Black Friday tips: Bag the best Black Friday bargains
Black Friday is one the best days of the year to find an excellent bargain on a new laptop, TV, or gadget, as stores across the UK slash prices to ridiculous levels in the name of savings.
Retailers compete to offer bigger and better details, but that does mean the whole ordeal can start to feel rather overwhelming. It doesn’t help that Amazon‘s Black Friday deals begin weeks in advance (and contain some deals which, let’s be honest, aren’t as good as they seem).
You can prepare as much as you want, decide on exactly what you’re looking for, and promise not to set foot away from your predetermined path during Black Friday, but it won’t matter. The sheer number of deals and discounts on offer can pressure you into buying an overpriced and pointless product that hasn’t even been reduced by much.
Whatever it is you want, a little preparation (and a lot of self-control) can make sure you get the best deals and don’t end up feeling cheated. Here are some top tips to help you survive the Black Friday 2018 sales and make the most of the deals and discounts.
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Top 10 Black Friday tips
1. Know what you’re looking for
It’s all too easy to get distracted by the flashing offers and shiny deals that seem to take over the whole internet on Black Friday. Although it’s okay to keep your eyes peeled for a great deal, it’s best to go in armed with a list of things you really want to look for. Most websites will let you filter their Black Friday deals, by price or by product type, and this can help you navigate.
The Amazon Black Friday deals page lets you filter by price, department, type of deal, availability, whether a particular deal is eligible for Prime Membership (more on that below), the discount percentage and the average star rating based on customer reviews. Don’t just look through their massive list of discounted products – there are as many weird and useless things to buy as there are new technologies.
3. Know what you’re not looking for
As useful as it can be to know what bargains you’re trying to score in the Black Friday sales, it can be equally handy to have a blacklist of things you definitely don’t need to buy. It can help to make sure you stay on track and prevent those tempting distractions that are sure to crop up from getting in the way. While a hand-clap lightswitch is cool, and a new LEGO kit may be very tempting, it’s more important for you to buy that new laptop or phone you need for work.
4. Set your price
Even if it’s an absolute steal, your bank balance won’t thank you for splurging more than you can really afford. When you create your Black Friday shopping list, set your maximum price for each item and stick to it to avoid wasting time deciding whether you can afford it or not. You’ll be grateful you did when you snap up a great saving completely guilt-free.
5. Head online
Black Friday used to be synonymous with 4am queues and in-store fights over the last TV, but that’s no longer the case. While many shoppers still prefer to head out to the shops to try to pick up a deal, nearly all of the same deals can be found online – and oftentimes the online deals will be even bigger and better.
With Cyber Monday (and a plethora of companies hosting their own months-long Black Friday sales) you can often find more deals online than you even could in real life, although they won’t always be discounted by as much.
6. Don’t hesitate
Now you have your buy list, your not-to-buy list and a good idea of how much you’re willing to spend, your task should be a lot easier. Last year, many of the best deals sold out within minutes and others within hours, so be quick if you see what you’re looking for because it might not be there for long.
7. Shop before and after Black Friday
Although Black Friday is the day we all know and love, many retailers have started releasing limited-time deals in the week leading up to Black Friday. Many brands now take part in Cyber Monday or Cyber Weekend in the days following Black Friday. If you don’t find what you’re looking for on Friday, there’s a chance a great deal is yet to come.
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8. Check the shipping costs
A bargain isn’t such a bargain anymore when the delivery costs knock the price right back up again. Check for any extra costs, such as shipping or taxes, before you place your order to avoid spending more than you think. If you’re planning to spend a large amount on Amazon, we highly recommend signing up for a Prime Membership. It costs £79 a year but comes with a free trial that should see you through the Black Friday bonanza. You can learn more about Amazon Prime here, and find out how to cancel as soon as Black Friday is over. Be warned that the membership will automatically renew unless you actively cancel it.
We also recommend using voucher code sites. These often list promo codes for further discounts or free delivery.
9. Do your research
The RRP of a discounted product isn’t always the same as the price it was previously sold at and some retailers increase the price of items when they know sales are coming up to make the discount look more significant. We recommend keeping tabs on the price of anything you know you’ll be looking for in the Black Friday sales in the weeks leading up to the event to make sure you’re getting a genuinely good deal on the day. Some sites will do this for you, such as CamelCamelCamel, for specific sites.
And while you can check customer reviews on many sites, it’s also worth reading reviews from experts to see if a product is actually worth the investment. Our sister site Expert Reviews can help, especially for household appliances, and both Alphr and Expert Reviews run reviews of consoles, games, phones, tablets and other consumer goods. Make sure you’re not buying a dud.
10. Stay up to date with our dedicated deals pages
Just like last year, we’ll be updating our best Black Friday deals page will all the best offers for the duration of Black Friday 2018. Alternatively, Amazon has its own dedicated deals page so you don’t need to trawl the site. You can also sign up to our newsletter to get all the best deals delivered straight to your inbox in one email.