Retailers make a huge amount of noise about Black Friday, every year it seems to get bigger and better. But is Black Friday all it’s made out to be? Should we be spending big on one day a year or do we need to take a step back and be more considered in our buying habits?
The lure of saving is always powerful on Black Friday, however I recently read some research from Vanquis Bank that showed more than 60% of products on deal in 2017 were available cheaper at other times of the year. It rarely comes to mind when seeing huge 30% signs that the same product could have been discounted further during another sale or might get cheaper during the January sales.
What can we learn from these findings is that we need to approach Black Friday, and all sales, with an element of caution. There are a few tips that I think are worth sharing that will act as a guide for shopping during sales.
Five Black Friday tips
- Only buy items you need
We often make purchases based on impulse and without research; this is not recommended. It can lead to unnecessary expense and you could regret the decision in the long term.
When browsing Black Friday deals, make sure you’re only looking for items you need. The best deals are often announced in advance, meaning you can go straight to the product page or relevant store. This removes potential spending urges that come with browsing online and high street shopping.
- Do your research
Once you’ve decided that you need the item, it’s important to research which retailer will give you the best deal. On high-profile shopping days, such as Black Friday, retailers will often price match or drop their prices further based on competitor behaviour. Make sure you’re getting the best available deal.
- Set yourself a budget, and stick to it
Knowing your budget before you start is good money management. It will help prevent overspending and lower your chances of going beyond what is financially viable.
In fact, setting and sticking to a budget is something that should always be practiced, but particularly around Black Friday.
- Make a note of any payment terms
Large items will often come with credit options. Ensure you’re aware of the payment terms, including total repayment before making any financial commitment.
- Check the returns policy
Retailers can often alter their returns policy during sale periods. Check these before you buy; they will be available online, in-store or via customer service.