Black Friday is one of the biggest sale days of the year, both online and in physical shops. The day originates from the US and always falls the day after Thanksgiving, this year on November 26. Experts share their best tips to get the most bang for your buck.
This year, Black Friday will look quite different because of the many crises in the UK, predicts Christine Gouldthorp, Consumer Expert at PriceRunner. Supply chain issues in the UK and globally are causing a toy shortage and other problems, resulting in empty shelves, higher prices and longer delivery times.
“We’ve seen that prices have already started to increase ahead of Black Friday. This in combination with the struggle for retailers to get enough stock in shops has created a perfect storm. This year will be a Black Friday like we’ve never seen before. If I can give any advice, plan your purchases for Black Friday and Christmas soon to make sure what you want is available and arrives on time”, said Christine Gouldthorp.
When PriceRunner examined the stock status of toys on their site, which currently has more than 2.2 million products, they found that 11% of all toys were completely out of stock.
Tech is another popularly category during the Black Friday sale. Laptops are one of the most purchased product categories on the day and currently 48% are out of stock. Looking at printers, one of the most bought product categories during lockdown, 44% are out of stock.
Firstly, you need to prepare for the unexpected this year. The products you’re looking for could be out of stock due to the shipping and HGV crises. This will also affect one of the most popular product categories during Black Friday, toys, as reported in for example The Independent.
Keep calm and carry on, as when going online to shop during peak hours some websites might be slow due to a high traffic volume when a lot of people try to get the best deals at the same time.
“You could also be thrown off a website in the middle of the payment process due to the massive traffic on the network. Just make sure the payment hasn’t gone through and you end up paying for a product twice”, said Christine Gouldthorp.
On the flip side, Black Friday is a day where there are many great chances to grab a great bargain and save a lot of money in the process. Some of the best deals could last year be found within categories such as vacuum cleaners, mobile phones, bread makers, hair stylers and TV's.
Some of the best discounts last year were:
Our best advice is to always trust your instincts, as there are a few things to watch out for when it comes to Black Friday.
Firstly, there are a lot of fake deals on Black Friday, this means prices have been increased before a sale day or period to then be discounted at a price that really isn’t as low as advertised.
A fake deal according to PriceRunner is when retailers increase prices on products by at least 10% or more, to then lower them by at least 5% or more. This way they create an inflated impression of a sale that seems much better than it actually is.
While not technically illegal, it’s a highly unethical sales tactic still used by a lot of retailers to make discounts seem greater than they actually are.
There might also be retailers trying to sell counterfeit products at prices that seem too good to be true. If, for example, the price has been reduced heavily on a product that usually never gets discounted, be wary, as some unprofessional retailers buy cheap counterfeit products and sell at highly discounted prices.
Virtually all shops, department stores and chains will be discounting products on Black Friday, even though this year will likely be different from most other years.
“I predict that retailers will be reducing prices on the products they can actually get their hands on, as the shipping and HGV crises have been going on for so long that we won’t be coming out of the crisis at any point this year. This way they can still sell out their stock and avoid running out of products and disappoint consumers”, said Christine Gouldthorp.
Christine Gouldthorp, Consumer Expert at PriceRunner
According to PriceRunner, a good Black Friday deal is when a product has been discounted by 30 percent or more. The best way to find out of a deal is fake or real is to review the price history of a product, finding out of the price was hiked up before the sale or not.
Christine Gouldthorp, Consumer Expert at PriceRunner, shared her top 10 list of how to get the most out of Black Friday:
1. Write a shopping list in advance
Plan what you want to buy, avoid spending too much money and buying things you don’t need.
2. Set a price alert
Let us do the work for you, get an email when the product you want drops in price
3. Make a budget
Write down how much you can spend to avoid using money you need for other things
4. Compare prices
Check prices between different retailers today
Always make sure to review the price back in time
5. Check shipping costs
Make sure the cost for shipping is included in your total price, avoiding unwanted surprises when you get to the checkout
6. Look up the deilvery time
With so many disruptions to the UK’s supply chain, chances are relatively high that the delivery time is longer on the product you’re after
7. Be ready when the clock strikes
Make sure that what you need or want to buy is available or in stock
If you’re after a highly sought-after item, be ready at midnight as stock can run out fast, even online
It’s usually between 00 and 01 that most consumers shop from the online stores.
8. Only buy your products from professional retailers
Always only buy from shops you know you can trust or have pruchased from before
Also check to see if the store is covered by the PriceRunner's purchase guarantee scheme. Read more here https://www.pricerunner.com/info/buyer-protection
9. Check if it's easy to return
Sometimes you buy a product that is wrong size, wrong model or just wrong. Therefore, it is a good idea to check the store's return rules: Is it easy to return the item?
10. Check exchange rules
If you use Black Friday to buy Christmas gifts, remember to check the store’s exchange rules.
For all the best deals and discounts on Black Friday, find everything in one easy overview on PriceRunner’s Black Friday deals page.
PriceRunner was founded in 1999 and is the UK’s largest comparison service with 2.2 million products from 5,900 retailers in 21 different countries, who all deliver to the UK. The company has 160 employees in Stockholm, Sweden and Nykøbing Falster, Denmark. Our services are used every month by consumers who can compare products, prices, specifications, read professional product tests and consumer reviews of products and retailers. PriceRunner is a completely independent company. We are not owned by any manufacturers and are not dependent on them, retailers or other organisations with an interest in providing biased information. Our goal is to help consumers find the right products to the best prices. Every month, we help consumers find better and cheaper products while saving money by using PriceRunner's services.