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Black Friday: is it the best time to buy?

Black Friday: is it the best time to buy?
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Black Friday is just around the corner on Friday 26 November. If you’re a natural spender like me, the hunt for Black Friday bargains can trigger a buying frenzy.

Black Friday deals can offer much-needed opportunities to save some cash. But are those offers all they seem? Are you really saving money on your Christmas shopping? Or does Black Friday just make you spend more?

Here, I share some reasons to be cautious about Black Friday bargains and why it might not be the best time to buy! I also share how to plan for Black Friday to give yourself the best chance of grabbing a bargain.

Recycled deals on Black Friday

Black Friday deals aren’t always what they seem. Shockingly, items on sale are actually often more expensive on Black Friday than at other times of the year.

A study by Which? published last year showed that only 1% of Black Friday deals were at their lowest ever price. Not only that, the study found that 85% of products had been sold at a cheaper price before Black Friday.

If you have ever price watched an item for a while, you’ll know that prices regularly fluctuate on websites like Amazon. That means it’s possible that the best price might be at any time of the year. In fact, most online retailers constantly tweak prices to match competitors or lure in customers. 

This means that deals will come round again, so there’s no need to rush into buying something, especially if you don’t need it for a while. A discounted games console that your kid has requested for Christmas might be worth buying during Black Friday, but a gazebo for the garden can probably wait!

The limited-time spending trigger

For a natural spender like me, the rush to grab some Black Friday bargains can lead to some serious overspending. It’s really easy to blow the budget if a deal looks good.

Retailers know the right tricks to get us to spend our cash. If deals have a time limit and are running out soon, then they encourage a rush to buy. Retailers rely on customers forgetting to check their budgets and spending on impulse.

Remember that the best way to save money is to avoid spending it in the first place!

Tips for Black Friday

So with Black Friday coming up, what are the best ways to resist overspending and still save money on your Christmas shopping? Here are some tips:

  1. Make a list – make sure you know what you want to buy during the Black Friday sales. If you know what you need in advance, you’re less likely to splash the cash on random bits and pieces.
  2. Do some research in advance – use a price comparison website like Camelcamelcamel to check historic prices for the items on your list. If they’ve been cheaper or the same price before, then the chances are that they will be again in the future.
  3. Stick to your budget – set a budget for your Christmas presents and stick to it. Don’t blow your budget just because something looks like a great deal.
  4. Don’t be rushed – retailers try to rush us into making purchases with time-limited Black Friday offers. If it’s really a great deal and you want the item, then that’s great. But if you’re not sure, make a cup of tea and take your time. There will be plenty of other offers!
  5. Set a price watch – if there’s no deal on something you want over Black Friday, then you can set a price watch on a website like Camelcamelcamel. You will automatically receive an email when the item drops to the price you want.

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