Unify Credit Union

Top tips for Black Friday

Monday 28th Oct, 2019

Can you believe that we are already over halfway through October now? How did that happen? Black Friday is coming up soon and we don’t want people to fall into a trap and waste money on items they didn’t need or be ripped off by “false” deals! If you want to make the most of the sales and come out with good deals keep reading to follow our handy tips and guide for a stress-free Black Friday shopping trip.

If you hadn’t started even thinking about Christmas, then maybe now you should! As many of you know at the end of November shops host Black Friday and “Cyber Monday”. Which is an American (modern) tradition the day after Thanksgiving, that for some reason the UK shops have adopted over recent years. Some people love it and others hate it.
The shops compete to have the best “deals” on items in the run-up to Christmas. People go crazy as they think that these prices won’t be on offer again until the January sales, so try and buy all their Christmas presents in one whole day. It sounds like a good idea doesn’t it? Buy items whilst they are cheap and save some pennies? Well only if you proceed with caution and do your homework!
There has been some controversy in recent years, where some shops put up their prices a few weeks before the “Sale” so that when they drop the price for Black Friday people think they are getting an amazing deal.
At this point, I hope you are ready to read our tips and make the most out of the Sales!

#1 – Do I actually need this?

One of the massive mistakes people make on Black Friday is panic buying. It can be a hectic and rushed experience in the stores where people see marked down price tags everywhere and other people rushing around grabbing items. In this panic, people begin picking up anything and everything that seems like a good deal. You may be tempted to buy something because it says 60% off, regardless of whether you even need or want it, but you buy it as you are worried about on missing out on a good deal.

Whether you are shopping for yourself or Christmas presents for others first thing to do is… MAKE A LIST. Just like Santa. Make sure you decide what do you need and want, as this will help you prioritise the most important items. Make your list and stick to it. If you go into a shop looking for a good deal on a Playstation, but leave with a Playstation, Controller with docking station, Beats headphones and an electric toothbrush because it was reduced from £79.99 to £49.99, you are not going to thank yourself later. Especially when you get home and realise that the Playstation already came with a controller, that your relative already has headphones that work perfectly well and that the impulse buy toothbrush is almost identical to the one you already own! Making a list is a key survival tool for Black Friday and brings us nicely onto the next tip...

#2 – Is this actually a good deal?

Another thing that people should think about is whether you are getting a good deal on the items that you buy. As we mentioned earlier, it isn’t unheard of for businesses to slightly increase their prices before reducing them again for the Black Friday “Sale”. That is why you should have a look now at the prices of the items you are interested in purchasing. Make a note of the prices from a few shops that you would be likely to purchase from and use this as your guide on Black Friday to compare back to. Another reason it is handy to know what the current selling price is for the items, as because after Black Friday the items will most likely revert to this. It is also useful to know how much the items cost beforehand as some retailers when advertising their discounts will compare their prices to the Recommended Retail Price (RRP). The RRP may not be a true reflection of the average or typical retail price. To show you what we mean by this we have put together an example to help you visualise how some retailers may “enhance” a sale price during a Black Friday sale:

When the iPhone 8 first came out in 2017 the RRP was £699. However 2 years have passed since then and there are newer models available, naturally, the value of the phone will have decreased. Doing a quick google search tells us that one high street retailer now sells the iPhone 8 for £479. 

This retailer could reduce the price of the phone to £469 during their Black Friday Sale, meaning that they have only really reduced their price by an additional £10. To make the reduction seem more appealing the retailers can and will compare their prices to the RRP, all they have to do is put together some snazzy sale labels which compare the two prices. Here is something we whipped up ourselves for this example.

 

Sale Price £469 Save £230

 

It didn’t take us very long to do and we think would be quite convincing to a shopper looking for a good deal, unaware that they are only really saving £10 on the cost of the item a few weeks prior!

 



By making your list of pre-sale prices of the items you are interested in you can avoid falling for this and decide for yourself whether the offer is good or not.

3# - Utilise ‘Click & Collect’.

For many people, the idea of crowds in shopping centres, long queues and general noise of Black Friday is enough to repel them from taking part. However, there are ways to get around this and still grab yourself a good deal, if there are any to find! Many, if not most shops will also have sales online, which means you may be able to snap up a bargain from the comfort of your own home. You can either pay for delivery to your house or many shops offer “Click & Collect” for free or for a reduced price of the delivery fee. Meaning that you can pick up your items a day or two later, at a time suitable for you and when the Black Friday crowds have disappeared. Going online also means you can start shopping for good deals before the shops even open!

4# - Keep your receipts and check the shop's returns policy.

Now this one is important for a few reasons.
The first one being, if you do go and an impulse buying spending spree, there is no reason why you can’t go back with the unwanted items and receipt and get a full refund for the price you paid.

Have you ever bought an item only to find out later that day or a few days later that the price was less somewhere else? If that happens to you may* be able to return the more expensive item for a refund and go and get it at the cheaper price elsewhere.
*Stores don’t legally have to do this, but some do, so it is worth checking that stores return/refund policy. Reputable stores will usually have a copy of this on their website and you may only be able to return the item if you haven’t opened/used the item etc.

Finally, keep your receipts and check store policy because the time between Black Friday and Christmas day is a few days short of a month! Some retailers will only give you 14 days for a full refund on items, others may give you up to a month. This means if you are buying items as gifts for people, you may only have a small window to return them after Christmas if they aren’t suitable. It is also worth asking the salesperson at the point of purchase for gift receipts, or whether they have an extended return time over the festive period.

We hope if you decide to take part in Black Friday this year that you take our advice to have a stress-free, maybe even enjoyable shopping experience!

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