9 simple rules for shopping on Black Friday

To shop or not to shop on Black Friday? That is the question. Either way, you'll need these tips.

guide to black friday shopping

Love it or loathe it, Black Friday returns again this year on the 24th November.

Originally an American tradition that falls on the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday has become well known for shopping bargains. Naturally, people all over the world have started to take advantage of this day dedicated to seriously reduced items.

Some retailers have already started their sales, so make sure you check out the companies getting involved with Black Friday. We'll also be posting any unmissable, time-limited deals on our Facebook page and WhatsApp group, so get involved if you haven't already!

Whether this is your first Black Friday, or you’re a seasoned professional, this guide will help you shop efficiently and get the most out of the sales.

9 simple rules to get through black Friday

  1. Get ready early

    black friday tip prepare early

    Are you planning to stay home and shop online in the warmth, or heading out to brave the crowds? Either way, get there early! The best deals will sell out quickly so you’ll want to be the first in the queue (whether that's virtually or in real life) to avoid disappointment.

    Camping overnight is a bit far fetched though, and don't always believe the hype. Last year, a lot of retailers spread the word about queues miles long, but when the day finally came, Black Friday was pretty tame! We reckon most smart people stayed at home and did their shopping online...

  2. Narrow down your search

    black friday tips narrow search

    Okay, so it’s not always easy to predict what will be on offer – but in order to minimise the temptation of impulse buys, you should have a rough idea of what you want in advance.

    Need new jeans? Stay away from Currys! Looking for gift sets for Christmas? Stick to checking out retailers such as Boots!

    There will be lots of bargains on Black Friday, but if you get lead astray and buy something you don’t need, then you’re just wasting money.

  3. Don't be suckered in by duff deals

    black friday bad deals

    Don't get us wrong – there are plenty of genuinely good deals around on Black Friday. But there are also plenty of terrible ones floating around too.

    Now this is just a theory, but we reckon that precisely because Black Friday is known for amazing deals, shops decide to try their luck with some terrible ones as well, and hope that people believe they're better than they are.

    The lesson here is to always do your research. If you know in advance of Black Friday that you'd like to buy something, do some research into how much it usually goes for. That way, you should recognise a duff deal when you see one.

    In fact, even if you don't have a particular purchase in mind beforehand, still do some research before taking the plunge! If you're looking on Amazon then CamelCamelCamel will show you how the price has changed over time.

    This should give you a good indication as to whether the Black Friday offer is the real deal, or just a poor imitation.

  4. Research deals and stores

    black friday tip do research

    There are so many retailers participating in Black Friday, and a lot of them will be offering the same thing – so how do you know who is cheapest?

    Before the big day, research the stores you're interested in to see if there are any hints about what will be on offer, and how much of a discount could be on the cards.

    We do have insiders as well as predictions based on previous years, but it isn't always possible to know what will be on offer, so before you buy something, have a quick check on other websites to see if you can get the same item for cheaper – don't fall for the hype!

  5. Don’t forget to use your student discount

    black friday student discount

    You may find that some shops will accept student discount, even on already discounted items which can involve serious savings!

    Check out our student discount guide to find out how to get a student discount, as well as our discount directory to discover everywhere that's known to offer some good deals.

    If you’re shopping in-store, make sure you bring your student card with you, and always chance your arm by asking if they do student discount – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!

  6. Give yourself a budget

    black friday tip give yourself a budgetCredit: Number 10 - Flickr

    Shopping for Christmas presents, or just a little something for yourself? Either way, you need to have a budget – and stick to it!

    You may decide to spend ‘x’ amount on the day or per person, but the important thing is not to deviate from it.

    Black Friday is just one day. Don’t get yourself into financial trouble just for the sake of a few bargains – remember you still need to have enough money to eat for the rest of the month!

  7. Don’t be disappointed

    black friday tips avoid disappointment

    Black Friday promises some crazy bargains, but that doesn’t mean you’ll end up with exactly what you had your heart set on.

    If you’re looking for Christmas presents, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find prezzies for everyone on your list on just this one day. If you need Christmas present ideas on the cheap, here are some great and personal gift ideas for under £5.

  8. Remember it's ok to change your mind

    black friday return unwanted goods

    Hopefully, by following these rules, you'll only buy what you actually need. That said, we can understand that temptation can sometimes be too much.

    If you do change your mind, you can return items with a receipt for a refund or credit note so you can spend your cash on something you actually want to keep.

    Don’t take too long deciding whether you want to keep the item or not – most retailers will only accept returns within 28 days, but it's worth remembering that some retailers won't accept returns on sale items at all. If in doubt, check their T&Cs online!

  9. Remember your manners!


    Planning on braving the shops on Black Friday? Remember that things can get feisty! You may see people squabbling over the last few tellies available at Tesco – keep a calm head and don’t get involved.

    Always remember to be polite, even if fellow shoppers are not! Manners cost nothing, and being rude won’t get you anywhere.

    Likewise, be nice to the poor employees working on Black Friday! If something's out of stock, it's not their fault. It's likely that staff have been working since 6am, so a friendly smile may just make their day.

Reckon you're ready for the madness? Check out the best Black Friday deals.

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