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Black Friday falls on Friday 25 November 2022 and many retailers will be starting their deals at least a week ahead of the day itself. It’s a great time to save money, but there are pitfalls. So I have put together 12 smart Black Friday shopping tips to help you prepare to make the best savings this year.
HOW DOES BLACK FRIDAY WORK?
What started out as a single day sometime in the 1950s has now become a sales event that stretches out over at least a week. In fact, in 2021 Amazon Black Friday deals started appearing around four weeks ahead of the day itself.
With money-saving high on the agenda for many of us in the UK this year, it is well-worth making a Black Friday shopping plan to make the most of the deals and discounts on offer.
To help you I’ve put together 16 super smart Black Friday shopping tips.
16 SMART BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING TIPS FOR 2022
1. SIGN UP FOR AN AMAZON PRIME 30-DAY TRIAL
Let’s face it, Amazon is the absolute king of Black Friday, as it was the retailer that introduced Black Friday to the UK.
Signing up to Amazon Prime just ahead of Black Friday is absolutely the perfect time of year to sign up for a 30-day free trial.
The trial gives you access to exclusive Prime Black Friday deals, free premium delivery – next-day delivery and name-day delivery – as well as access to Amazon Prime Video (Amazon Originals are on fire at the moment!), Amazon Music and Prime Reading amongst other benefits. Oh and Try Before You Buy on clothes and shoes. You can Join the Amazon Prime 30-Day FREE Trial here.
2. SET YOURSELF A BUDGET
We are currently experiencing a really hard economic climate, which makes it even more important to set a budget ahead of Black Friday.
The first step here is to be realistic about how much money you can afford to spend. Then you can start to think about the things you really need to buy.
Black Friday is clearly a great time to nail your Christmas shopping, but it’s also a good time to buy things for the home and get great deals on expensive tech.
Once you’ve set your budget you can turn your mind to making your shopping list.
3. MAKE A SHOPPING LIST
Clearly I love a list!
But this is one time when a list is essential for keeping you on track with your sales shopping.
It is very easy to get a bit giddy and buy stuff just because it has a massive discount. So it is important to remember that a sales bargain is not a sales bargain if the thing you’ve bought turns out to not be very good. It’s also not a sales bargain if you bought it on impulse and didn’t really need it.
So make sure you keep your focus on making real savings by planning and researching the products you want to try and buy ahead of Black Friday.
You can either do a bit of googling to find good product reviews you think you can trust or if you’re really serious and want to buy some big ticket items during Black Friday, it could be worth signing up to the not-for-profit consumer champion Which?
Then take some time to sit down and write out a list of all the things you would like to buy.
4. KNOW THE TRUE PRICE OF PRODUCTS
When is a sales bargain not so much of a sales bargain? When it’s not actually any cheaper than it has been previously.
The thing about sales prices is that they are often marked against the original RRP (Recommended Retail Price) and that product may well have only been sold at the RRP for a fraction of the time that it’s been available.
Whilst Amazon is the absolute king of Black Friday and there are some truly brilliant sales deals to be had, it is worth using an Amazon price-tracking tool such as Camel Camel Camel to check just how much of a deal you are getting during Black Friday compared to buying the same product at other times of the year.
5. MAKE USE OF RETAILER WISHLISTS AND FAVOURITES LISTS
Online stores such as Amazon let you create shopping wishlists and many other online retailers allow you to ‘favourite’ items.
So, a smart move is to add everything you hope to buy to the wishlist or to your ‘favourites’ ahead of Black Friday.
Then you can sidestep the overwhelm of shopping the entire site and keep your focus on buying things you actually want and need by going straight to your wishlist or list of favourites.
6. SET UP ONLINE ACCOUNTS AHEAD OF BLACK FRIDAY
There are a number of reasons why it is worth setting up accounts with online stores ahead of Black Friday.
Firstly, account holders are often notified of deals and special offers ahead of everyone else. So setting up an account, or at the very least signing up to the newsletter, means you will get an early warning. It can also be useful to follow retailers on social media for early Black Friday tip-offs.
Top tip: If you have your gmail set up with a promotions tab it is well worth pulling emails from these retailers into your primary tab ahead of Black Friday, so you don’t miss them.
Secondly, some Black Friday deals are so popular they sell out super fast. So make sure you have the best chance of securing your bargain by already having your payment details and shipping details saved in your account.
This way you can check out super fast and avoid getting the heart-sinking notification that the product is no longer available whilst you’re fiddling around entering your credit card number.
7. MAKE SURE YOUR ACCOUNT DETAILS ARE UP TO DATE
Alongside setting up accounts it is also worth making sure that existing shopping accounts are up to date. Check your billing address, shipping address and also your payment details.
You don’t want to miss out on a bargain because there was a problem paying and you don’t want that bargain to go missing en route to you.
8. KEEP AN EYE ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR COUPONS YOU CAN USE DURING BLACK FRIDAY
Most of the biggest and best retailers and brands have social media activity going on across the main social media accounts in the run up and during Black Friday.
So keep an eye out for coupons and discount codes on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest and any other social media channels you use. Some retailers even offer Black Friday previews via their social media channels.
9. LOOK OUT FOR ONLINE BLACK FRIDAY SALES ADS AND BOOKMARK THE SITES
Lots of retailers will be pumping out Black Friday sales ads both ahead of and during Black Friday. If you spot an ad for something that appeals to you, click through to the site it’s for and then bookmark that site, so that you can find it once Black Friday starts.
10. KNOW YOUR BRANDS
Stick to brands with good reputations rather than being dazzled by fancy sounding products with brand names you haven’t heard of.
I’m not saying that upcoming and smaller brands aren’t good. But unless you’ve thoroughly researched a brand, it’s best to stick to household names.
11. BE REALISTIC ABOUT YOUR TECH NEEDS
We all want to save money on tech, so it’s not surprising that it is one of the biggest focuses for shoppers during Black Friday.
But you do need to make sure are being smart when looking for tech bargains. There are two things to consider when it comes to making savings on tech.
Firstly, what do you actually NEED from a tech device? Do you really need the latest model or will an older model actually more than suffice?
Secondly, will you feel disappointed if the tech you’ve just made a big saving on is almost instantly made obsolete in your affections by the release of a shiny new release – or perhaps more importantly, in the eyes of someone you are buying it for?
12. SHOP AROUND FOR THE BEST PRICE
In a similar vein to making sure that the price offer on a product during Black Friday is the best price you will get through that retailer, it is also well worth checking that it is the best price you can buy the product for anywhere.
Just because one retailer has a product marked as £50 down from £100 on its site or in its store, you might find that another retailer has the same product at £50 anyway. In which case there is no need to rush to buy it during Black Friday.
13. EARN AS YOU SAVE
Just because Black Friday is all about saving money doesn’t mean you can’t also aim to earn money at the same time. There are two main ways to do this.
A. SIGN UP TO CASHBACK SITES AND APPS
Sign up to a cashback site where you will earn cashback when you spend on certail retail sites. The current top UK cashback sites and apps are Topcashback and QuidCo, there are others, but these are the best.
B. USE A CREDIT CARD THAT GIVES YOU CASHBACK
Using a cashback credit card is the easiest way of earning money as you save. Some give you cashback, others give you retail vouchers or air miles. MoneySavingExpert usually has a good upto date list of the best cashback credit cards.
Just please, please, please remember the golden rule of using a credit card…. ALWAYS, ALWAYS pay the balance off in full at the end of each month.
14. USE CLICK AND COLLECT TO SAVE ON SHIPPING
Whilst a lot of online retailers offer free shipping over a certain spend, an increasing number are starting to charge for shipping.
One way to get around this and ensure you save as much money as possible is to opt for click and collect or collection point rather than home delivery.
15. AVOID MAKING IMPULSE PURCHASES
It’s incredibly easy to get so carried away with the buzz of making savings that you start buying stuff you hadn’t planned to and that you don’t really need.
But this is the fastest way to erase any savings you might make during Black Friday. So just don’t do it!
16. BUY FOR THE YEAR AHEAD
It’s easy to focus on Black Friday for Christmas gifts.
But don’t stop there. Look at the year ahead and work out what you need.
A bargain is always much more bonafide if it was something you needed to buy anyway.
Stock up on birthday gifts for the year ahead. Vacuum cleaner need an upgrade? Towels looking a bit tired? You know what to do!
So there you have it, 16 super smart Black Friday shopping tips to help you make the most of this year’s Black Friday.
Don’t forget to Join the Amazon Prime 30-Day FREE Trial as part of your savvy strategy to make the most of Black Friday this year.
Now, before you go, here’s a little more information about Black Friday and how it started.
WHAT IS BLACK FRIDAY AND HOW DOES BLACK FRIDAY WORK?
WHEN IS BLACK FRIDAY 2022?
Black Friday traditionally falls on the last Friday of November, this year it’s on Friday 25 November and it is followed by Cyber Monday on Monday 28 November.
WHAT IS BLACK FRIDAY?
The phrase ‘Black Friday’ first started being used in the 1950s in the USA to describe the busiest shopping day of the year. It is the day when retailers give big discounts across their product ranges.
WHY IS IT CALLED ‘BLACK FRIDAY’?
‘Black Friday’ refers to the day of the year when retailers go ‘into the black’ with their sales revenue.
WHEN DID BLACK FRIDAY START IN THE UK?
Black Friday didn’t start to be a thing in the UK until 2010 when the behemoth online retailer Amazon first offered Black Friday discounts to its UK customers.
It gathered pace in 2013 when ASDA started offering Black Friday in its stores and now a whole host of retailers offer deals.
HOW LONG DOES BLACK FRIDAY LAST?
Black Friday was initially a single day – the day after Thanksgiving – with heavily discounted products and deals. Then Cyber Monday popped up in the early noughties as an online only deals and discounts day.
Over the last few years Black Friday has evolved to run both online and offline for at least a week in November and some retailers continue it into December. However, Black Friday itself remains the biggest day for deals and discounts.
In fact, in 2021 Amazon ran its longest ever Black Friday, with discounts first appearing around four weeks ahead of the day itself.
With money-saving at the forefront for many of us in the UK at the moment, the smart thing to do is plan ahead so you can make the most of saving during the Black Friday sales period.
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Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists. She has written about all aspects of organising family life for ten years. Her main areas of expertise are family finance and budgeting, simplifying housekeeping and family admin and kids’ party planning. Read more.