We are one week away from Black Friday and many shoppers will be frothing with excitement. For those who don’t know, Black Friday is a day that is renowned for bargains that you wouldn’t normally get access to over the course of the year. They are usually in place a little while before the Christmas period, enticing shoppers to delve into purchases twice in the final few months of the year. 

However, with inflation soaring at its highest levels in a decade, shoppers should tread with caution before jumping into every sale with uncontrollable glee. We have made a list of five points to consider before you start to splash the cash on Black Friday sales.

Make a list

If you write down what you want and you stick to that list, you are unlikely to be swindled. This is because you should have a rough understanding of what that product or service will ordinarily cost. The concern is that shoppers come back with all sorts of items that they hadn’t thought about beforehand, opening them up to lots of money wastage. 

Make a budget

Set yourself a maximum spending amount so that you are not tempted to overspend. This can be the next step after you have highlighted what you want to get on the Black Friday sales. Some would argue it is better to set the budget first, especially if you are in a difficult financial situation. Either way, it’s important to think about your monetary spending pretty early on in this process. 

Make a note of different retailers

The more sellers that you know, the more comparisons that you can make. Think about all supermarket retailers and online retailers. The chances are that a big superpower retailer will be actively involved in Black Friday because it’s a great commercial opportunity for them – so check them out and see what they’re offering! 

Price comparison

This links to the previous point. If you make a plan beforehand then you can compare the price of one product or service across several different retailers or businesses. This is the best way to see if you are truly getting value-for-money. 

Every store will be competing for the best offer because they are aware it’s Black Friday, meaning that their competitors will be trying hard to undercut the other. 

Don’t fall for misleading slogans

It’s quite easy to get sucked into the hype of Black Friday claims from big retailers but what do they actually mean? 

Price promises have a tendency to be a little misleading. For example, in an interview with the Daily Express, money-saving expert Nick Drewe said: “John Lewis does not price match another retailer unless it has a store presence, so it’s important to do your own research and compare prices.”

“Research by Which? reveals that retailers sometimes use old RRPs (recommended retail prices) as ‘was’ prices, meaning they reflect the value of the item when it was first released and not its current value.”

These are two big things that are worth bearing in mind. Firstly, is the price-match actually extended to online retailers, and, secondly, whether the previous price that is stipulated is actually a recent price or not.

Ultimately, Black Friday is a great way to save money but it can also be a real wedge through any budgeting plans that have been carefully put together. Couple it with Christmas and people can end up blowing hundreds of pounds without realising it. Commercial days are great for businesses and shoppers but it’s the latter who need to show a little bit of caution on days like this. 

We hope that you do a bit of Black Friday research before making any purchases in seven days’ time. Black Friday is on 26 November 2021. 

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