Black Friday ‘deals’ have been piling into my inbox, but I’m always rather cynical when it comes to all this Black Friday hype.
Stores may advertise big savings to lure you in, but it’s no guarantee that buying on Black Friday means you’ll bag the best price.
Black Friday falls on 29th November this year, and as in recent years, lots of retailers are starting their sales early, and Amazon’s Black Friday sale has already kicked off.
But when it comes to the price tag, a whopping 95% of Black Friday ‘deals’ are cheaper, or the same price, after the sales, according to research from consumer group Which. And price comparison site Idealo also found 9 out of 10 items on sale during last year’s Black Friday event were actually cheaper at other times of the year.
So here’s how to stay one step ahead of the hype when checking out those Black Friday ‘bargains’.
Use Amazon’s price tracker
Even if you’re not planning to buy on Amazon, worth using its price tracker tool to check the ‘best price’ of anything you’re planning to buy.
This handy tool monitors Amazon prices all year round, so it’s a quick and easy way to see what its ‘cheapest’ price has been over the year and give you an idea whether a Black Friday deal really is a good price.
Stores don’t offer discounts to be generous; it’s their chance to shift stuff that’s not selling. So it can be hard to compare ‘like for like’ if the tech gadgets on sale aren’t the latest models or are less familiar names.
So worth comparing prices on a couple of price comparison websites.
Shop around now
If there’s something specific you’re after; shop around now to see who’s selling it and the current price. This way you’ll know if the deal you see on Black Friday really is the best one.
Forget voucher codes
Bad news with Black Friday, (along with any other sales), is that you can’t usually use any discount vouchers to get ‘double discount’.
So in some cases a Black Friday discount may only bring the price down the same level as you’d pay a week later with a 20% voucher code.
Check returns policies
Over half of us admit to splurging on ‘impulse buys’ last Black Friday according to Protect Your Bubble, when we dented our bank balance to the tune of £145 a time.
So if you buy something you later regret, worth knowing if you can take it back.
Stores aren’t obliged to dish out refunds if you change your mind, and this applies at any time of year, not just Black Friday. But that said, many do have generous ‘returns’ policies so always check before buying so you’re not out of pocket.