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Shopping

Shopping tips for Black Friday 2019

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.

Man and woman with shopping bags

Credit: Evgeny Atamanenko, Mix and Match Studio – Shutterstock

This year, Black Friday is on 29 November.

Some retailers have already started their sales – make sure you check out the 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.

9 ways to find bargains on Black Friday

Try these hacks to get the best discounts on 29 November:

  1. Wake up early to beat the crowds

    Jack Whitehall Fresh Meat

    Credit: Channel 4

    Are you planning to stay home and shop online in the warmth, or head out to brave the crowds? Either way, start shopping as early as possible on Black Friday.

    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.

    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 people (wisely) stayed at home and did their shopping online...

  2. 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.

  3. Don't get caught out by misleading deals

    Blair from Gossip Girl with shopping bags

    Credit: Warner Bros.

    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 that 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.

  4. Research Black Friday deals

    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.

  5. Save more money with your student discount

    piggy bank with graduate cap

    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 our student discount guide to find out how to get a student discount, as well as our discount directory to discover which shops are known to offer 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. Set yourself a budget

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

    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.

  7. Don’t set your expectations too high

    Confessions of a shopaholic shoes

    Credit: Touchstone Pictures

    Shops may be promising some crazy bargains ahead of 29 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 prezzies 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.

  8. 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.

    If you don't manage to return your purchases on time, remember that there are sites where you can swap your unwanted things for someone else's treasure. Or, you could try selling your items on eBay.

  9. Be polite to shoppers and staff on Black Friday

    Buddy the elf smiling

    Credit: New Line Cinema

    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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