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Black Friday shopping deals: Five tips before you spend

Black Friday does sound as if it could be something to do with Halloween. But the truth is, it could be even scarier for your wallet. Black Friday is typically regarded as the most popular shopping day of the year, where retailers offer tempting discounts on products. It’s on 27 November this year, so if you are planning to take advantage, follow our Black Friday tips to make sure you don’t get blinded by bargains.

UK shoppers say they plan to spend £1.4billion on Black Friday this year - the equivalent of £110 per person.

Lots of retailers take advantage of Black Friday, with discount promotions splashed around. It is easy to spend more than you mean to, especially with Christmas just over the horizon.

Here are our five tips to make sure your Black Friday marks the start of a fun festive shopping season, and not merely a way to empty your wallet.

Five Black Friday shopping tips for you

1. Set a budget

It is very easy to get carried away if you don’t set a spending limit for yourself. But remember – even if something is heavily discounted, if it’s outside your budget, it’s still overspending! Consider whether it’s something you really need. Would you still covet the items you’re buying if they were full price?

With a bit of time to spare before Black Friday, you have the chance to think about what your budget will be.

 

2. Compare your prices beforehand

If you have a particular purchase in mind, be prepared to shop around to get the best bargain. Have a figure in mind you are willing to spend, and check around retailers. Is it cheaper to buy it online? Don’t forget to factor in delivery costs if you are going to buy anything online too, as it could add on a fair amount if you are not careful.

3. Consider how you’re paying

It's important to consider how you're going to pay for your shopping. It can be easy to overstretch your wallet when it comes to the fun of bargain hunting, but the fun can quickly fade when it comes to paying for it, and you don't want to start 2016 with shopping-related debts. 

Our research showed around 1.4 million people were planning to use payday loans to help deal with the pressures of Christmas last year. If you're thinking of using payday loans, check out the alternatives first.

It could be a good idea to pay for items with your credit card – but only if you are able to pay it off in full. This is because credit cards give you an extra layer of protection.

If you use your credit card to buy something costing over £100 and up to £30,000, you’re covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. It means the credit card company has equal responsibility (or ‘liability’) with the seller if there’s a problem with the things you’ve bought or the company you’ve bought them from fails.

If you're spending less than £100 or using a debit card, there is a similar voluntary scheme called ‘chargeback’ available if your card is with Visa, Mastercard, Maestro or American Express. While this isn’t a legal protection, it means you can look to claim a refund from your debit card provider if a purchase doesn’t arrive or is faulty.

A cashback credit card could also be an option. Cashback credit cards offer you the chance to earn cash from the money you spend, by paying you a percentage back of your spend or giving you reward points. Again, you should only consider these if you know you can pay the amount back.

4. Know your rights

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 says goods should be of satisfactory quality, fit to do the job intended, and last a reasonable length of time.

If your goods break within six months, you can take them straight back to the shop – and it’s up to them to prove the appliance wasn’t faulty when you bought it.

Your rights are extended when you buy a product online and you can return non-faulty items too. For example you decision may be based on a brief description or photography, so what you receive might not always be quite what you expected.

Under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you have the right to return your order up to 14 days from the day you receive your goods.

For more consumer rights it pays to know, read our guest post from Which? Consumer Rights.

5. Be careful of extended warranties

Extended warranties are insurance policies that cover you for repair costs after the retailer’s or manufacturer’s warranty has expired.

But you already have statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act for faulty products, so think carefully about whether you need one before getting them – they can often be quite expensive.  

 

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  • Yvonne Reynolds / 1 December 2015

    Thanks Florence for the advice/tips, I find them very helpful and of great value. Keep up the good work.
    Happy Christmas to you all. Yvonne

  • Olugbade Akinade / 30 November 2015

    Excellent advice especially the ones about debit card payment and extended warranties.

  • Ana Irena / 29 November 2015

    And I agree with Helen Baker' s opinion. 24 November.

  • Ana Irena / 29 November 2015

    Thanks Florence for the tips. It is nice to check that your advice are what I always do when I go out for shopping, not only in Black Friday but as daily basis. I don't understand those people who like to spend more than they can afford.

  • Anita / 29 November 2015

    I refuse to buy anything on Black Friday because of the horrible, sad circumstances as to why it is called 'Black Friday'. You can't change history, doesn't mean to say you have to like it. In these financially difficult days, it is understandable why people will throw themselves at a discount or a bargain. I couldn't be bothered last year as it just looked like chaos. Then I found out why it's referred to as Black Friday.

  • Fiona / 28 November 2015

    thanks for the advice...it is really helpful when trying to get through Christmas especially but also very helpful just to make ends meet for myself because I only have my state pension+pension credit to live on. Thakyou again and have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas xxx

  • debbie dyer / 27 November 2015

    only buy what you really need, charity shops are still a great way to grab a bargain especially the good ones. be careful the big retailers IT can not cope. the fraudsters will be working hard to catch us out!!!!!

  • Christopher O'Shea / 27 November 2015

    Very useful.

  • Chris Bvundura / 26 November 2015

    That's great. Thanks loads for the advice

  • musangu peter / 26 November 2015

    awesome

  • Stanley mutshiya / 26 November 2015

    Nice tips to follow

  • Jacob / 26 November 2015

    Yea, many thanks for the group of people putting effort to make customers stay alive till date from the hand of banks policy and retaillers tricks. However am a business student so I understand concept of business but in UK every thing seems to be too expensive. Therefore, the black Friday swags (so to say) is not for people like me. Regards J Adefuye

  • Jacob / 26 November 2015

    Yea, many thanks for the group of people putting effort to make customers stay alive till date from the hand of banks policy and retaillers tricks. However am a business student so I understand concept of business but in UK every thing seems to be too expensive. Therefore, the black Friday swags (so to say) is not for people like me. Regards Jacob

  • Alice / 24 November 2015

    I remember my Mum getting into huge debit with a store card the Christmas she divorced my Dad. She was trying so hard to make it a fabulous Christmas. I can't remember any of the presents but I do remember it being rubbish because she broke so many traditions e.g let us open our presents at mid-night instead of in the morning. I was working and by summer I gave my Mum my savings to pay the debt instead. Took her years to learn the lesson and spoiled our relationship.

  • Helen Baker / 24 November 2015

    Thanks for the tips. However I'm not going anywhere that day. I think it's a con.

  • V / 24 November 2015

    I'll be checking eBay and Amazon to see who has it cheaper. Or I might not get anything.

  • Patrick / 24 November 2015

    Very good advice with bullet points which make it easier to understand.

  • Vincne Neale / 24 November 2015

    To save money I`m spending the day on my allotment getting the soil ready for the Winter Better doing something constructive than spending hard earned cash

  • emmanuel / 24 November 2015

    will I still need some serious help about money problems .so please you can send throught my
    email and phone number my address details.

  • hari / 24 November 2015

    very good advice. you don't save money by buying discounted price item if you don't need them. its just another expense.

  • Tony G / 24 November 2015

    Remember that many retailers will use sales like "Black" Friday to empty their warehouses of old or obsolete models of stuff so they can get in newer things to sell for Christmas. Remember that retailers have limited storage space, and because B.F. takes place 4 weeks before the holiday, shops will have plenty of time to get new stuff in.

  • George Morrison / 24 November 2015

    Very good advice and info.

  • John Gordon / 24 November 2015

    Very sound advice.

  • adam / 23 November 2015

    ;-]

  • Andrew Cruickshank / 23 November 2015

    I understand about the extra levels of cover by using credit cards....but you are still spending money you don't have....stick to a debit card and a budget figure that you can afford.

  • Arthur Shuter / 23 November 2015

    Good advice as always. There are some real bargains to be had but a bargain is only that if what you are buying is something which you really need or were intending to buy anyway at up to double the price being charged this Friday. ASDA withdrew from Black Friday because too many people caused mayhem trying to grab bargains last year. Never go to a Black Friday event EXPECTING to buy a specific item. If you come home emty handed it will not be life-changing whereas, getting injured desperately trying to muscle your way to a bargain can be!. Good luck to all bargain hunters. I hope to buy a smart phone at a good price. If it doesn't happen then I will just carry on using the one I have until my upgrade is due. Just beware of bargains and, as Money Advice suggest, shop around because there is nothing worse than rushing to buy something for £100 which would normally be £200, only to find that a shop further down the road is selling the exact same item for £85.

  • Jean aldrich / 23 November 2015

    Thank you, as always very good advice.. It is difficult not to overspend at Christmas especially if you have young children. I love Black Friday, and will possibly buy items I don't really need but I never overstretch budget too much. I would not consider loans but use credit cards mainly because they offer added protection to consumers when faced with faulty goods.

  • Nathan / 23 November 2015

    Thanks won't buy anything

  • Tony Ansell / 23 November 2015

    Don't buy anything on Black Friday and you won't get into debt. Its an American thing after Thanksgiving and the retailers are using the day to extract more money out of consumers.. Good on Asda who saw that it costs more on setting up the event than on profits made.

  • Irene Carbis / 23 November 2015

    Good advice, pity a lot of people don't take note of it.

  • Dawn / 23 November 2015

    Good advice for the spenderthons some people do get a bit carried away, I myself will only be looking for things my son would like but at a great price, I did do rather well last year with some label clothing items got a jumper for £28 should have been £64.95 & a jacket at £30.5. That was £ 75.00. I say be wise clever and shrude and take your time to survey all that is displayed & check the back of the rails in clothing stores it's worse in some shops than a church jumble used to be so some things are displayed in a mishap fashion

  • k clark / 23 November 2015

    One simple piece of advice I took years ago, cut your credit card in two and have a debit card, with that its impossible to spend more than you have available and you will enjoy a life time free of dept and all the hassle and expense that goes with it

  • sandra McIver / 23 November 2015

    I was not aware that as a customer I am able to return goods to the shop up to 6 months if they break.

  • Andrew Maxwell / 23 November 2015

    Fantastic advice as always covering all bases keep up the great posts

  • Alan J / 23 November 2015

    Who pays to return faulty or non-faulty goods bought on-line?

  • Latif / 23 November 2015

    Great