In partnership with the Financial Services National College (FSNC).
Black Friday may officially kick off on Friday 26 November, but many retailers have already begun their sales.
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.
HOW TO SHOP SMART AND STAY SAFE THIS BLACK FRIDAY
So, before you plunge into the pandemonium of Black Friday, use our tips to shop like a pro 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 Apple iWatch. Avoid sites which look unprofessional with non-secure checkouts and too-good-to-be-true offers saturated with adverts. Stick to the retailers you know - such as Amazon, Argos and Debenhams – as they have the right infrastructure in place to ensure you have a safe online shopping experience.
You can always check out independent review sites like Trustpilot for companies you are not familiar with - especially if they are advertising a great deal on social media.
Check the returns and exchange policies
Sometimes you buy a product which is the wrong size, not what you expected and sometimes even damaged, therefore, it’s a good idea to check the retailer’s rules on returns and exchanges.
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.
Wait and buy second-hand
The UK is obsessed with gadgets, therefore, it’s not uncommon for shoppers to purchase the latest model of their favourite electronic 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. Once more, second-hand shopping is one of the best ways to have a more sustainable lifestyle – bonus!
And what about the cash savings you make…?
Be sure to keep it safe in your savings account of course!
If you have any questions about our savings accounts or would like to open one with us, pop in to your local branch or contact us by using our online form and one of our qualified savings advisers will be in touch.
A full list of our savings accounts can be found here.