Only if you’ve jetted off into outer space, could you have missed the fact that Black Friday is yet again nearly upon us. You knew, right? Yes, I too have been bombarded with adverts, enticing emails, offers that lure you in and top picks from some of my favourite brands. If you’re planning a renovation, such as a new kitchen, or want to get those finishing touches sorted by the end of the year, Black Friday could be a great opportunity to buy big-ticket items such as appliances and furniture.
And while Black Friday is also great for deals and getting a bulk of that Christmas shopping done, “shop wisely” is my motto.
Sure, I might have a few things in various baskets currently scattered around the internet, but before I click buy, I’m following these tips – all from consumer shopping experts so join me in heeding their advice…
Make a list!
I love a list. And here it makes lots of sense. It can be very easy to go blind when you’re confronted with lots of offers, so the bods at netvouchercodes.co.uk say being prepared is always best.
“Before Black Friday, make a list of who you need to buy for, or what you want to buy. This will make it more difficult to over buy. You could even have a browse and write down pre-Black Friday prices. Browse around and compare prices, then make a note of the best two websites that stock the products. If it sells out before you have chance to buy it you’ll have a back-up store ready.”
Compare, compare, compare
Last year, Which? found that nearly nine in 10 Black Friday deals were the same price or even cheaper before the big day. They say you should do plenty of research before you part with your cash to make sure you’re actually getting that amazing bargain deal.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? head of home products and services, told me: “With many of us stuck at home this Black Friday it might be tempting to scour the sales for a bargain, but we’ve found that you could get the same deal – or an even better one – at another time.”
“Deals that look too good to be true often are, so don’t fall for time-limited offers and if you are looking for something in particular, do some research first. That way you’ll know a genuine bargain when you see one.” Smart.
Set a budget – and stick to it
The experts over at Money Saving Expert said it’s all about keeping control. Their top tip: “We’d like to remind consumers to not get caught up in the hype. However, if you have budgeted properly and are planning to spend, we’re here to help work out if discounts on show are a deal or a dud.”
A deals expert at the site said: “Use free online price comparison tools such as Google Shopping, Price Spy and Price Runner to compare where’s cheapest on the day. Then check voucher sites for extra money off codes, and see if you can go through cashback sites such as Quidco and Topcashback for further savings.
“Big retailers often price-match each other on Black Friday, so check what else they’re offering such as free additional warranties, music streaming or TV subscriptions.”
Take your time
The experts at Uswitch say you should use the time in the queue to carefully consider your purchase (see note re my multiple baskets above…), so you don’t end up regretting the purchase.
Put simply, ask: “do I really need it?”.
The bonus of online shopping being that you can sit with your decision for a while before committing – unlike in a busy shop where the impulse or temptation are often hard to resist.
“Use the time wisely and keep an eye on social media for any deals you may have missed. Stay alert, and don’t let your place in the queue be timed out,” so said a Black Friday deals expert at uswitch.com.
Choose your payment method carefully
While refund policies and your consumer rights for returns will still stand on Black Friday purchases (always check any specific terms if you’re unsure), the experts at netvouchercodes.co.uk have this advice: “If you’re planning on making your purchases online, it’s important to consider which card you will be using. If you pay with a credit card or via PayPal you’ll have more protection if anything goes wrong.”
Ready with your shopping list? Done your research? Check out the Money Saving Expert Black Friday alerts.
And if you’re in the market for a new appliance, make sure you read these…
And don’t forget to comment with what deals you’ve found…happy (wise) shopping!
Featured image: iStock