Some 14 million shoppers are predicted to be splashing out on Black Friday, spending an eyewatering £2.3 million every minute. The Money Advice Service is sharing its tips on how to buy wisely - without getting carried away on November 25.
1. Set a budget
It can be very easy to get carried away if you don't set a spending limit for yourself. But remember - even if something is heavily discounted it could still be outside your budget. In the run up to Black Friday, work out what you can afford to spend and stick to it. You can use our budget planner to work out how much money you have coming in, what you're spending it on, and how much you have left over for any Black Friday deals.
Don't forget to factor in delivery costs
2. Compare prices beforehand
Do your research beforehand if you have a particular purchase in mind; be prepared to shop around to get the best price. Have a figure in mind you are willing to spend, and check online for comparison prices. Is it cheaper to buy it online? Don't forget to factor in delivery costs if you are going to buy anything online. Also, make sure you’re comparing like for like. For example, if you're looking to buy a TV and want to stream from catch-up services then make sure you check the product is able to do that – a lower deal price might be down to the difference between what two products can do. Check out Asda's affordable TV deal.
3. Consider how you're paying
- It can be a good idea to pay for items with your credit card because it can provide you with an extra layer of protection if things go wrong – but you should aim to pay it off any balance in full when payment is due. Don't put yourself into debt. A good deal will quickly disappear if you are accumulating interest charges on your credit card. If you use your credit card to buy something costing over £100 and up to £30,000, you are covered by the Consumer Credit Act. This means that the credit card company has responsibility with the seller if there's a problem with the things you've bought or the company you've bought them from goes bust.
- If you’re spending less than £100 or using a debit card, there is a similar voluntary scheme called 'chargeback' available if your card is with Visa, Mastercard, Maestro or American Express. While this isn't a legal protection, it means you can look to claim a refund from your debit card provider if a purchase doesn't arrive or is faulty. There's no minimum spend in order to be covered by chargeback, but there is usually a time limit for making a claim - which is typically up to 120 days after you bought the item, depending on the type of card.
- A cashback credit card could also be an option. Cashback credit cards offer you the chance to earn cash from the money you spend, by paying you a proportion of your spend or giving you reward points. Again, you should only consider these if you know you can pay the amount back. Check out our round up of cashback and rewards credit cards.
4. Know your rights
The Consumer Rights Act says goods should be of satisfactory quality, fit to do the job intended, and last a reasonable length of time. This right is limited to 30 days from the date you buy your product. After 30 days you will not be legally entitled to a full refund if your item develops a fault.
If your goods break within six months, you can take them straight back to the shop – and it's up to them to prove the product wasn’t faulty when you bought it.
Your rights are extended when you buy a product online and you can return non-faulty items too. For example your decision to buy may have been based on a short description or a photo, so what you receive might not always be quite what you expected. Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you have the right to return your online order up to 14 days from the day. Read more about your consumer rights.
5. Look long-term
In the run up to Christmas, many supermarkets put together deals where you are offered vouchers or bonuses for the festive season every time you shop, which you can then put towards Christmas shopping later down the line. You might well be offered loyalty bonuses on top of regular points too if you start saving early enough. Use our top tips to save cash on your supermarket shop.
- For more money-saving tips, pick up the latest copy of Yours magazine