But with so much going on, how can you ensure you bag the best of the best at the lowest prices?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping tips & tricks
Black Friday is deemed as the busiest shopping day in the calendar, with prices slashed on clothing, gadgets and high-end technology.
It’s also seen as the ideal way to get a head start on Christmas shopping as the post-Thanksgiving retail day is seen as the starting point of the festive season.
Here are our tips for making the most of Black Friday:
- Be prepared: Sign up for all the newsletters you can in order to keep track of prices and deals at your favourite stores. Also register for Twitter alerts as that’s where some retailers have been unveiling their best bargains.
- Find out if retailers will honour a price match: Some retailers, such as John Lewis, will match prices on Black Friday deals with other stores – but take not this doesn’t usually apply for online outlets like Amazon or AO.com. Be vigilant to see if a products has dropped in price soon after you purchased it. Some stores will honour a price difference if challenged over a significant drop.
- Create online accounts with large retailers ahead of major shopping days: Make sure you’re signed in to your account before you start shopping. Consider pre-entering your payment details and shipping details and saving them to your account so you can complete purchases quickly. This will help you beat the queues at the check out where sites can often crash.
- Research the item thoroughly before purchasing: Know what you are buying and make sure it’s worth it – even in a sale. There are many products that have been difficult to shift in recent months because they just aren’t very nice – but Black Friday discounts often make them falsely appear like a bargain. Always read product reviews before making a purchase to get the best value for your money.
- Research prices across a number of websites before hitting the stores: It helps to know which of the big retailers has cut the price the most and what the product was previously being sold at. Knowing that your item is being sold at multiple stores will also make sure you don’t miss out if it’s sold out in one place.
- Try arranging a click and collect service: Places like Argos will hold your product for seven days after purchase. This means you can buy in the sales and pick up days later when the crowds have dispersed.
- Always check Black Friday returns policies: Just in case you regret your Black Friday purchase, double-check what the retailer's returns policy is for Black Friday items before you buy. You can only return non-faulty goods for an exchange or refund if the retailer has a returns policy – almost all shops do, but they're not required to by law. If what you've bought is faulty, that's a different matter. You have 30 days to reject it and get your money back.
- Look at the price, not the 'saving’: Don't assume a deal is worth it just because it has a big, attention-grabbing saving. Make sure the price you’re paying is reasonable even after the big discount percentages.
- Set a firm budget – you know what you can afford so don’t get carried away and land up in debt
How to check if a deal really is a deal
It is generally believed that Black Friday deals are a one day only thing, or lately, a one week only thing.
But according to consumer website Which? products that seem like a bargain on Black Friday are often available at the same or lower price point at other times of the year.
Many consumers rush to buy products on Black Friday assuming that they won't be that cheap again for a long time.
But in 86 per cent of the cases looked at by the consumer site, the items cost the same price or less in the six months following Black Friday.
46 per cent of items could also be found cheaper than their Black Friday price on at least one day in the six months afterwards.
Even when extending the period of ‘Black Friday’ to the two weeks surrounding the day itself, to include Black Friday week and Cyber Monday deals, 74 per cent of products could be picked up for the same price or less in the six months afterwards.
So don’t worry if you’ve missed out on your favourite or must have items today, there is still a chance it will be available at a low price later in the year.
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