6 smart shopping tips for Black Friday savings
It’s understandable if you’re now looking at your calendar and beginning to panic. We’re reaching the end of November, which means Christmas is just around the corner. Thankfully, it also provides the perfect opportunity for you to save some money on your Christmas shopping.
Black Friday is coming up this Friday, the 26th of November. It’s possible just the mention of it conjures up images of massive crowds and panic buying, however if you can keep your head during holiday sale season, there are definitely savings to be made.
In this guide we’ll give you our six top tips for finding value on Black Friday. First, though, let’s get a bit of background on Black Friday itself.
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What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving, the American holiday, and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period in the US.
It’s traditionally a sales bonanza on just about anything you can think of: clothing, technology, Christmas decorations, even toys for your pets – if it can be sold, it probably will be.
Black Friday got its name from the day retailers start to see their profit margin turn from red to black. It’s a chance for them to recoup some of their investment over the year, and make sure they end their yearly sales period on a high.
The concept of Black Friday was introduced to the UK market by retail giants Amazon in 2010, and has since been adopted pretty much all over the country.
Why Black Friday shopping pays
The best thing about Black Friday shopping is that there are bargains all around you. It’s possible to find a huge range of quality products at seriously reduced prices in perfect time for Christmas.
The key thing with Black Friday is not be blinded by the discount, but to make sure what you’re buying is something that meets certain criteria:
· Value for money – You can tell what this is by checking how much a product usually costs and comparing the discounted price with its usual value;
· Quality – If it’s broken or faulty, that’s not a bargain at any price. That said, there are some good offers out there on refurbished or repaired products;
· A warranty – With Black Friday sales, what you buy is only as good as the store’s after-sales service. Check for a warranty and make sure it’s valid and easy to use.
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How do I make sure I get the most out of Black Friday?
Below are our six top tips for making sure you bag a bargain this Black Friday.
1. Do your research
Before you set out for the Black Friday sales, it’s important you do some research and find out what prices other stores in the area are offering on the products you are looking for. You can also use price comparison sites like Which? to compare prices online.
This way, you’ll know whether a store you’re going to is offering a genuine bargain or just trying to dupe their customers into thinking they’re getting something at an incredible discount, when it’s really not that good of a deal.
2. Make a list (and check it twice)
It’s important to stay focused so you don’t buy things impulsively, which could result in overspending.
To avoid making hasty purchases, write a list of all the necessary items you want to get. Then, check that list twice! It’s easy to forget things you meant to buy if you don’t write them down, and you don’t want anyone ending up disappointed.
3. Focus on essentials
While you’re out shopping, don’t get distracted by sales for different types of products. Remember, Black Friday can be chaotic.
Many stores will be trying to get people’s attention by offering great deals on items they don’t need (like everyone who shops on Black Friday really needs a new couch!) Make sure to only shop in the sections of the store where you’ll actually find essentials.
4. Beat the crowds
Black Friday shopping can be overwhelming and stressful, especially if there’s a big crowd. If the thought of being pushed and shoved as you try to get through the crowds makes your blood pressure rise, it might be best to make your Black Friday purchases online.
This allows you to avoid physical stores – and the chaos that follows – plus you get the added bonus of browsing the online-only Black Friday deals that many retailers now offer.
5. Think outside the box
You might think that big department stores and household names are the only places where you can be guaranteed to find a great deal on Black Friday, but that’s just not the case.
Specialty stores, local outlets, and even market stalls will often have sales around Black Friday these days, and these sales can be really special. You’ll find that specialty stores are even more appreciative of your business, meaning your chances of bagging a bargain are even bigger.
6. Keep your receipts
No matter how successful you think you’ve been on Black Friday, you might later discover that you don’t actually need some of the things you’ve bought. That’s why it’s always important to keep your receipts.
That way, if you later realize you only really needed something when it was on sale in November, you’ll be able to return it at the time of purchase.