How To Get Through Black Friday Like A Boss

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.

Final word

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?

Related Article: 13 Tricks To Spend Less When Shopping

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If you're braving Black Friday this year you need to be prepared. Check out my top tips to save money on Black Friday and make sure you stick to your Black Friday budget!

Thinking Thrifty

Thinking Thrifty

David Naylor is the editor of the Thinking Thrifty blog. An award winning personal finance and lifestyle blogger, he shows how it is possible to live extremely well for less.
Thinking Thrifty
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10 thoughts on “How To Get Through Black Friday Like A Boss

    1. I literally buy everything online these days it’s just far easier. I’m half considering getting out for my first Black Friday to see how chaotic it is!

  1. So much hustle and bustle. Yes, this has been going on here in the States for some time now. Stores now open up on Thanksgiving for early bird sales and in the past, the stores didn’t open up until early Friday morning where you would find people camping outside the store. I find it all over-rated!
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  2. It is fascinating that Black Friday has spread from the US to the UK. I had no idea! One year my husband wanted something discounted at a store, but it was packed and he was sure they’d run out before he got in there. So he grabbed the flyer for that store, went to a competitor later that day after the crowds died down, and got them to price match. He got what he wanted at a great price, and without all the hassle of crowds and chancing it not being there.

  3. I used to love the thrill of going Black Friday shopping, but now I pretty much just get stuff online. Stores are having Black Friday deals for like the whole week prior now. And with free shipping, why go out with hundreds of other people?! I definitely could’ve used these tips when I was going to stores and try to follow some with the online shopping.

  4. Great advice David. I’ll never forget seeing the fighting in Tescos a couple of years ago over a rubbish tv. I’ve only bought online on BF to avoid the madness. Research is definitely key and also only buying what you need even if it seems the best deal ever.

  5. There hasn’t been much to entice me about Black Friday. I don’t do busy malls or shops on a good day when I actually need something. Besides, I only spend my money on wine, cheese and essential oils haha!

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