The Savvy Shoppers Guide To Black Friday

27 November 2019

To add to the list of great things that our friends in the U.S. have given us (Pancakes & Hamilton the American Musical to name two), they’ve given us another gift. The gift of Black Friday. Traditionally, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. and is used as a day where stores can get rid of their old stock and prepare for the incoming Christmas period.

Whilst Black Friday has been accused of being #FakeNews mainly because of the fact that products are often cheaper at other times of the year (and the cynic in me believes this is true). Black Friday is exciting and I for one have got lost in all the excitement. Which is why I have put together some of my top tips and tricks to help you be a savvy shopper this Black Friday.

Make a list (check it twice), prioritise your list and stick to it

I don’t know about you but Black Friday messes with my mind. So many products are on offer and I end up scrolling through pages or walking through a store, screaming ‘I WANT IT ALL’. To stop myself adding everything into my basket, I’ll usually make a list of everything I want, so when it comes to purchasing I have a clear end goal (or 5 bags to be more precise) to keep focused on. Deciding what you want a couple of days before the sales kick off is a great way to ensure you stay on track in the madness of it all.

Compare prices, track prices and get alerts using Google Shopping, Pricespy, & Cheapstark
A little known fact about Black Friday is that retailers often hike up the prices of products just before the big day and then reduce them down back to their normal price to make it look like they’re cutting the cost. Poor move, I know. Although shops tend to portray Black Friday as the day you’ll find products at the cheapest prices in the history of shopping, this is not true. Depending on the product, an item can be a lot cheaper at other parts of the year. A great way to stay ahead of the shenanigans that retailers play is by tracking the prices of the items you have your eye on. By setting up a tracking tool, when the prices go up, you’re aware. If they fall, you’re aware and you’re able to judge the best time to clinch the purchase.

Look for early bird shopper discounts
Most retailers host a Black Week (I know, a whole week dedicated to discounts), with many prices being slashed from the Saturday before the Black Friday. Because of this extended period of discounted shopping, it’s great to check out what discounts stores are doing in the days leading up to Black Friday to ensure you grab the best deals.

Rethink your email subscriptions
The mail inbox can be a place of serious FOMO. In the run up to Black Friday, I’ve had a ridiculous amount of emails from brands getting me prepped for the day - which is both good and bad. Great in the sense that I can see the latest arrivals and the hottest deals from brands arriving straight into my inbox, bad in the sense that I feel I need to action it and make a purchase. Emails are created so cleverly and often have a call to action which makes me reach out for my debit card. So to avoid this I did a massive E-mail inbox audit – I unsubscribed to the newsletters and mailings that I wasn’t interested in, or hadn’t clicked on for a very long time and made sure my subscriptions were up to date for the brands I really cared about.

Know the stores policies

There’s nothing worse than heading back to return an item and finding out it’s exchange only or past the return date. This is something I always check when buying a product and even more so during the Black Friday/Christmas season.

Shop using discounted gift cards, Quidco & TopCashback for even more discounts
I feel like I’ve been living under a rock for so long as I’ve only just discovered Quidco & TopCashback. If you’re online shopping, you need an account with Quidco & TopCashback – maybe even treat yourself to the premium one to get the most out of it. Quidco & TopCashback are sites which give you money as a reward for buying online with some of your favourite retailers. Whenever you want to make an online purchase, log onto the Quidco & Topcashback sites/apps first then use their links to cement the purchase. How does they work? Quidco & Top Cashback get a commission from retailers as they refer consumers, instead of keeping this commission, they pass this back onto us. If you’re a keen online shopping, Quidco & TopCashback will save you loads of money over time.

A discounted gift card sounds is another great way to rack up the extra discounts. If you head onto Groupon or similar sites, you can buy gift cards for various retailers for half the price of their value e.g. a £50 gift card for a purchase price of £25…spend this on products that are reduced and you’re winning.

Shop with a friend for accountability
Having my friend in my ear saying ‘Do you really need that?’, or ‘That doesn’t look great on you’ works wonders when it comes to being held accountable for the items I buy. Shopping with my friends is the best way to keep my spending in check. You can make a pact to help each other stay on track, as well as be an outlet for all the Black Friday crowd rants. Plus make a day out of it by grabbing lunch and drinks.

Happy Black Friday

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