Published on: 21 Nov 2017
This weekend is Black Friday leading through to Cyber Monday when retailers of all shapes and sizes are out to grab your money with discounted deals. But how good are these discounts, and how will you know if you’ve grabbed a bargain?
Do your homework
Make a list of what you want to buy and check the prices now, so you’ll know whether there truly has been a reduction.
Often the recommended retail price (RRP) isn’t what the item has been selling for. A recent Which? survey found that 60% of prices aren’t the lowest of the year!
Black Friday weekend can be addictive. Don’t get caught up in the hype or spend what you can't afford or don't need.
Lots of stores are already publicising their discounts so take a look, sign up to their newsletters, ‘Like’ their Facebook pages or follow them on Twitter – whatever it takes to get on their BFF list!
Research online prices
There are useful web tools you can use to check how much a product has actually been sold for previously.
CamelCamelCamel, for example, provides price history for products sold on Amazon.
MegaShopBot.com instantly selects and compares the best shopping comparison sites.
Idealo.co.uk and PriceSpy.co.uk compare a range of goods from electrical to home, beauty and toys.
Many of the sales begin at midnight on the Thursday before Black Friday, or even earlier. MoneySavingExpert is compiling a list of confirmed Black Friday deals so you can be ready for the off.
Stay safe online
More of us will be shopping online this year instead of battling the elements and crowds, so for starters make sure you shop through a cashback site such as TopCashback or Quidco to get a little extra back for you.
Make sure you check the security details of the website and take care of your PIN and other personal information – see Shop safely online.
Give it a miss
If you can’t be bothered with the stress or you’re not ready with your Christmas list, don’t worry retailers will still be after your money all the way till Christmas and beyond.
MoneySavingExpert has researched when some of the most popular stores have had price reductions in the run-up to Christmas – and here’s their Christmas Deals Predictor!
Just because it's on offer, don't assume it's the cheapest, ALWAYS compare prices. And ensure you always shop safely.
Try getting price drop alerts through Love Sales - this site allows you to add items from online retailers to your 'wish list' and name the price you're willing to pay, or ask for an alert when the price drops.
Don’t forget to use your Defence Discount Service card and other Armed Forces discounts.
Know your rights when shopping online.
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