Black Friday is upon us once again and you either love it or you hate it. You're either one of those shoppers who scours every website that mentions Black Friday or deals until you're satisfied that you've got the best deal... or you avoid it like the plague...
I bet you can guess which one I am, can't you?
(I'll give you a clue... it's not the latter...)
Black Friday is known for being the biggest shopping day of the year with some of the biggest savings that you don't want to miss out on... so if you want to grab a bargain you have to be prepared.
Lots of retailers have tried to prolong the success of Black Friday by not only taking advantage of Cyber Monday but also the week leading up to Black Friday weekend... so that means a week full of sales and price drops (yay!).
So to help you prepare for this year's Black Friday I've pulled together some tips and tricks for getting hold of the best bargains.
1. It's All In the Preparation
Whether you're planning on heading down to the shops for a browse or whether you're a sit at home in your comfies and shop kinda gal, you need to prepare for Black Friday if you want to make the most of it.
Browse your favourite websites to see if they have a 'Black Friday' section which might give you an idea of what offers they're going to release on the big day (Check the long list of retailers at the end of the post!)
Choose your fave pieces and add them to your wish list so when the clock strikes midnight on Thursday night you can pounce on your faves all in one place. Easy peasy.
If you're brave enough to venture out to the shops then I would recommend planning your trip beforehand so you know where you're going and what you're looking for.
2. Take Advantage of Deals, BUT...
Okay so you've pretty much got everything you want all lined up... but at those prices why not get your Christmas shopping done too?!
It's all good if the Black Friday discounted items are the kind of thing you had in mind for your family and friends... but if you're just buying things because of the price... then think again. Although you're saving £35 on that sandwich toaster... will your sister actually want or use it... or will it end up sitting in the back of her cupboard (we all have one of those cupboards, right?) or going straight in the bin?
Save your money and don't just grab a bargain... because it's a bargain.
3. Look Out For Delivery Charges
Yay! That top you wanted is only £5 in the sale! Quick... add to cart... checkout... Wait...£9.99?! Why has the price doubled? Just because the sales are on, the delivery charges may still apply. So if you're only shopping for one item or something small, check to see if you're actually making much of a saving and if it's worth rushing to grab it on Black Friday.
4. Know Your Sizes
If you're shopping for clothes, make sure you know what size you are in each shop before the sales start. This will avoid the panic on Black Friday when items start selling out and you're frantically trying to find the size chart on the website to work out what size to order.
Some stores may offer free returns so check this out beforehand and if in doubt over sizes... order both!
Some online stores now offer a year's next day delivery pass for a set amount. If you're going to be placing several orders over the weekend (like me... I order pretty much every day) or even if you're only placing one order over the weekend but you're going to shop again with that store within the next year, it might be worth paying for the VIP/Unicorn/Special/Priority delivery. (P.S these delivery services offer free next day delivery for a year but over busy periods, like Black Friday and other holidays, they can't usually offer next day due to the amount of orders placed - it can still be worth doing though).
You can find out more about priority delivery here:
5. Don't Buy What You Don't Need
If I had a pound for every time I've been told this I'd have a Ferrari sat on the driveway... but I still don't listen!
Anyway.. for those more sensible shoppers out there (unlike me) it's simple... don't buy something you don't need just because it's on sale. Yes those boots are pretty and they're 60% off... but are you actually going to wear them or are they going to become an ornament in your bedroom?
And if that top you really wanted is out of stock in your size and you know the other sizes aren't going to fit... don't buy them. My mum once told me a story about her friend who bought some shoes in the sales. These shoes were a gorgeous pair of Jimmy Choo's... ones she had had her eye on for ages but couldn't afford. The sales came around and she dashed out to get them... she was so happy that she could afford a pair of Jimmy Choo's at £350 that she bought the only pair that was left on the shelf - a size 5... the only problem was... she was a size 6 and there was no way she could squeeze into them. But she bought them anyway and they lived in her wardrobe. Every now and again she would take them out of her wardrobe and look at how beautiful they were... but she could never actually wear them.
So guys and gals... be smart and only buy what you actually need.. or what you're actually able to use!
6. Check the Returns Policy
Online shopping is wonderful for buying the something in every colour in 2 sizes to find the one that fits in the colour you love and then being able to just pop the rest back in the bag and drop them at the post office.
But... whilst your regular retailers might offer free delivery, check that it hasn't changed on Black Friday. And if you're ordering from somewhere new, check out their returns policy before you place an order... just in case something isn't right.
A lot of places don't offer refunds on sale items but offer a credit note. So it's worth checking the returns policy for sale item just in case you order two sizes in everything and then can't actually get your money back.
Black Friday Bargains 2018
Whilst the big weekend isn't until 23rd November, some retailers have given us a sneak peek of their offers and some have even started with some pre-Black Friday deals.
Here are a few clues of what to expect this Black Friday weekend from some Fashion and Beauty brands:
Sign up here to be notified when the Black Friday deals drop. In the meantime, there's 20% off sitewide.
Sign up or join their Whatsapp group to be notified when the deals drop. Missguided are giving us lots of discounts in the run up to the weekend... currently 30% off the hot list and 20% student discount. If that's anything to go by, it looks like we might be in for some amazing Black Friday discounts at the weekend!
The link to the Black Friday page here takes us to a sale page which already has discounts... maybe Black Friday will be an extension of those discounts... or maybe this is it? We'll just have to wait and see.
Online deals starting from Tuesday 20th November but there are currently offers in menswear, womenswear, electricals and beauty.
John Lewis' Black Friday Event starts on Monday 19th November at 7am. Their Black Friday page here shows there might be offers in Electrical, Home & Furniture, Womenswear, Menswear, Beauty & Fragrance, Toys, Sport & Leisure and Nursery. Sign up for their emails so you don't miss out.
Mango are keeping it hush for now... but you can subscribe to their newsletter and keep up to date with their Black Friday news here.
Sign up to the Miss Selfridge mailing list to be notified when the Black Friday deals start but in the meantime check out their sale here. (It's the best sale I've seen in a while!)
Black Friday itself kicks off the Black Friday bargains. Until then you can check out the ASOS outlet with offers of up to 70% off.
There's no clue as to when the deals are dropping but you can sign up to emails to be notified when offers are launched, here.
By the looks of it, River Island are only partaking in the Black Friday offer on Black Friday itself saying 'like your birthday, it comes once a year' but fingers crossed it's more! Shop their existing offers here.
Again, we have no clue as to when the offers are going to drop but here you can sign up to be the first to know when the offers and discounts are live.
Pretty Little Thing
Pretty Little Thing are doing things a little differently... or so it seems, by giving discounts every day as a pre-Black Friday warm up! So far we have seen 30% off dresses, 24% off everything, 30% off tops and 20% off everything. Plus with every order placed before Black Friday there's the chance to receive a Unicorn Ticket in any order which is for a mystery prize... anything from PLT discounts and free clothes to luxury holidays as well as a cash prize of $10,000. So get shopping! (I've already placed 5 orders since the Unicorn tickets have been on sale and I've won 2!
If you find a Unicorn Ticket in your order, enter the details here.
In The Style
In preparation for Black Friday, In The Style are giving you the chance to sign up as a Black Friday VIP here. Whilst there are no clues about the Black Friday offers or what a Black Friday VIP is entitled to, there seems to be discounts sitewide so check them out here.
New Look are counting down to Black Friday and encouraging people to sign up to their newsletter so not to miss out on amazing deals, fresh arrivals and more. New Look are also currently offering 15% off off every order of £40 or more until Christmas Eve. Take a look here.
With a current sale offering up to 60% off, I wonder what else if anything, Office are going to bring to the table on Black Friday... Take a peek at their offers here.
Jack Wills are hinting at sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and are pointing visitors to their email sign up so they don't miss out on the ultimate sale of the year.
Subscribe to their email list here.
Gymshark is one brand you don't wanna forget about on Black Friday. Their deals start on Monday 19th November and run all week. Whilst Gymshark aren't revealing any secrets, they've told us that they'll be offering from 20% to a massive 70% off - so keep your eyes peeled! Sign up to their mailing list here.
Maniere de Voir
On the run up to Black Friday weekend, Maniere de Voir are offering 6 deals of the day - deals that won't be repeated on Black Friday. Sign up to their mailing list here to be notified when a deal drops.
Bobbi Brown is believed to be offering 20% off sitewide on Black Friday. Browse their existing offers here and sign up to their mailing list to hear about the latest offers.
Sign up to the Illamasqua newsletter here to get early access to their Black Friday deals.
Black Friday drops on 23rd November at Look Fantastic (my go-to beauty site!). Expect offers on brands such as ghd, Elemis, Caudalie and Keratese! Sign up to their waitlist here.
Feel Unique are going all in for Black Friday with free gifts, timed beauty deals and top brand offers. New times beauty deals are dropping every day at 8am. Check out all their Black Friday deals here.
The Boots Black Friday deals have already dropped and there are some mega bargains to snap up! Check out the half price deals and other price drops here.
Have you made a shopping list for Black Friday yet? What bargains are you hoping to get your hands on? Let me know in the comments.