Black Friday is just around the corner… the one day of the year where prices are slashed and bargains are to be had has now turned into the biggest sale period of the year!
Black Friday offers were traditionally available on Black Friday, with some over the weekend and the final offers on Cyber Monday. But almost all retailers now extend Black Friday to Black Week…. Or even 2 or 3 weeks of bargains!
Cyber Monday now sees the start of offers on electronics and various online deals… although it all seems to have merged into one big bargain hunting experience over a 3-4 week period.
But I’m here for it!
Since the Black Friday sales start at different times for different retailers and there are different bargains to be had in store vs online, it pays to be prepared.
Here are 16 tips to make sure your Black Friday shopping spree is a success!
SIGN UP TO EMAIL LISTS
Retailers will often advertise their Black Friday deals way ahead of Black Friday to make sure their customers know whats on offer and definitely come back to purchase.
Being on their email list means you’ll be one of the first to know about their offers and can start to make a list of purchases.
CHECK WHICH RETAILERS PRICE MATCH
Whilst Black Friday is all about finding the best bargain price, some retailers will still offer a price match guarantee. So browse for the product you want and make sure you know the lowest price it’s going for.
CREATE ONLINE ACCOUNTS WITH RETAILERS
This can be such a time saver when it comes to the checkout process online.
Some retailers will only process your transaction if you are signed in to your online account. If not they’ll prompt you to make on – and whilst this only takes a few minutes, those few minutes could be the difference between your buy being snapped up by another shopper before getting the chance to complete your purchase.
Sign up for online accounts, log in and remember password. You can always tell Google to forget the password after Black Friday if you aren’t comfortable with it being stored on your device.
LIST THE RETAILERS SELLING THE PRODUCT YOU WANT
Whilst this might seem the obvious this to do to be able to check prices, it’s also good to know where else is selling exactly what you want in case the site you’re purchasing it from crashes. You won’t have to search around to see where else is selling it, you can head straight to the back up store on your list.
Some online retailers offer the option of creating a wishlist – this can be a really easy way to quickly shop your items when it comes to Black Friday. Before the date, log into the site and add the items you want to a wishlist. When Black Friday starts, just head to your wishlist and click add to cart on each item – no searching around the website (whilst it’s potentially going slower due to heavy traffic).
If retailers don’t offer the option to create a wishlist of your items, bookmark the pages of the items – it’s not as quick as a wish list but at least you have the direct path to the item saved so all you need to click is add to cart.
CHECK RETURNS POLICIES
Before Black Friday starts, check out the returns policy – whilst you might already be familiar with the returns policy of your fave retailer, these may change for the Black Friday sales, so check these in advance.
If in doubt, contact customer services and ask what their Black Friday returns policy will be. This will save you from purchasing any items which you thought you could return if they weren’t suitable, and finding out you can’t.
SIGN UP TO A CASHBACK SITE
Simply clicking through to a retailer via a cashback site as opposed to searching for the retailer on Google, or heading directly there can actually make you a bit of money. Sites such as Quidco and Topcashback give a % cash back for a huge number of stores. Sign up in advance and open the cashback site first when the Black Friday sales start.
Research your products before the sales start – don’t be drawn into purchasing items you ‘think’ might be what you want, only to find out they aren’t but they seemed a good bargain. Make sure you know exactly what you’re purchasing, just like you would on any other day of the year.
HAVE BACKUP ITEMS IN MIND
Whilst you know the exact specification of laptop you want, sites can get super busy in the Black Friday sales, items can sell out and sites can crash – so have a back up option in case any of these things happen and you can’t get hold of the exact item you want.
SET A BUDGET
Just because an item’s on sale – do you actually need it? Have a budget and stick to it – this will prevent any regrettable credit card bills at the end of the month.
Shopping on Black Friday
START YOUR SHOPPING EARLY
Most retailers start their Black Friday offers one or even two weeks before Black Friday so start browsing early. Some offers won’t be as good as they will be on Black Friday… but for some items you need to evaluate whether it’s worth waiting until Black Friday and potentially missing out on it, just for the extra 5% discount.
PRIORITISE YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Make a list in order of importance and stick to it. This will help you stick to your budget whilst buying the items you actually need instead of getting carried away with bargains (we all do it!).
Before purchasing an item in a store, do a quick Google search on your phone and check it’s price online. Sometimes with discount codes and online offers, items can be cheaper online.
USE A CREDIT CARD
Credit cards are the safest payment method to use on Black Friday – if anything goes wrong, or you get charged twice for something, your credit card company can easily and quickly rectify the situation. This isn’t the case with debit cards.
Don’t forget about Cyber Monday – often retailers add additional items to their Black Friday/Cyber sales on Cyber Monday, or discount sale items even further.
When buying something in the Black Friday sales, ask yourself whether it’s worth waiting until Cyber Monday, or if it’s not worth the risk!