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The dos and don’ts of Black Friday

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It’s been hard to miss the deluge of Black Friday deals swamping the internet - and that’s even before actual Black Friday takes place tomorrow.

Black Friday was previously a one-day, post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas shopping extravaganza, native to America, when bargain hunters would battle it out for cut-price deals.

But thanks to the might of Amazon and other international brands, it has become a global event, spanning weeks rather than one day, followed by  Cyber Monday where retailers traditionally slash prices.

If you’re planning to brave the major discount event, here are a list of dos and don’ts.

Do check out online and paper ads

Cut out ads from papers and bookmark your favourite sales online to help remind you what you really want.

Do pull up apps while you’re shopping

Did you know that despite retailers discounting items on Black Friday, there are still places online that are even cheaper? Find the most inexpensive place to buy the item you want before you hit the shops, then compare prices through your phone while shopping.

Do use coupons and vouchers

Don’t just stop at the store’s discount. When applicable try and use a discount voucher where possible, they’ll be lots available online specifically for the occasion.

Do check the returns policy

Chances are you’ll be buying things in a bit of a rush on Black Friday so make sure you’re familiar with the store’s returns policy in case your product is faulty.

Do your research

Make sure you plan ahead so you know exactly what stores you are going to and a rough idea of what you are going to purchase. It is also important to prioritise your shopping list with your ‘must-have’ items at the top. Then plan your trip in a way that gives you the best chance of getting everything you need before stock runs out. It is also important to make note of the store openings as well, because some open earlier than others.

It also pays to compare online and in-store deals to see which brings up the best sales. It may take some time, but the savings will make it worth your while

Do go for quality not quantity

If a shop is advertising its Black Friday sale as one of the biggest ever with thousands of deals, be cautious. Just because there are a lot of deals, doesn’t mean they are necessarily all good. Stick to good honest savings on products you need to buy.

Do get online early

Save time by making an account with the retailer before the big day and update all your billing and shipping addresses. That way you can log on and simply press buy without putting any hassle on timed checkout baskets.

Do bring cash

If you are worried about being tempted into deals you don’t need then bring your budget in cash and leave the credit cards at home. Don’t ruin your hard work saving by spending more to compensate.   

Do use social media

Before you out head out the door, have a quick scroll through your favourite store’s Twitter feed. They may update it with exclusive deals only available on social media. If you are getting deals from supermarkets, follow your local one for updates on how busy the store is and how much stock is left.

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.


Don’t buy just for the sake of it

The price tag might make it seem like an amazing bargain, but do you really need it? And if it’s a present for someone, ask yourself, will they really like it? Just because you’re making a saving doesn’t mean you’re getting your money’s worth.

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 or hold off a little longer for Cyber Monday, especially for smaller items as there’s a high chance your item will be even further reduced.

Don’t treat it as last chance saloon

Black Friday is a great time to save money but it isn’t the only time of year you can make huge savings. If you can’t get your dream item for the price you want, don’t settle. Wait until January sales or summer discounts. Also don’t rely on the sales for your Christmas presents as this won’t be the only opportunity you’ll get.

Don’t be fooled into store credit cards

Stores might try and entice you to sign up to their credit card scheme for an extra discount. This is a big no as you’ll still be paying for the items months after and it will encourage you to spend over your budget. Try and spend with a credit card you already have rather than a debit card as you’ll be better protected.

Don’t overdo it

Try not to tackle your whole Christmas shopping list in one day. Restrict yourself to purchasing no more than seven items per store, this way you can lift the pressure off yourself a little. Remember, you can always purchase online through Cyber Monday as well.

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