Black Friday madness is set to strike the UK and if last year is anything to go by it’s going to be busy, both on the high street and online.
Last year we spent a massive £3.3bn over Black Friday weekend with 1.4m people putting themselves into debt to do so.
In fact, 15% of millennials said they put their shopping on a card last year.
So, have you made a plan of action? Got your budget set?
If not, don’t worry!
I’ve put together an ultimate survival guide to get you through the chaos as quickly as possible and ensure you leave with the best deals out there.
What’s all the fuss about?
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday has become the best day to hunt for bargains on both sides of the pond.
It can be chaotic, so be prepared for large crowds and the odd spot of fighting in the isles.
Shops will be offering substantial discounts to try and persuade consumers to start their Christmas shopping early.
Some retailers, such as Amazon, offer discounts during the week on the lead up to the big day.
When is Black Friday?
Traditionally an American thing, Black Friday is always the day after Thanks Giving.
This year it will fall on November 25.
How long does the sale last?
Sales open on the Friday and will run all weekend.
Retailers in the UK will open as early as 6am, although you’ll be able to find deals online from midnight.
Black Friday shopping hacks
Research, research, research!
Do not go into these sales blind.
If you’re making an expensive, luxury type purchase then make sure you do your homework on the product you’re buying.
Check out customer reviews and consumer reports, buying a faulty unreliable item isn’t a sound investment just because it’s cheap.
Make sure it’s worth dragging yourself out of bed at an ungodly hour, or staying up late waiting for the deals to hit at midnight.
Check out the deals before you leave
Knowing exactly where to go saves you time fighting through crowds of people.
It also helps you to budget accordingly if you know exactly what you want, from where and how much they’re asking for it.
When you’re browsing the deals make a list detailing:
- Which item you want
- Who the item is for
- Which store has the deal
- Any special hours for the sale
If you get organised, you won’t waste time or money.
Related article: Be Frugal With Your Time Not Just Your Money
Shop around for the best deal
If you see something that looks cheap, be sure to make sure you shop around, as another retailer may be offering a more substantial discount.
Remember, Black Friday is about saving as much money as you possibly can.
One important thing is to be VERY aware of is retailers will often offer ‘stripped down’ versions of the products they have on offer on Black Friday.
This means you may have to fork out more money on accessories – not ideal when you’re trying to save money.
Take time to think about whether you need all those accessories and decide whether you still think it’s a good deal before you buy it.
Take advert clippings with you
If you’ve seen an advert advertising a deal take it with you.
That way you can call out the retailer on their ‘lowest price guarantee’ if you need to.
You’ll have probably seen plenty of adverts over the years promising to match or beat a lower advertised price.
What they don’t always mention is that you need to take in the advert as proof for them to be able to process the difference.
Be aware that these sorts of offers usually don’t apply to online deals.
However, I’ve tried my luck at printing off a web page before now to get an extra discount successfully – so don’t be afraid to challenge them on it.
Remember, they want your money!
Early bird and midnight offers
Early bird deals tend to be released between 4am and 11am to entice the crowd in early.
If you’re not an early riser, but don’t mind staying up late, you can get night owl offers generally between midnight and 4am.
Taking advantage of these means you can beat the crowds and guarantees you a bargain.
The deals are not infinite, once they’re gone, they’re gone – so make sure you’re quick off the mark!
Take note of the returns policy
Stores have got a lot more strict when it comes to returning goods.
Knowing the polices of the stores you’re thinking of purchasing from will help you to determine who to avoid.
Some stores now have a restocking fee, so you could be charged to return the item.
Check how long you have to return the item too, some stores have tightened up the returns window, meaning you don’t get as much time to return your item if you need to.
It’s important to remember that you’re buying a month before Christmas so the amount of time you have to return an unwanted item is extremely important.
Keep all receipts, as no receipt means no return – simple as that!
Always ask for gift receipts
Some stores print them off as standard, but not all.
A gift receipt allows the recipient to return or exchange their gift without them knowing how much you have spent.
If you are not offered one, always ask.
It’s likely to be pandemonium out there on the big day so do take care and stay safe.
My best advice is get in and out as quickly as possible.
Do your research and stick to your budget.
You’re there to grab yourself a bargain and save yourself some money, not spend more!
Do you have any tips for Black Friday shopping?
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