Previously an American phenomenon, Black Friday has gone global in recent years. With countless retailers offering discounts, Black Friday deals can tempt even the most disciplined shoppers to impulse buy.
Make sure you don’t overspend this festive season with our advice on the best way to manage the Black Friday rush.
1. Be wary of hidden charges.
At Lower My Charges, it’s important to us that charges for financial advice are transparent, but hidden charges can creep up in everyday spending, too. Avoid any surprise costs by checking out the T&Cs of your credit cards and be aware of any interest charges if you do need to use an overdraft.
Last year, UK consumers spent £1.4bn online on Black Friday. Though this is a convenient way to grab a bargain while avoiding the busy shops, be aware of any extra costs this might incur (delivery charges, for example), and shop around for the best deals. Think about your payment options, too, as services such as PayPal can be more secure.
2. Plan ahead
Before you start shopping, make a list of your gift ideas for everyone you expect to buy for and be realistic about how much you can afford to spend. Avoid impulse buying by sticking to the list – and be strict about your budget.
If you’re shopping online, it’s easy to compare prices across retailers quickly. If you’re planning to do your shopping on the high street, check out the deals online before you head out.
3. Don’t be pressured
Sometimes, it can be tempting to buy because you’re worried about missing a good deal and having to pay full price later. Calculate the price in terms of working hours, then decide if you’re willing to pay that amount.
4. Check out the guarantees and refund policies
If you’re shopping online, make sure you read the returns policy. Consider whether there’s a cost to post the item back. For electricals, check the length of time you have to return the item and whether there’s any guarantee. If you have a problem with it soon after purchasing, are you entitled to a replacement?
When you shop in store, be aware that returns policies can differ slightly for sales items, but you do still have the legal right to a refund. Ask at the till how long you have to return your purchase.
5. Look at the price, not the saving!
Though there are definitely deals to be found on Black Friday, the figures that retailers display can be misleading. Research by consumer experts Which? found that, in 2016, more than half of Black Friday deals had been on sale for the same price or cheaper at another point in the year.
Though a product might be on sale for half of its full price, it may not have been sold at full price for the majority of the year. Rather than being swayed by what appears to be a great saving, consider what the actual cost. If this was the standard price, would you be happy to pay it?
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