With Christmas fast approaching, are you ready to splash the cash? Check out our tips for sustainable spending.
While you can still bag yourself some great deals, be careful. Not all the deals fighting for your attention will be as good as they seem, so make sure you know what to watch out for before you part with your money.
So, before you plunge into the pandemonium of Black Friday, use our tips to shop without getting caught out.
Check the deal is genuine
The rush in activity on Black Friday can often mean shoppers purchase items they wouldn’t normally. This means you may get caught out on price.
Make sure you check the price history of a product on sites such as PriceRunner. By doing so, you can get a handle on whether the discount is worth it. In addition, take the time to check comparison sites as it is not uncommon for retailers to price match on certain items.
Shop on sites you are familiar with
Common-sense shopping can dissipate at the click of a mouse when you find yourself seduced by mega deals.
No matter the price cut, your security is more important than a cheap new phone or pair of trainers. Avoid sites which look unprofessional and are saturated with adverts or too-good-to-be-true offers. Stick to the retailers you know and use regularly, as they are more likely to have the right infrastructure in place to ensure you have a safe online shopping experience.
Don't forget you can always check independent review sites like Trustpilot to find out about companies you are not familiar with. You can also stay up-to-date with scams doing the rounds on consumer site Which? and Action Fraud.
Check the returns and exchange policies
Sometimes you buy a product which is the wrong size, not what you expected, or sometimes even damaged. Before you buy, it's a good idea to check the exchange and return policies.
Brands often place restrictions on returning sales items, so investigate the following:
- Is the sale item exchange only?
- Is the return process hassle-free?
- Is it a 14-day or 28-day return period?
- Is there a 14-day cooling-off cancellation period from the day you placed the order?
Be aware of ‘was’ and ‘now’ prices
Don’t be fooled by offers like ‘was £100, and now £50’ as this can exaggerate the discount you’re getting and trick you into thinking you’re getting a better deal than you are. Take your time, don’t be rushed and do your due diligence before you buy.
Martin Lewis' Money Saving Expert site publishes a list of the best value for money deals throughout Black Friday and up to Cyber Monday (28 November) each year. You can keep an eye on their advice and tips here.
Wait and buy second-hand
It's not uncommon for gadget-obsessed shoppers to purchase latest phone, console or laptop models and then flog the ‘old’ items online. By hitting pause on Black Friday and opting for second-hand you could get your hands on a perfectly good product at a fraction of the cost. What's more, second-hand shopping is one of the best ways to live more sustainably – bonus!
And what about the cash savings you make…?
Be sure to keep it safe in your savings account of course!
A full list of our savings accounts can be found here.