This month’s Black Friday is set to be bigger than ever. An estimated £810 million was splashed out on Black Friday in the UK last year and this year the record is set to be even higher.
The American tradition has officially become a worldwide phenomenon with £1.1billion predicted to be spent this year – a third more than last year and nearly three times what we spent in 2013.
We want you to get the best out of the Black Friday sales, so here is our essential guide to Black Friday and 10 tips for getting the most out of it.
- What is Black Friday?
- When is Black Friday?
- What are the best shops for Black Friday sales?
- 10 tips to get the most out of Black Friday
It used to be just an American phenomenon but now Black Friday – when the shops, particularly online ones, slash prices for a short time – is a worldwide phenomenon.
Black Friday marks the start of the official Christmas shopping season and always falls the day after the US’ Thanksgiving celebrations, or the fourth Friday in November.
Although it’s a US tradition, many retailers such as Amazon and Apple have brought the idea of Black Friday to the UK and since then British bargain hunters have gone crazy for the 24 hour sale.
This year Black Friday falls on 25th November.. Black Friday will be the UK’s biggest shopping day, as so many shoppers believe that they will get a bargain on this day (or even the days leading up to it as some retailers are offering sales through the week!).
This year 100’s of retailers will offer discounted products for Black Friday and the Monday that follows, which is known as Cyber Monday, in the UK.
As advocates of safe spending online, at this time we recommend you stick with brands you can trust.
Here are 10 popular UK brands that will be taking part in Black Friday this year:
Many of them will be sending out emails to tell shoppers what offers they have but so will loads of fraudsters.
If you get an email that seems like it is from a normal retailer with a link to click for offers, don’t click the link! Be on the safe side – go straight to the website and look at the offers from there. It could be a dodgy email with a dodgy link and you can’t risk it.
- Get in early. Like Christmas, Black Friday now comes earlier and earlier and some traders like Amazon have already started to slash prices to get your cash before their rivals. So start trawling for bargains now if there’s a particular item you are going for.
- Do your research. Black Friday sales are like any other in that there’s no point buying things just because you think they are cheaper than usual. Think first about what you really want to buy, see what the best price available is beforehand, then only buy it if you know it is genuinely marked down. Only go on a site or in a shop if there is something specific you want and you know how much it should be. Don’t just go and browse – you will end up buying rubbish!
- Set up alerts. If you’re looking for a deal on something specific, set up a Google Alert with that name in it so that if a deal is mentioned online you will know as soon as it happens.
- Get cashback. You might even be able to get extra cashback on your purchases if you use sites like Quidco. They work with a lot of retailers to offer you money back on purchases online and offline so check those out too
- Know your rights. You have more rights when buying online such as the right to send anything back, even if it’s just because you don’t like it, within seven days of receiving the item. You are also covered by the Sale of Goods Act 1979 which means that even if it is a reduced item, it has to be fit for purpose. Keep your receipts so that you can show proof of purchase if there is a dispute.
- Use social media. Sign up to your favourite stores’ Twitter feeds and their Facebook sites, as well as Instagram or even Pinterest where you may be able to get access or prior notice to exclusive deals.
- Set a budget. It’s far too easy to get carried away with these flash sales, both online and offline. Decide how much you can spend overall and try to stick to it. Also, make sure you’re sober when shopping online. That way you are more likely to make the right purchase!
- Watch out for fraudsters online. While Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year it’s also the best for scammers who set up bogus online ‘stores’ to trap the unwary into giving over their bank details. Use the mantra that if a bargain looks too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t give out any personal information if asked by email and never open unknown attachments.
- Go with names you trust. We’ve said it before… if you’re a bit unsure about the safety of online bargains, just stick to brands you know such as John Lewis, Debenhams, M&S and other well-established names. At least with those you know you have comeback if there’s a problem with the item you’ve bought and if you don’t like it you can take it back to the shop itself. Don’t trust emails that purport to come from them though. If you see a good deal in an email, go directly to the site and look it up, don’t click on the email link.
- Ignore the whole thing. Seriously, we’re not sure you’re going to get much of a bargain in this ‘sale’ and if you’re strapped for cash, just ignore it totally. In fact, try Buynothingday instead. Just go for a walk, watch TV, do stuff with friends…anything but buy! Go have a life and don’t be sucked in by the consumerist mess!