We’ve seen the scenes before: Hordes of shoppers, charging around stores with trolleys overflowing. Fights erupting as shelves are stripped of TVs, toys and gadgets. Queues snaking along the high street as shops overflow with people.
Not in the know? In a nutshell, Black Friday marks the start of the festive shopping season. The last Friday in November – and usually the whole weekend, if not week – shops slash prices, create crazy deals and bring out their biggest bargains.
If you’re braving the high-street battlefield this weekend, make sure you snag the best offers and avoid getting burned, with our handy tips:
1 – Plan ahead
A little research can go a long way. Turning up without a plan can leave you lost in the crowds, and missing out on deals.
Instead, make a list of the items you want to buy, and where you want to buy them. That way, you’ll bypass the browsers and get straight to scooping up items at crazy prices.
For the super-savvy shoppers, there are even Black Friday apps that can help with your plan of attack.
2 – The early bird…
…Really does catch the worm! The earlier you can get to the shops, the better the selection. While it will likely to be busy whenever you turn up, there are always peak times to avoid. Between 10am and 3pm will be chaos – join the fray at your peril!
A better idea? Check to see if your favourite stores will be opening earlier, or keeping their doors open for longer than usual. It’s worth sacrificing a lie-in to get that latest games-console for half price! As an extra bonus, some brands offer extra rewards, such as giving further discounts to the first 500 shoppers through the door, so it’s worth finding out.
3 – Stay at home
Of course, you could completely avoid the chaos by boiling the kettle, putting your feet up and ordering online. Some sites start advertising reductions from 12am, so consider a midnight shopping spree.
Remember though, many Black Friday deals are in-store exclusive, so you won’t find them online. That means online marketplaces, such as Amazon, will targeted quickly – and stocks won’t last long! Log on early, and scoop up deals while they’re available.
4 – Keep your guard up.
In the shopping frenzy, it’s easy in your rush for the ‘Buy Now’ button, to forget to make sure what you’re getting is a quality product – and that you’re not buying from a rogue trader.
The best way to make decisions? Read the reviews. Look for verified ratings and feedback from fellow shoppers who have bought from the same store.
But it’s important to be aware that some dodgy dealers can boost their reputation and flog terrible products with fake feedback. Fortunately, Feefo are specialists in ensuring ratings and opinions are authentic and written by real customers. Any shop that uses our reliable verification process can be 100% trusted to provide genuine reviews. For those that don’t use Feefo, check out our guide on what to look out for to protect yourself.
5 – Stick to your budget
With so many offers, it’s easy to get swept up in a buying-frenzy, and start grabbing items you’d never normally consider. Instead, decide ahead of time exactly what your budget is, and stick to it.
Along with planning what items you’ll be going for, this can really help you maximise your savings and help you avoid buyer’s remorse when you get home.
Don’t be tempted to splurge on extras either. Shop assistants will be only too happy to capitalise on the savings you’ve made, by hard-selling premium extras at full whack.
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