Last updated in November 2020
Learn how to save money on Black Friday. Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving people go crazy over the allegedly insane deals retailers are offering. But do these deals really help you save money?
When your brain processes these huge deals. The rational part of your brain freezes and it is easy to fall into a shopping frenzy. Not a problem, you may think, as it is the best time of the year to bag yourself a bargain. However, this is not the most effective way to save money on Black Friday.
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Table of Contents
How to really save money on Black Friday deals
1. Stay at home and away from shopping sites
The absolute easiest way you can save money is by not participating in Black Friday at all. However, it is actually hard to do so because adverts and temptations are everywhere.
Therefore, a good idea is to stay away from any shops, shopping websites, or websites that you now run advertisement related to shopping. Even social media may be plastered with sponsored posts and bargain offers.
However, if there is something you really need or want to buy and it has been on your list for a while, not participating in Black Friday may cost you. This is because to save money on Black Friday, you also need to consider opportunity cost. If you want a specific item, you may be able to get a better deal on Black Friday than on other days.
Thus, you may prefer to plunge into the shopping craze–but not with a carefully planned strategy. Those who throw themselves into Black Friday unprepared are those who end up paying for it. If you follow the points listed below, you should be as safe as possible from wasting money.
2. Use a reward app or credit card
The first thing you want to consider to save money on Black Friday is whether you can combine the deals with other rewards such as cashback. This way, you can benefit from Black Friday even more. Cashback means you will be getting a certain percentage of the purchase price back in cash.
Another way is to get a reward credit card and put any large purchases on the card. In return, you may get some cash back, bonus points, or something else. If you do not want or are unable to take out a credit card, you can try reward apps. Or you can even combine apps with credit cards for maximum benefit.
Airtime Rewards is my favourite reward app. This is because it is super easy to use. You do not have to do a single thing to earn cashback. Instead, you link your credit/debit card and Airtime Rewards will track your spending passively.
Airtime Rewards is FREE to use and works with all major phone networks, regardless of whether you have a contract or are pay as you go. You will earn between 2%-10% of your purchase amount, depending on the retailer. It works with a wide selection of stores such as Waitrose, Morrison, Caffe Nero, Nike, Primark, etc.
This means you may effectively get up to another 10% off your Black Friday deal. And Airtime Rewards does not stop there. You can also earn up to £1.50 extra with my code BVPJVUG6.
Many people are wary of linking their bank card to third party services. However, Airtime Rewards is a legit app and you can see from its excellent Trustpilot rating that it is safe to use.
3. Decide beforehand what to buy
Before Black Friday arrives, you should sit down and make a list of items you actually need to save money on Black Friday. On the day, this will help you to avoid impulse purchases and make sure you know what you are looking for. It is easy to get lost when so many bargains jump at you all at once.
The items on your list should be limited to those that you actually need or want right now. If there is something you think you may need in the future or that you could imagine yourself wanting in the future, you are better off putting this purchase on hold.
This is because your wants and needs may change in the future and you may no longer need/want the item. Furthermore, Black Friday is not the only opportunity you will ever have to get a cheap deal. You can always wait until:
- Christmas (ask for it as a present)
- Boxing Day sale
- Your birthday (ask for it as a present)
- Seasonal sales
- One-time promotions
- Next year’s Boxing Day
As you can see, there will be plenty of opportunities in the future so there is no need to rush if you are unsure. To save money on Black Friday, do not be like a million other shoppers and act like it is the last day on earth to get a bargain.
4. Do not buy things you do not need
It is easy to buy something just because it looks nice or you feel it would be good have. This happens to us all the time but the danger is especially high on days such as Black Friday. Even if the discount on a certain item is small, it may be enough for your brain to freeze and you end up putting the item into your shopping basket.
Saying no can be hard sometimes. It may be worth spending some time before Black Friday to sit down and think about how you can make it easier for yourself. For example, some people may find it helpful to have a nice meal before they go shopping. Others like to bring a friend along (although this may have the opposite effect) to save money on Black Friday.
Whatever you do, ensure you have a shopping list. Especially as Black Friday is close to Christmas, you may find yourself seeing something thinking it would make an ideal present. The real danger here is that you end up buying too many presents or find that something you bought on a whim does not really suit the person you had in mind.
4. Do your shopping online
Shopping online has some major advantages over shopping in the high street or a shopping mall. To save money on Black Friday, many shoppers storm into the shops all at once, resulting in heavy traffic and large queues.
Sadly, the consequence of this is that most shoppers will feel stressed out. Stress, in turn, can lead to poor purchase decisions and impulse buying. You may feel like you need to treat yourself or grab whatever you can find to get out of the shops as quickly as possible.
There is also the danger of getting caught up in the hype. If everyone shops like there is no tomorrow, it is easy to just move along with it and overspend. For example, seeing a shelf in a supermarket almost empty with only one item remaining creates a sense of urgency. Clearly, everyone wants this item so it must be good. And if you do not grab it now, who knows whether the supermarket will restock.
Websites use the same method. Often, you can see notifications such as only one left in stock. However, this is not as psychologically damaging as you can simply navigate to another website. Furthermore, if there really is no item left, it is much easier to find an alternative online compared to in a store.
6. Save money on Black Friday: Compare prices
One advantage of shopping online is that you can compare prices easier. This enables you to ensure you find the best deal. But comparing does not end there. It is also important that you compare Black Friday prices to the normal retail price of the item you want to buy.
At Black Friday, retail prices are often inflated to make the discount appear bigger. For example, you could buy an item for £50 or buy it for £100 with a 50% discount. The huge discount makes it seem like you get a great deal when, in fact, there is little change in price.
Some retailers are even blunter. They will just cross out the original price and write the same price right underneath. It looks like you are getting a discount when in fact you do not. Another such method is to highlight the price tag in red or yellow without actually making any change to the price.
Therefore, to save money on Black Friday, it is worth visiting the store or website a few days before Black Friday and note down the price. You may also want to look at competitors’ prices just to ensure you are getting a good deal.
7. Follow the major retailers online
You can sign up to the retailers’ newsletters or follow them on social media. This may make you aware of good deals to save money on Black Friday you would have otherwise missed. Often, these newsletters are sent out in advance so you know beforehand what deals are available.
But be wary of becoming overwhelmed with newsletters. It may be worth creating an email address just for them so that they are separate from your normal inbox. Plus, if you see certain retailers only offering irrelevant or rubbish deals, you can unsubscribe and ignore them in the next year.
On social media, good deals are often announced last minute, particularly on Twitter. On one hand, this may create a sense of urgency and lead to you buying items you do not need. However, on the other hand, you can also find really good deals for things you may want.
Therefore, it is better to steel yourself beforehand and only focus on the items you want to buy. If you know you are vulnerable to last-minute offers, it may be better to stay away from social media. Instead, you could ask someone else to look out for you if you are after a specific item.
8. Avoid sketchy websites
Sadly, Black Friday is also a time when scammers are more active than usual. They know innocent shoppers are on the lookout for great deals and may jump on any big discount they see. And scam websites can offer unbelievably good deals–because they are not real.
Once you pay, your money is gone and you will never see anything for it in return. Therefore, it is important that you stick with websites that you trust. If you discover a new website, check the reviews first. If there are none, or only bad reviews, stay away. The potential savings do not outweigh the risk.
If you fall victim to a scam while trying to save money on Black Friday, report the website to Action Fraud and the police. Of course, you should also cancel the card you used to pay and inform the bank of the fraud.
Additionally, if you feel the scammers may try to steal your identity, you can get a CIFAS marker. With a CIFAS marker, scammers will have to undergo extra security checks if they try to impersonate you. Although these checks are not 100% foolproof, they make it very hard for scammers to proceed.
You may feel embarrassed about being scammed but remember that reporting the scammer can help to protect fellow shoppers who might otherwise make the same mistake.
How to really save money on Black Friday deals summary
There are many ways smart shoppers can save money on Black Friday, including:
- Stay at home and away from the internet
- Use a reward app or credit card
- Decide beforehand what to buy
- Do your shopping online
- Do not buy things you do not need
- Compare prices
- Follow the major retailers online
- Avoid sketchy websites
If you are smart and prepared Black Friday is a great opportunity to save money. However, make sure you do not overdo it and stay safe. Remember that there will always be a next time and you will see those huge discounts again.
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