The Black Friday game – 7 moves to survive the frenzy
Reading time: 4 minutes
Christmas is fast approaching, which means Black Friday is almost here again – this year, it falls on 26 November.
Black Friday has grown in popularity over recent years. Now, more retailers than ever are jumping on board with bigger and flashier offers which try and tempt us to shop.
But is it all it’s hyped up to be?
There’s no denying that there are some great discounts, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes, a great looking bargain was actually the same price or cheaper earlier in the year. So, you may not really be getting the fantastic bargain at all.
Other times, you may be drawn into a shop or website by seeing something like ‘up to 70% off’, but you could find it only applies to a small number of items that quickly get snapped up. The hope here is that once you are in, you will go on to buy something else that’s not discounted so much. This tactic is not unique to Black Friday, but can also be seen all-year-round for general sale events too.
Do you really need it?
There’s a big difference between needing something, wanting something and impulse buying.
Retailers like to whip up a frenzy on Black Friday and create a fear of missing out unless you buy straightaway. As mentioned above, there are often other offers available throughout the year for things you may be looking to buy.
The most important thing to remember is that a bargain is only a good deal if you were actually planning to buy it anyway.
Benefiting from Black Friday doesn’t mean buying 10 things that you would not have normally bought just because they were discounted. It means finding that item that you need or was planning on buying anyway and getting it at a discounted price – saving you money.
Try to look at your purchases as money spent and not money saved. If you spent £200 that you had not planned to because you made a £50 saving – you’ll still have spent £200 that you didn’t mean to.
As always, watch out for the scams
While there is always the risk of a website not being legit, fraudsters really jump on the back of Black Friday. They use the buying frenzy as an opportunity to set up bogus websites that’ll take your money and disappear shortly afterwards.
Always look for the padlock symbol in the websites address bar, carefully check the website and it if doesn’t feel right - don’t use it. Read more of our tips about shopping safely online here.
How to get the most out of Black Friday
- Use comparison sites which trawl retailers for an item and show you the current prices. This way, you can easily and quickly compare and check who is offering the best deal. Websites such as Pricerunner and Pricespy can help you do this.
- If you’re thinking of buying on Amazon, there’s a great tool called CamelCamelCamel which shows you the price history of the item you’re looking at. You can check how the price changed throughout the year to see if you’re getting a bargain, or if it’s worth waiting a bit longer.
- Plan ahead and create a list of what you’ve been looking to buy. It’ll help you focus on finding the best deals that work for you.
- Make sure you compare deals with different retailers. If you’re buying online, this is really simple and quick to do. If you’re planning to visit the store then check out the other stores nearby too.
- Remember to focus and think of your buying as money spent and not money saved.
- Set your budget and stick to it - only use it for the things that you need or was planning on buying anyway. We all have things stuffed away in a cupboard somewhere that at the time we thought was a great bargain but did not really need it.
- Be safe and cautious with new websites or ones you haven’t used before. If it doesn’t feel right then don’t be tempted to buy from them without checking first. The same goes for some shops on social media too which is becoming more of a problem each year.
There are still some great bargains to be had
Enjoy hunting them down and saving yourself money. Keep our tips in mind and try putting them into practice along the way to make Black Friday, a happy Friday!