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Richa Ved explores the real value of Black Friday deals, revealing as many as 98% may not be as unique as they seem.
The holiday season is just around the corner, which means the season’s shopping rush is about to begin. And if you’re looking to buy yourself something nice, now might be the right time.
With Black Friday and Cyber Monday arriving this weekend, you’re probably geared up to kick off your holiday shopping too.
Amidst the cost-of-living crisis driving searches for the best bargains, we’ll see a flurry of deals and offers from retailers across the country. However, is the Black Friday sale really as good as it seems to be?
While certain expensive tech products, household appliances, or beauty items might be worth the wait for Black Friday, most deals are portrayed to be far more sizeable than they actually are.
A Which? research in 2022 revealed that a shocking 98% of Black Friday deals were cheaper or the same price during other times of the year.
So, don’t succumb to the pressure of buying a whole lot on this single day of the year, just to squeeze in that meagre deal.
Most deals are no better on the Black Friday weekend compared to through the rest of the year. Plus, if you’re going to be hitting the high streets, be prepared to battle all shoppers as you stagger through the crowds.
Brands will use all sorts of marketing strategies to lure you into buying their products, so if something looks too good to be true – it might be!
There are often loopholes in the displayed ‘was’ pricing, with many referring to a much higher price which only lasted for a short duration.
For example, a retailer may increase the price of a top from £50 to £90 for four days in the month leading to Black Friday and then display it as ‘Was £90, Now £45’.
Now with online being the preferred method of purchases, many also create a sense of urgency to act fast with pop-ups such as ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Only two items left’.
Don’t get too caught up in your excitement for new purchases and don’t fall prey to such tactics – just look at the final price and judge if the item is really worth it for you right now.
Tips to help you through the 2023 Black Friday Sale
- Make a wishlist ahead of time
To avoid scurrying about looking for the best discounts or purchasing items you wouldn’t even need, it’s best to align your wants and needs with a wishlist.
Once you have it, make sure to confirm details ahead of time and don’t keep your hopes too high, as some retailers might not partake in the Black Friday promotions at all.
It’s also worth browsing through the product reviews and return policies beforehand, rather than having to regret it later on.
- Stay up to date with the brands you’re interested in
Once you’ve had your eye on something specific, sign up for the mailing lists of the brands you want products from and follow them on social media so you’re never missing out on a good deal.
Check to see if the seller has any discounts of their own during other times of the year too. Often, these might prove to be cheaper than their Black Friday offers for you.
- Monitor prices
Do your research! In the weeks preceding Black Friday, compare prices of the products you want with last year’s prices.
It’s worth cross-checking prices in stores v/s online and across various retailers. Sometimes the original manufacturer’s store might also offer a better deal, so try there before solely trusting retailer websites.
You might be better off waiting until Cyber Monday to shop from online retailers as that’s when the best online discounts are available. Price tracking websites such as CamelCamelCamel or PriceRunner could be a good start.
- Check for further returns
You might be able to make money while you spend it with cashback rewards from sites such as TopCashback or QuidCo. You may shop normally, take advantage of the discounts to save money, and perhaps turn a profit on your shopping.
- Be cautious
With a sharp increase in online shopping, there’s an increased likelihood of financial scams. Beware of such traps and if you’re shopping online, consider using a credit card to benefit from the purchase protection feature.
However, remember to be careful not to incur debt while using credit cards or Buy Now Pay Later schemes. Buy within your means and shop wisely!
Photo credits: Pexels
Richa is a young Indian graduate from Warwick Business School, aspiring to find her niche in the media industry. She has a passion for writing and a keen interest in financial affairs. If you don’t find her working, she’s probably having a pizza (her favourite!) and a pint of beer somewhere.