Black Friday is the biggest day of the year for sales, both online and in brick and mortar shops. It’s the day that millions of Britons hope to get a great bargain with a mega discount.
PriceRunner expects that 29 November this year will beat all records and once again be one of the largest single shopping days ever in the UK.
Black Friday comes from the USA and is the day after Thanksgiving.
But it will also be a fun day where you have a good chance to get some really good deals and save a lot of money.
Pretty much every shop and chain takes part in Black Friday, announcing that they’re offering great deals.
A good Black Friday offer is a discount of 40% of more. But unfortunately finding such large discounts is the exception, rather than the rule on the British version of Black Friday.
Average Black Friday reductions are 20-25%, and you need to make sure you check out offers carefully before buying. PriceRunner’s analysis of previous Black Friday sales shows that up to 30% of Black Friday offers are false, because the price has actually been the same before – or even cheaper.
PriceRunner is the UK’s leading price comparison and consumer information service, and here are our top 10 tips for how to successfully survive Black Friday and avoid the worst offer traps.
Where can I find a good Black Friday offer, and is it really a good deal?
Most stores and chains have Black Friday sales both online and in physical stores. Some offers are only available online, while others can only be purchased in physical stores.
It's very challenging for consumers to get an overview of what's a good value product, and where to find them. Offers are only published on the day, which is why it's important to check the store’s website.
PriceRunner advises consumers to always compare prices before buying. This means looking at the market's lowest price for the product, which tells you whether or not you've found a good deal.
When you're trying to work out whether it's a good offer, it's always useful to look at the lowest price on the market to see how much you can save. There's no point looking at the product’s pre-sale price in the store, as this can be artificially high.
At the same time, it's a good idea to check whether it's an older product or a good product on the whole, so read reviews and product tests. You can do this on the same PriceRunner page where you did the price comparison.
When you compare the Black Friday offer prices you've found, it's a good idea to check the product’s price history. What did the product cost before? You can see prices for the previous 12 months, and all prices in the price history. So you may have found a good Black Friday deal with big savings on the day, but looking at the price history can reveal that the Black Friday price is actually higher or the same as what the product has previously cost.
It’s beneficial to spend a few hours before Black Friday starts finding out which stores have Black Friday sales. Make a list of the products you’re interested in.
If you have an idea of what you're looking for, you can create a plan for which stores you’re going to visit. It can pay to visit some of the smaller niche stores online, as they often have good offers within their particular area of expertise.
It’s important to set a budget. How much do you want to spend? During the Black Friday sales in the UK, you can save a lot on your purchases – which is handy in the run up to Christmas, as December is often an expensive month.
Furthermore, ask yourself, “Is this really a product I need?”. It’s easy to be carried away and attracted by the bigger discounts, but is this ultimately a product you need?
In theory, the online stores open their Black Friday sales at midnight – but you can assume that many of them will have started their sales early.
If you want to be absolutely sure of getting the best offers, be ready when the clock strikes midnight and Black Friday itself starts.
The period between midnight and 1am is when there are the most visitors to
the online stores.
Check the store out thoroughly if the offer is particularly good. Is it a British shop? Check the “About us” page. Is the text correctly translated into English if it is not based in the UK? Does it look like a professional web shop? Does the store have exceptionally long delivery times?
Use your critical faculties and common sense when you come across an online store you've never heard of before and which has very high Black Friday discounts.
And not least – is the offer really a good deal? It’s important to retain your common sense and compare prices before buying.
Sometimes you buy a product that’s the wrong size, the wrong model or just plain wrong. So it's a good idea to check the store’s rules for returns. Is it easy to return the product?
In many stores you have to pay for shipping your products. So you need to remember to check how much shipping costs. There are also stores that offer free shipping for all purchases, or for purchases above a certain amount.
Strike quickly – because stores typically have a very limited quantity of the cheapest products.
The best deals can sell out in just a few minutes, which means buyers have to strike quickly. Even if you're going to do that it's still important to compare the prices to evaluate how good any given deal is.
If you use Black Friday to buy Christmas presents, remember to check the store's rules for exchanges. Remember that there’s always a 14-day period for returning products in shops within the EU.
PriceRunner is UK's independent price comparison service with over 1,000,000 products. PriceRunner was founded in 1999 and is active primarily in Sweden, Denmark and UK. We are a team of 130 ambitious PriceRunners who work to develop the most loved service for comparison shopping. PriceRunner is completely independent; we are not owned by or dependent on any manufacturer, retailer or other organisation that might have an interest in providing biased information. PriceRunner's mission is to help consumers find better products and better prices. Every month we help hundreds of thousands of consumers to find better, cheaper products and save money by comparing prices for a particular product.