Black Friday shopping tips 2021
To shop or not to shop on Black Friday? That is the question. With these tips, you'll be able to avoid the crowds, get the best deals and treat yourself to some cheap new things. Lucky you.
This year, Black Friday is on 26th November 2021.
Many retailers start their sales early, with some even offering Black November deals throughout the month. Make sure you check out the top Black Friday retailers to get a headstart on discount shopping.
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.
10 ways to find bargains on Black Friday
Try these hacks to get the best discounts on 27th November:
Wake up early to get the best deals
The best way to get the biggest discounts on Black Friday is by starting your shopping early.
Particularly if you're hoping to avoid the crowds this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, you can get set up on your laptop early in the morning and shop online.
The best deals will sell out quickly, so you'll want to be the first in the queue (whether that's online or in-person) to avoid disappointment.
Previously, a lot of top retailers might have expected long queues outside their stores on Black Friday, but this is rarely the case. We reckon most people will (wisely) stay at home and do their shopping online – this year more than ever...
Plan which shops to visit on Black Friday
Granted, 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 to buy in advance.
Stay focused about which sales to look at. Need new jeans? Stay away from Argos. Looking for gift sets for Christmas? Stick to retailers like Boots or TK Maxx.
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.
Find stores that have Black November deals
If you find that one day of huge bargains just isn't enough, you'll be glad to know that some shops offer deals throughout the month – this is known as Black November.
In 2020, to avoid too many people going into shops on the same day, some stores will run offers for more than one day (or even for the whole month) in November.
For other early reductions, keep an eye on our Black Friday discount page.
Be wary of misleading deals
Don't get us wrong – there are plenty of great deals around on Black Friday. But, unfortunately, there are also some which are... not so good.
It may be because Black Friday is known for amazing sales, some shops decide to try their luck with some terrible ones as well, and hope that people believe they're better than they are.
If you know what kinds of things you want to buy, do some research ahead of Black Friday to find out how much they'll usually sell for. Maybe even pop to the shops a day or two before to check prices. That way, you should recognise a duff deal when you see one.
In fact, even if you don't specifically know what you'd like to buy in advance, still do some research before making the purchase. If you're looking on Amazon, then CamelCamelCamel will show you how the price has changed over time.
This should indicate whether the Black Friday offer is the real deal or just a poor imitation.
Research Black Friday offers
There are so many shops with Black Friday deals, and a lot of them will be offering the same thing – so how do you know where to find the cheapest items?
Before the sales drop, 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 insights and Black Friday deal predictions based on previous years, but it isn't always possible to know what will be on offer. Before you buy something, have a quick check on other websites to see if you can get the same item for cheaper.
Save more money with your student discount
You may find that some shops will accept student discount, even on already discounted items – this can save you a lot of money on Black Friday.
Check out where offers student discounts to find out how to get the most out of the reductions.
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.
Set a shopping budget
Whether you set an overall spending limit for the day, or decide on price ranges to spend on each person, the important thing is to not deviate from it.
Black Friday is just one day. Don't get yourself into financial trouble for the sake of a few bargains – remember you need to make your money last for the rest of the month.
Have realistic expectations for Black Friday
Shops may be promising some crazy bargains ahead of 27th November, but that doesn't mean you'll end up with exactly what you'd set your heart set on.
If you're looking for Christmas presents, it's highly unlikely you'll find gifts for everyone on your list in just one day. As well as shopping in the Black Friday sales, you can also find cheap Christmas presents by checking out these great and personal gift ideas for under £5.
Consider returning items you no longer want
Hopefully, by following these rules, you'll only buy what you actually need. That said, we understand that the temptation of the sales can sometimes be too much.
If you do change your mind about some things you bought on Black Friday, check whether they're eligible for a refund. Some shops won't let you return sale items unless they're faulty (in which case, they have to let you return them by law).
And don't take too long deciding whether you want to keep an item – most retailers that do refund sale items will only accept returns within 28 days.
It's worth double-checking if you can return something by looking at the store's T&Cs online, and you can find out more about your consumer rights in our guide.
Be polite to shoppers and staff on Black Friday
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.
Ready for the sales? Check out the best Black Friday deals.