Black Friday. Even though people in the UK don’t tend to celebrate Thanksgiving, the shopping mania has still crossed over to our shores. This year’s Black Friday shopping weekend begins on 25 November in-stores and online and ends online with Cyber Monday on 28 November. It’s one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year as brands slash prices to kick start the drive for Christmas gifts.
Rather than seeing this shopping weekend as a day to buy cheap things, see it as an opportunity to save money on quality goods. You can still take advantage of Black Friday and secure some discounted goods without joining the stampedes or falling into the “buy-buy-buy” mentality. These are our tips to help you stop wasting money on “bargains” and instead shop smart; you can still buy it once and buy it on a budget!
Know what you want to get ahead of time. It’s too tempting to browse and grab whatever takes your fancy just because it’s cheap.
Ask yourself questions. Are you actually going to use that? Do you really want and need it? If you’re shopping for someone, will they actually like it and use it more than once? If you’re just getting it because something you don’t hate is discounted, that’s not a saving. That’s just money thrown away in exchange for something to clutter up your home.
What do you actually need? Be specific; you might need something for the kitchen, but what exactly? Which product, what will you use it for and from which brand? Be sure to do your research so you don’t get overwhelmed by the choices and waste a purchase!
Online Shopping Tip: Make sure you have all the necessary accounts set up before the big day. Sites tend to be very slow or even crash on Black Friday due to the high volume of traffic.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Look for quality products. Ideally, you want to buy superb products at a discount, not pick up cheap junk to take up space in your house. Otherwise, you’re simply wasting money.
Here are some key things to investigate before making a purchase:
- What warranty and after-sale services are offered for the product?
- Does the company have a refund policy or warranty in place?
- How durable are the materials used for the product?
- Is it built to last or built to break in a few years?
Research Tip: Our website is a great place to look for brands if you get stuck. We research brands with excellent quality, durability and customer aftercare, and we work with them when we find ones that fit our BuyMeOnce standards. We aim to be a reliable source for you to discover great brands, so have a look through the rest of our site!
Is the product actually discounted? Discover the original price of an item and see if it’s really been cut before you buy. You can use CamelCamelCamel to track products’ price history on Amazon and score a real deal.
Compare prices. It’s important to know which retailer offers the lowest price for your product. If the idea of having a hundred tabs open on your web browser is terrifying, don’t worry – here are some price comparison websites to make the task easier! You can use Google Shopping, Price Runner or Idealo.
BuyMeOnce Tip: Be sure to check companies’ return policy. This is especially important for clothes as changing rooms tend to be closed on Black Friday to make stores less hectic, and you can’t try things on if you shop online.
STAY SAFE AND COMFORTABLE
Avoid scams. Panicked shopping means you’re more susceptible to scams, so stay calm and keep your eyes open! Use legitimate sites you trust and shop at authorised retailers that sell authentic brands, especially with tech goods.
When shopping online, check that the website starts with “https”. The “s” indicates the site is certified for secured customer data.
Do you really need to buy it in-store? You can get most Black Friday deals online without having to join the crowds – you might even come across online-only deals. If you must go to the stores, be sure to be nice to the sales assistants!