- Preparation is the key to great bargain hunting on Black Friday. Sign up for alerts and newsletters from the retailers who stock the sort of items you are planning to buy, as far in advance as you can so that you can see who has the best prices and if your wish list is likely to be on their stock list.
- Set yourself a budget – and stick to it. All of the retailers taking part in Black Friday sales are doing so to get their hands on as much of your last pay packet before Christmas as they can, so you need to be savvy to not overspend.
- Do some research on the goods available, before you buy – check out reviews online to make sure what’s on offer is up to the job you want it to do.
- WHICH? – the consumer association, recommend that you use their Price Predictor to check trends in pricing, and also Pricerunner which checks out lots of different retailers for prices of the same item, and camelcamelcamel which keep an eye on Amazon prices. Be sure to compare as many retailers as you can to get the best buy.
- If you have one, always use a credit card for purchases over £100. This increases the protection you have under the Consumer Credit Act, so that if your retailer fails to, or is unable to, make a refund if items are faulty etc, your credit card company will do so
- Remember that what is important is the price that you pay, not the ‘saving’ on retail or any other price. Percentages of savings or discount amounts are often exaggerated so be sure to keep your mind fixed firmly on the price you pay at the checkout.
- When shopping online, only do so through websites with a padlock symbol in front of the URL (website address). Always be wary of scammers who want to get your money and if you an unsure – don’t click.
- If you receive emails from retailers you don’t know – NEVER click a link in them. Likewise, if you get emails from places and people you know with odd links in them – Don’t click on them.
- Avoid the crush in the shops – stay at home and buy online. If you have done your homework you will already know where the best prices are to be had and are ready to click away.
- When buying online, check the predicted delivery dates. At a time when retailers are going to be under pressure, their delivery windows are likely to be much longer than usual. If you are buying Christmas gifts, you want to be sure they will arrive on time.
And last but not least…
Don’t forget Cyber Monday – check out price predictions for that too – you might be better off waiting till then (Monday 26th November).