Black Friday (November 24) and Cyber Monday’s (November 27) sales have always been big in the States, traditionally shopping days following Thanksgiving. But it’s only in the past few years it’s started to become a big deal in the UK.
Darren Williams of Promotionalcodes, says: “It's a fantastic last chance to grab yourself a bargain before the Boxing Day and January sales, but it’s important to have some guidelines in place to a make sure that you get the best possible deal.
“If you shop around and do your research then you’ll eventually find yourself some top deals, but it’s also important to be wary about what you buy and to avoid making any rash purchases that you may end up regretting.
“Remember that it’s just a bit of shopping, so regardless of whether you’ll be spending money online or heading down to the stores for when they open, make sure you have fun.”
Use these tips to snap up the best deals:
1. Do use voucher sites
Despite most of the deals being with the retailers themselves there’s still a great number of bargains to be found on voucher sites. Do your research beforehand, and you could find yourself getting a discount on any already reduced Black Friday item.
2. Do use apps
There are plenty of free apps to download that contain all your important Black Friday information, including comparisons of different deals and live feeds of new deals and price decreases on the day.
3. Do wait for cyber Monday
If visiting the shops is out of the question then you might want to wait until Cyber Monday to grab your bargains, as many online stores wait until this day to further slash their prices.
4. Do your research
It pays (or in this case saves) to do your research, so before the day arrives make sure you thoroughly check online and instore deals to see which brings up the best sales. It may take some time, but the savings will make it worth your while. Bear in mind that Which research found that half of deals were cheaper in the months before or after Black Friday, so check to make sure you're getting a genuine bargain.
5. Do go for quality over quantity
If you go for the ‘smash and grab’ approach you’ll end up leaving with a load of regrettable purchases that you don’t need. It’s better to leave with one major product you need rather than several smaller ones that you don’t.
6. Do check social media
Before you out head out the door, have a quick scroll through your favourite store’s Twitter feed, as they may update it with exclusive deals only available on social media. If you’re getting deals from supermarkets, follow your local store’s online channels for updates on how busy the store is and how much stock is left.
7. Do make a list and stick to it
Make a list of everything you want to buy and stick to it as rigorously as possible. Going into Black Friday without an idea of what you want means you’re more likely to dither over a purchase and loose out to another customer. A list can also prevent overspending on products you don’t need.
8. Do start early
Some websites have been known in recent years to launch their Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales up to a week before the big day, so keep an eye out online to see which sites are jumping the gun.
9. Do have fun
At the end of the day, it’s just shopping, and shopping shouldn’t have to feel like a chore. Remember that if you didn’t manage to grab that flatscreen TV you wanted, that there’ll be plenty more sales to come.
And the don'ts...
1. Don’t assume a good deal is a great deal
If you spot a deal that looks too good to be true, it most likely is. You can easily get caught up in seeing your favourite items being reduced, but you may find that the discount isn’t as great as you think. If so give it a miss.
2. Don’t buy for the sake of it
Always ask yourself before making a purchase if it’s an item you truly need, and if it feels like something you can live without then it might be wise to put it back on the shelf. Remember that if you don’t get something you want you can always wait until the January sales.
3. Don’t act impulsively
The more impulsively you spend the more likely you are to buy something you don’t need. Try to think rationally when shopping, otherwise you’ll end up seriously overspending.
4. Don’t get caught up in the frenzy
If you’re buying from the high street it can be easy to get caught up in the frenzied nature of Black Friday. Remember that it’s only a bit of shopping, so try to avoid barging, pushing or arguing with other customers about who saw it first.
5. Don’t rely on it for your Christmas presents
You’ll find a good bargain or two but that doesn’t mean you must use it as your main opportunity to get Christmas shopping sorted.
6. Don’t spend on a debit card
You’ll be better protected online if you pay via a credit card or PayPal, so consider one of these options to be absolutely sure that your money is safe.
7. Don’t go
The best way to avoid the stresses and panic of fighting it out for the best bargains is to not go altogether. If you keep a look out, there’s plenty of great deals year-round, so if you want to avoid the all the Black Friday fuss then stay in and put up your feet.