, helping you identify the most cost-effective option. Camerapricebuster.co.uk and Coupert are particularly good.
Get up early or stay up late
Black Friday sales often start at midnight or in the early hours of the morning. If you’re serious about scoring the best deals, set your alarm early. Make sure you have the right browser tabs open, ready to be one of the first to shop.
Consider Cyber Monday
If you don’t find what you’re looking for on Black Friday, don’t forget about Cyber Monday, which takes place the following Monday. Originally created to encourage consumers to take advantage of the online deals and discounts available after the Thanksgiving weekend, this is essentially just a continuation of the Black Friday sales but with a focus on online shopping. Still, it’s worth having a look to see if your top retailers have made any further markdowns.
Think before you buy
If you’re not sure about something being a great deal, as Martin Lewis would say “Before spending, ask yourself, do I need it? Can I afford it? If the answer is no to any of those, DON’T buy it.” They suggest that if you were going to buy it, and it’s on offer, then you’ve saved money, but if you weren’t going to buy it, then you’re not really saving money. For more financial advice, have a look at MoneySavingExpert.com.
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