There’s no denying that so many more of us will be doing our Christmas shopping online this year. If anything that sentiment goes double for the biggest shopping event of the year – we’re of course talking about Black Friday. Whether you love it or hate it, it’s on it’s way and will be here quicker than you can remove those carved pumpkins from your doorstep. It’s the chance for shoppers to pick up some big bargains as we enter the festive season, and there’s no denying that people get a bit carried away – we’ve all seen those viral videos of people scrapping over the last telly in the supermarket, and if anything that alone is one reason to stay at home with your laptop, a cuppa and a Christmas film on Netflix on in the background. With more of us likely to be doing our Black Friday shopping from the comfort of our sofas this year (or sneakily at your work desk – we’re not judging), it’s likely that things might get a little stressful. But don’t fret, all it takes is a little organisation and a little shopper-savviness to navigate the event with minimal hassle. That’s why we’ve put together our top tips on how you can find the best deals without the urge to throw your laptop across the room – we give you our Black Friday Survival Guide!
1: Set Your Budget and Stick To It
Rule number one of Black Friday shopping (or Christmas shopping in general for that matter) – set a budget and stick to it. It’s so easy to get carried away with limited time offers and deals and picking up little extras that are going cheap, but be firm. Set yourself a budget before the event so you know where you stand.
2: Make a List
We hate to break it to you, but Black Friday isn’t really the best time for browsing. If you’re on a mission to buy specific things, make a list beforehand so you know what you’re after – not only will it mean you don’t get swayed by fancy promotions and top buys, but it’ll also help you stick to your budget too. If you’re planning on shopping with a specific website, make use of the wishlist function so make the process even smoother.
3: Do Your Research
Okay, some may consider this one overkill, but if you’re serious about getting the best deals on Black Friday, listen up. Take some time beforehand to research prices of specific items you’re on the hunt for – what are they going for usually? This is often especially the case with tech, toys and must-have beauty products, but it can be applied to plenty of other products up for grabs. Knowing the average RRP of what you’re looking for will make it easier to spot a good deal and will stop you getting distracted by any “amazing deals!” that aren’t actually that amazing.
4: Compare Prices
Just because something is advertised as a bargain on one site, it doesn’t automatically mean it won’t be at a better price on another. Have a couple of other tabs open on your laptop or another device to hand so you can quickly pop and check if it’s going cheaper somewhere else. Yes, it can be a bit of a faff, but it’ll save you a few quid in the long run.
5: Have a Backup List
If there’s a particular gadget or product you’re after that you know is going to be top of everyone else’s wish list, it can be a good idea to have a backup list of other stores that sell it, just in case your first choice sells out before you can get hold of it! Admittedly in this case you may not get the best price, but it’s all about weighing up your options – if it’s likely to come back in stock at the same price, you may be able to wait, but if it’s a “once it’s gone, it’s gone” scenario, you may have to bite the bullet and accept the deal was too good to stick around.
6: Set Up Your Accounts in Advance
Again, if you’re planning on shopping with specific stores and brands, it’s a good idea to set up your accounts a few days before Black Friday. Not only does this allow you to take advantage of the wishlist function we mentioned earlier, but you can also enter your payment information and delivery details beforehand too, making it a much quicker and easier checkout on the day. Plus, a lot of retailers offer discounts for new customers too, so you may even get yourself a cheeky extra saving on the side.
7: Look at the Price, Not the Saving
There’s no doubt in saying that seeing the savings on a product such as “70% off” rather than “Only [insert price]” is much more appealing when you’re bargain hunting, but actually, a top tip is to look at the price of the item above all else. That must-have gadget might be advertised as having 25% off, but does that automatically mean it’s the cheapest? This all goes back to doing your research – know the average prices of things and compare a few other stores before you commit, and you’ll definitely make sure that you get the best price.
8: Start Early
For many retailers, Black Friday has now become a week-long event, so you may find you can get what you need before the big day itself. However, if you’re determined to hold out for the main event, it can pay to get in early. Don’t wait until after work to get online and start shopping, as you may find the best deals have already been snapped up. Get up early if you can and you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for much quicker. If you’re a serious bargain hunter, there’s also the option of staying up to do your shopping – most Black Friday sales start at midnight, so if you really want to get it over and done with, make yourself a coffee and stay up a little later. Just don’t blame us if you’re hanging at work the next day!
For the In-Person Shoppers: So, we’ve given you a few handy hints on how you can get the best prices on your Black Friday online shopping, but what about those who want to brave the shops? Well, we’ve not forgotten you – check out our quick tips below for stress-free shopping.
- Dress appropriately – comfortable footwear and layers that can easily be removed are a must.
- Make a list and plan your itinerary – for example, pick up any heavier items last so you’re not lugging them around and factor in time to stop for a drink and a bite to eat if you’re planning an all day spree.
- Get there early – the later you go, the busier things will get! The same goes for car parks and public transport too!
- Choose your companions wisely – groups of friends can get a bit messy if you all want to go into different shops. Similarly, kids who will be easily distracted by festive toy displays will not only add to your stress, but also to other shoppers too. Consider leaving them at home if you can.
- Be considerate of other shoppers – especially with the new measures in place, queues are likely to be even more frustrating for all of us. Just be patient!
- Finally, while we’re on the topic of being considerate to other shoppers – don’t forget your face covering!
We don’t know about you, but this year in particular will be spent with a hot chocolate and our laptops in front of us when it comes to Christmas shopping – Black Friday especially! We hope our online shopping tips have given you a bit of guidance on how you can find the best deals amidst all of the shopping chaos, but if you have any top tips we’ve not mentioned, be sure to let us know in the comments! Happy shopping!
Written by Amy Jackson – Content and Features Writer at Discount Promo Codes – 14th October 2020