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How to Bag a Bargain – Without Busting your Budget – This Black Friday

By Andrew Wayland, Everyday Loans

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Black Friday is the busiest spending day of the year, when most major retailers slash their prices and shoppers bag themselves some big bargains before the Christmas rush.

This year it takes place on November 27th and, according to reports, spending is predicted to hit £6billion this year, with 66% of shoppers set to buy online to bypass coronavirus restrictions.

But whatever your seasonal shopping strategy, remember that just because an item is on sale, it doesn't mean it's a good deal. Always shop around first to check whether you can get it for cheaper elsewhere. And, most importantly, make sure you don’t bust your budget. Only buy what you can afford and, if it’s on credit, have a strict plan to make repayments.

So, if you fancy finding out how to shop savvy and bag a bargain or two without running into the red, here are our six top tips to sale shopping success.

1. Make a list and stick to it

Black Friday is absolutely not the time to browse online to see what takes your fancy. Really think about what you’re in the market for - and why - beforehand. Do you want it or need it? There’s a big difference.

If it’s the latter – and your TV’s broken, or washing machine is about to give up the ghost – the reason to spend is obvious. If it’s not, stop. Christmas is just around the corner and it will be expensive enough without unnecessary November purchases.

2. Don’t be pressured by TV adverts

The big retailers are pushing ‘must have’ costly games consoles and expensive tech which, even with money off, doesn’t do us any favours. Instead they pile on unnecessary pressure. So, be realistic. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it – even if a few pounds have been knocked off.

It’s just not worth it – and you won’t thank yourself when your January and February wages are wiped out trying to pay off such Christmas excesses.

3. Do your research

Always do your research in advance. Finding out as many facts as you can before discounts hit will make you less likely to succumb to those unnecessary “bargains.”

And always be aware of the RRP – or recommended retail price – as without it, who knows if it’s a bargain or not? One report suggests that nine out of ten UK Black Friday deals could be found at the same price or cheaper earlier this year.

So, do your homework beforehand. PriceSpy logs the price history of items from over 3,000 different retailers, while  Idealo lets you compare prices between retailers.

Also, make sure you take time to read product reviews – they’re the facts and feedback from those who’ve bought before, so can really inform your purchasing decision.

4. Keep your eyes peeled

Swotting up on what and where to buy on Black Friday and through to Cyber Monday can be pretty time-consuming, but there are loads of ways to make the job easier for yourself.

Newspapers and news sites are already full of the best deals and retailer round-ups, so take a look and make the most of others’ research.

5. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is

As the saying goes… avoid falling victim to online scams. Always be aware of what you’re buying, where it’s coming from and from who.

Online shopping fraud has risen by a staggering 30% during the pandemic as the majority of shopping has been online. Criminals have seen this move as an ideal opportunity to take advantage of shoppers by tempting them with the promise of cheap deals.

Find out more about safe online shopping this Black Friday here .

6. Use your reward points to make good deals even better

When was the last time you cashed in your Nectar points, Tesco Clubcard rewards or Boots advantage points?

Check the balances now and see how much you’ve accumulated – it may be more than you thought. Black Friday is a great time to put these rewards to good use to buy a present or two, at a better price, without having to dip into your bank account.

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