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When is Black Friday?

Black Friday falls on the last Friday of November as it’s always the day after Thanksgiving in the USA. So this year Black Friday falls on Friday 25th November. Deals were originally only available for one day, however, a lot of sales now stretch over the weekend and into the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Are Black Fridays deals worth it?

Research by Which? has revealed that a massive 98% of Black Friday deals are actually cheaper, or the same price at other times in the year.

In their investigation of 214 Black Friday deals from 2021, they revealed that no products were at their cheapest on Black Friday. They compared products from seven major home and tech retailers (Amazon, AO, Argos, Currys, John Lewis, Richer Sounds, and Very) and looked at prices both six months before Black Friday 2021 and six months after.

Their findings revealed:

  • 98% of products were cheaper or the same price as their Black Friday price at other times of the year
  • 86% of products were cheaper or the same price in the six months before Black Friday
  • 98% of products were cheaper or the same price in the six months after Black Friday
  • 46% of products were cheaper than their Black Friday price at other times of the year

Holly Andrews, Managing Director at KIS Finance, and personal finance expert says:

“The Which? investigation has revealed that most Black Friday deals are not what they seem, and many shoppers will be left thinking that they’ve got a good deal when, in reality, they could get a better one if they wait.

Retailers tend to jump on the Black Friday bandwagon and push out their discounts as they know a lot of shoppers wait for the sales day/weekend to make their purchases. Although you can get some good deals on Black Friday, I would recommend waiting until after the event if it’s not a Christmas gift or something that you need urgently.

The confusion can come when it comes to reference pricing, which is when a deal refers to a product’s previous price, e.g. ‘Was £150, now £75’. The law requires that the ‘was’ price is either a price that the retailer has previously charged for that product, the RRP set by the manufacturer, or a price charged by a different retailer for the same product.

So, the retailer doesn’t actually have to have charged the ‘was’ price before as this could be the RRP or a price previously charged by a competitor. This is a trick used by some retailers to con shoppers into thinking that they’re getting a bargain, but really it’s not a discount at all or the savings are miniscule.

Try not to get caught up in the rush of Black Friday and make sure you do thorough research before making purchases, especially if you are looking at big ticket items such as TVs or washing machines. If you don’t need the items right now, then keep an eye on prices throughout December and especially when the Boxing Day and January sales start as you may find that prices drop even further.”

However, you can still benefit from big savings so if you are planning to shop on Black Friday, here are tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of the sales.

Start planning early!

There are a number of reasons as to why starting early is the key to making the best savings on Black Friday. It’s important to make a list of things you want and need, also thinking about any upcoming birthday gifts you need to buy and Christmas too.

Black Friday has turned into a much larger event than just one day with many retailers seemingly starting their deals earlier and earlier every year. So keeping an eye out from the start of November will ensure that you’re not missing out on any bargains.

Although these may not be the best deals they have to offer, they will give you an idea of what products will be on sale. You can then bookmark these and keep an eye on them as the discounts get bigger.

Knowing exactly what you want way before Black Friday will also mean that you won’t be wasting time on the day/weekend – whether that’s walking around the high street or shopping online. It will also save you money too as you can just head to the places/websites that you know you want to go to and you won’t be reeled in by deals and offers from retailers that aren’t on your list.

If you are going to make some purchases that have a substantial value, you may need to organise finance. You can compare the costs of various loans using our secured loan calculator to make sure that you get yourself the best possible deal so that you are in a position to secure a bargain and purchase another great deal.

Concerns over supply issues for certain products and retailers is another reason to start planning and shopping early. It’s likely that supplies of stock will run out quite quickly in some places this year, so if there’s something you really need or want, make sure you’re prepared!

Be vigilant towards scams

With more people shopping online than ever before since the pandemic, scammers will take advantage of any opportunity they can to con people out their hard-earned cash and Black Friday is no exception.

Make sure you only shop on websites that have the green padlock symbol in the address bar with a URL that starts with HTTPS. This means that the website is secure and any data you enter into the site, such as your bank details, will be encrypted and unreadable by prying eyes.

Paying via PayPal is another good method of keeping your money safe as you won’t need to enter you bank details on the shopping website, and you will have more protection if things go wrong.

Spending more than £100 on a credit card, online or in-store, also means that you are automatically protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means you can speak to your credit card provider about getting a refund if you run into problems and the retailer refuses to help.

Stay up to date and get the latest information on Black Friday scams.

Follow your favourite shops and brands

Most brands and retailers post their discounts and deals on their social media pages to give their loyal customers a heads up way before Black Friday. So make sure that you’re following your favourite brands and that you’re signed up to receive their email alerts, so you’ll be among the first to know when their sales start. This will give you time to compare retailers and brands, create your lists, and make sure you’re getting the best deals.

Research products’ price history

As the Which? report detailed, a lot of products can actually be found cheaper at different times of the year. While you’re doing your pre-sale research, have a look online to see what products have been on sale for previously in the year to work out whether it’s a genuinely good deal. If it has been cheaper at other times in the year then have a think about whether it’s worth waiting for or if you genuinely want/need the item now.

Don’t just focus on price

It goes without saying that you should always shop around to make sure that you’re getting the best price as some products may be cheaper on Amazon, for example, than some brands’ own websites or other stockists.

However, don’t just look at the price. Other websites may offer cheaper or even free delivery which may make the overall price less, and some may have better warranty on electrical items or offer a better returns policy. So, although the price is the most important factor, make sure you’re really getting the best all-round deal.

Try and price match

Some retailers will price match on Black Friday if other retailers are selling a product at a lower price. Currys, for example, will often price match if you show them evidence of another retailer selling an item cheaper.

Not all shops will offer price matching, but you may be able to negotiate a partial refund if an item drops price not long after you purchased it.

Set up online accounts in advance

Websites can be incredibly slow or even crash during the initial hours of Black Friday sales going live due to the influx of online traffic. Opening accounts in advance for your favourite retailers may make the process a lot quicker and easier for you on the day as you won’t be trying to add all of your delivery and payment details when the website is going really slowly.

Earn as you spend

If you’re planning to make some big purchases this Black Friday, you may be able to make some money back on your purchases if you go through a cashback website like Quidco or TopCashBack.

These sites offer cashback on thousands of products through thousands of retailers and it’s absolutely free to sign up and shop through them.

However, you shouldn’t use these sites to decide where to buy from or what to buy, but getting cashback could be a little bonus on the things that you were planning to buy anyway.


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