It’s mid-October, can you believe it?!
The holiday seasons are fast approaching and with it comes a massive influx of shoppers looking for the next best deal for the people on their Christmas list.
Enter Black Friday, the end-of-year shopping holiday originally made popular by the US but which has now been adopted by a whole number of other countries.
It’s an epic event that lets people score extremely popular products at massive discounts. It means huge savings when done it right but can tip someone into debt when done wrong.
So, if you’re asking the question, “How Do I Survive Black Friday?”, read on.
This massive post will help you not only survive it but also discover all the information you need to take advantage of Black Friday.
Disclaimer: This post was written in collaboration with Slickdeals. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided.
Why is Black Friday popular?
Black Friday has gathered momentum and massive popularity over the years for many reasons.
The most important reason is simply this: Black Friday is one of the best days of the year to grab deals on insanely expensive products (think current-year electronics and appliances). For a taste of what’s to come, check out Slickdeals.
Another equally important reason has to do with the fact that the online experience has changed the way we experience Black Friday.
A lot of people, like yours truly, couldn’t be bothered with the drawbacks of the whole Black Friday experience – heavy traffic, crowds, hour-long queues everywhere you go (!) and arguments that can escalate and even end in tragedy.
Ain’t this momma got any time for that!
Of course, now, we have online shopping and people like myself can just sit back in the comfort of their own home and still take advantage of Black Friday.
There are also the “extended Black Friday weeks” that many retailers are now offering their customers – giving you more opportunity to shop at your leisure (just remember that some products are so popular the stocks don’t even last the first hour..but more on that later).
In the end, it doesn’t really matter if you prefer to shop in-store, online or a combination of both, there will be something for everyone so keep reading. 🙂
How to be prepared for Black Friday
You’re reading a post from the lady who believes that you should get ready for Christmas as early as September (if not earlier), so I’m sure you see it coming.
Yep, the best way to get ready for Black Friday is to get organised as early as possible.
After all, as Tasty Galaxy said, “The best deals sell out fast, so review the online sales in advance, so that you know what you need to buy.”
That said, you need to remember to still act with caution. According to Mummy Wishes, “Don’t feel rushed into buying something just because it’s a good deal. Make a plan of what you’re after, who they‘re for and set a budget on your overall spend. Having a visual chart or list of this will keep you in check, avoid double purchasing and make you think twice about buying things you don’t need.”
So, there are a few things you need to know before stores open their doors: what you can afford, what you need to buy and what your strategy is on the day itself.
Side Note: If you want to add something a little silly for black Friday “prep”, here’s a workout to get you black Friday ready: Black Friday Themed Workout.
Know What You Can Afford
According to the CNBC, the average Black Friday shopper spent $289 in 2016.
In 2018, Forbes published a post saying that Black Friday shoppers were expected to spend an average of $472 per shopper.
Fascinating, isn’t it?
However, whilst it may be tempting to buy products left and right (because they are just so cheap!), it’s imperative that you set a budget for yourself.
Because a basic tenet of financial planning is that you know your numbers so you know what you can actually afford.
As someone who’d previously gone into debt precisely because I didn’t keep a close eye on my numbers, I can tell you there is almost nothing worse.
The stress it puts on your mental health and on your relationship with other people cannot even be quantified so I always recommend making a budget and sticking to it.
Remember, you don’t have to buy something just because it’s on sale. If you don’t actually need it, why buy it?
So, before you even spend a single penny on Black Friday, you should already have a budget in mind. I
f you’re buying Christmas presents for the lucky people in your list, you can just use the Christmas budget you set then as your Black Friday budget.
If you don’t have any, just follow the steps outlined in that post. The most important bit to remember is that you set a spending cap before you make a list of things to buy.
So, how much do you spend on Black Friday? However much you can actually afford to spend – not a penny over.
What do you need to buy on Black Friday?
According to Your Money Sorted, once you have a budget in mind, then you can go ahead and “make a list of whatever you need or want to buy and only allow yourself to buy from the list. That will help you to avoid wasting money on “bargains” that you never even knew you needed!”
The Growing Mum agrees, “Make a list of what you want to buy so you don’t end up buying things you don’t need just because they’re on offer.”
I completely agree with them.
In fact, I’d say this is an essential step because it’s so easy to window shop just to see what’s out there and then buy something because “oh, that’s a good deal!”. Never mind that you don’t actually need it.
That’s simply a recipe for financial disaster.
If you’re trawling the sale and something comes up that you think might be something you want or need and it’s not in your list, Business For Mums recommends that you “ask yourself if you’d buy it at full price if you had the money and only buy if the answer is yes. It’s so easy to get carried away with what a good deal something is. One year I bought a wall planner because it was soo cheap and it just sat, still rolled up, in my study for the whole year!”
What is your Black Friday shopping strategy?
Do you prefer shopping online?
That’s usually my strategy. I’m an Amazon Prime Member so I find all the deals I could ever need in this online shopping platform. It helps that I don’t have to queue for ages or get involved in a fight with other shoppers for the same products.
The only injury I could do to myself on Black Friday is a cramped hand. 🙂
Side Note: The Family Ticket actually states that “if you don’t have Amazon Prime it’s worth getting a trial just to get the earlier deals and the free postage.”
Or do you prefer going in-store so you can see the product before you spend money on it?
If so, you’ll need to create an itinerary to maximise your Black Friday instead of going from one end of the city to the other.
For example, one of the retail parks close to us has Argos and Halford’s located beside each other.
If I’m watching a product that both of them sell, it makes sense for me to go to this retailr park instead of the shopping mall on the other side of the city, which has neither shop.
Depending on what you want, going somewhere that houses more than one retailer would always be preferable than spending so much time driving from one specialist store to another.
Whatever you decide, allocate more time than you think you need for each shop. Factor in the long queues and the traffic that is guaranteed in venues offering Black Friday sales.
Another strategy you can consider is, of course, combining both online and in-store shopping – especially if there’s a product on your list that’s priced differently.
Whatever your strategy, make sure it’s one that accommodates your needs.
How do you get the best deals on Black Friday?
Frugal Family reminds us not to be “fooled into thinking everything is a good deal. One company might have something labelled as a ‘Black Friday Special’ but actually other companies might sell it at that price year-round. Do your research and check what the item you’re after is selling for in other retailers.”
According to Crazy Carney, we need to “remember to still shop around, never go for the first one!”.
So, research, research, research.
This is something I’m particularly bad at. I often see a product on Amazon and I just run with it without looking for options.
Clearly a bad idea.
This year, I’m going to be sensible and ignore the temptation to grab the first deal I see.
Instead, I’ll actually do what I’m really good at and start researching to see if the product I have my eye on is actually a good deal.
I recommend you do the same.
How to know if a Black Friday deal is actually a good deal
I already mentioned the value of researching but what does this actually look like?
How do you know if the Black Friday deal you’re thinking of going for is actually a good deal? How do you know a good deal?
This is when the “getting ready as early as possible” can really help.
According to Money Crashers, one sensible thing you can do in the run-up to Black Friday itself, is to “set up price alerts for exact-match and similar products you plan to buy during the holiday shopping season. Watch how (or if) they change over time, and what pre-holiday sale prices actually look like. With any luck, you’ll spot suspicious pre-holiday price spikes and avoid falling for gimmicks masquerading as deals.”
Need more tips that will help you spot Black Friday fake deals?
Check our list below.
Avoid overwhelm, analysis paralysis and impulse buying by signing up with a reputable deal-sharing community, like Slickdeals.
You can register for a free user account to join millions of other savvy shoppers worldwide and receive personalised shopping recommendations, instant notifications on the latest discounts and exclusive access to Slickdeals rebates.
At Slickdeals, “editors comb through each store’s Black Friday offerings to narrow down the best of the best. We even create forum threads for every item in every ad scan so that our community can comment and vote on each one—making it that much easier for you to delineate between great and not-so-great Black Friday offers.
If you wanted to, you can browse entire ad scans, check the most popular price cuts at each store or review all the top-voted Black Friday discounts in specific shopping categories.”
Looking for something more convenient?
Slickdeals also has an app you can download which will give you the option to receive push notifications on the latest Black Friday ad releases and the hottest forum offers.
Side Note: Slickdeals isn’t just reserved for Black Friday. In fact, the community finds savings the entire year that match or even beat Black Friday prices.
Use an Amazon Price Tracker
If you’re relying on Amazon to deliver you the deals you need, then you need to determine if the deal in front of you is actually good or not.
How do you know for sure?
Another way to get the information you need is simply to sign up for the newsletters of whichever retailer you patronise.
You probably already do this throughout the year anyway so just remember to keep checking your email a month or so before the sale to stay on top of Black Friday promotions.
Side Note: If you’re sick of the numerous emails that end up spamming your email, an alternative is to create an email address dedicated to retail notifications only. Or use an email provider, like Gmail that segregates the email you receive.
Join Facebook groups
Did you know that there are Facebook groups for practically everything – yes, even Black Friday deals?
Yeah, I didn’t really know that they also have groups for deals so I really appreciated Saving Talents‘ advice, “Join a Facebook deals group for Black Friday. Here are two examples: Becky’s Deals INSANE Deals, CLEARANCE , CODES & FUN and Black Friday & Other Online Deals.”
Bookmark websites with good deals
Sometimes, you’re not actually looking for a deal but you find one anyway (like The Welcoming Table‘s extensive list on kitchen products).
What do you do?
Unless you’re an Excel freak like me who loves to pop everything in an Excel sheet, you can just hit CTRL + D (or CMD + D on a Mac) to bookmark the page.
That way you never forget it.
This sounds incredibly simple but actually, very few people know how to do this effectively – myself included.
To my shame, I never really thought of organising my bookmarks (so I have hundreds of unsorted links saved willy-nilly).
So, my first tip if you’re going to be using your browser’s bookmarking capability is to have some sort of organisational system set up.
You can create a folder and name it Black Friday Deals (current year) and then a subfolder titled Kitchen Gadgets, Electronic or whatever category you’re actually looking for.
After that, you can maybe sort it all based on the retailer.
It doesn’t really matter how you organise this so long as you do and that this organisation system makes sense to you.
Take advantage of Price Matching Policies
What is price matching?
At its simplest form, price matching refers to the guarantee that some retailers give their customers that they’ll match a lower price from another retailer.
For example, if I go to Argos and buys a particular bike for £150 and find it at £100 at Halford’s, I can go back to Argos and get them to match the Halford’s price so long as I have proof.
Not every retailer does this though and most of the time, clearance sales are never incldued anyway.
That said, it can be worth checking to see if price-matching is, in fact, available and take advantage of it.
My least favourite way to keep on top of Black Friday deals is to follow your favourite retailers’ social media accounts.
Social media is always part of any company’s marketing strategy so any deals or offers they have will be promoted there. It’s an excellent way to see what’s on offer throughout the year.
So, why don’t I like it?
Because it always affects the ads I see when on social media and I’m a curious cat who clicks on things I have no intention of buying.
I then get an influx of ads based on what I clicked.
So, just keep this in mind before you click “Follow”.
Are the items refundable?
You wouldn’t normally think that this has got anything to do with saving for Black Friday but actually it can play a huge part.
Imagine that you’d bought a laptop that costs about £2,000 and it didn’t have the feature you thought it did.
You’ll want your money back, won’t you?
But what if their return policies say that they can’t refund anything bought on a Black Friday sale? Would you still have bought the laptop from them initially?
I wouldn’t have because that’s a huge amount of money to spend on something that doesn’t give me the value I need.
So, before you buy anything, make sure you know what a retailer’s return and refund policies are. And. more importantly, do they extend to sales and clearances?
Get a Black Friday App
We’ve already talked about the value of Slickdeals and also mentioned, in passing, that they have an app.
On the day, but before you actually head out, make sure you have it downloaded and ready to go – that means, it needs to contain the information you require about the products in your list.
How do you shop on Black Friday?
Aaaand after days or even weeks of preparation, the blessed event is taking place. It’s Black Friday!
Err, now what?
How else can you save on Black Friday itself?
Download a cashback browser extension
We love Kidstart and have saved a few hundred pounds through the year simply by using this cashback browser extension.
Kidstart is a loyalty programme designed for parents so that you can build your children’s savings for free anytime you shop.
Imagine the huge savings if you use this extension along with Black Friday price cuts!
I’m super psyched.
Not to worry.
I didn’t know this existed but it’s a pretty nifty tool.
All you have to do is add the Pouch extension to Google Chrome, make sure you buy using the browser and that the add-on is active and it will tell you the correct discount codes and pop them easily into your basket at checkout.
Shout out to The Money Whisperer for this awesome tip!
Use a Rewards Card
I recommend this throughout the year anyway but when you’re gearing up for a massive splurge, as you often do just before the holidays, it’s even more important.
This can be a debit card, a credit card or a dedicated Rewards Card that functions in pretty much the same way as the cashback extensions.
So, if you’re using a cashback site to go to a retailer that offers massive Black Friday savings and then you use a rewards card to purchase the item, imagine how much savings you could enjoy!
The mind boggles. 🙂
Use discounted gift cards
Another thing you can do is to use any gift cards you have lying around.
If you don’t have any gift cards, you can get them for a discount from certain websites.
The premise is simple. You choose a gift card with a value of £60 and only pay £50 when you get your card. Once you’re ready to use this card, you still have £60, saving £10.
That’s on top of the Black Friday savings and any cashback (if you’re using a cashback site) or reward (if using a rewards card) you may have.
Pretty cool, huh?
Side Note: Before you buy your discounted gift cards, check the offer carefully and compare with what you need. If you’re buying in-store, you most likely can’t just get a coupon code. You’ll need to order a physical card.
Of course, the retailer may accept it anyway but it would be best to check.
Another Side Note: It’s possible that there are other sites where you can get discounted cards but these two are the ones that worked for me, at time of writing. And I mean that literally, I got error messages from the others in both the US and the UK.
Take advantage of credit card sign-up bonuses and 0% APR promotional periods
If you were looking for a new credit card anyway, then you might as well time it to coincide with Black Friday.
Most banks offer sign up bonuses or 0% APR promotional periods – sometimes both – that you can put to good use during a sale (especially this sale!).
Be warned though, credit cards are like fire.
They have the potential to warm a cold night and make your life comfortable or they can spread like wildfire and devastate everything around them.
Use credit cards responsibly.
Leave the kids at home
Unless your child is an adult, I recommend leaving them at home whilst you go through the chaos that is Black Friday – if you’re shopping in-store, that is.
Speed is your friend.
Shop with a friend
Speaking of friends, you’d be better off shopping with a friend with whom you can allocate shopping tasks.
If you need items across categories, you can assign who goes where and get through shops twice as quickly.
Tip: You need someone trustworthy and capable. The last thing you want is to get home after a hard day’s shopping only to find that your shopping buddy has bought all the wrong items for you or worse, didn’t even buy any of the things in your list.
Start shopping the day before
As we said previously, even though Black Friday is technically the one day, more and more retailers are opening earlier (and later), dispersing the savings that way.
If you can, start shopping early to avoid the rush.
On Black Friday itself, the early bird really does catch the worm as the best sales typically happen early in the morning. According to Moneycrasher, “Doorbuster sales start at 4 am or 5 am and wrap up by 9 am or 10 am, and the most coveted items tend to fly off the shelves well before then.”
In other words, if you have your heart set on that flat-screen TV, you’ll need to wake up at the crack of dawn and start queuing. Or keep an eye on the website and refresh periodically so you get the first shot at buying that premium item.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost an item I wanted on Amazon because I wasn’t fast enough.
Leave no stone unturned
Whilst most savings can be found in electronics, gadgets, appliances and apparel, don’t discount other categories.
Falcon Dale Life has this gem to offer: “Don’t forget to look at your subscriptions and contract services. Any of these things you already pay for regularly might have a Black Friday deal for an early renewal. Check out things like your broadband or mobile contract, your magazine subscription, your boiler service contract, gym membership and so on.”
What do you wear for Black Friday shopping?
So, you’ve decided you’re shopping in-store and that your nerves (and toes!) are made of steel. You can totally handle the pressure.
What do you wear on the day?
Layer your clothes
The Black Friday sale is held in November, which means it’s usually cold but because you’ll be in and out of shops, do you really want to be wearing that extra thick coat designed to ward off the snow, rain and frigid wind?
Imagine having to take that on and off every time you go inside a shop.
And what about the extra bulk (and weight!) when you realise that all your running around has caused you to sweat like a race horse and you suddenly absolutely can’t bear to walk around with the coat on?
Layer your clothes.
This way, all I have to do is zip up and down depending on the temperature.
Think of your feet
You’ll be doing a lot of walking so unless your Fran Fine, don’t wear heels.
I’m partial to barefoot shoes that are warm and waterproof, like these Vivos.
How to be safe on Black Friday
We all know that sales of this magnitude always attract unscrupulous individuals that can cause you physical or financial harm. If you want to learn how to be safe on Black Friday, check out our list below.
Avoid dark parking spaces
This is actually always relevant.
If you’re taking a car (and you probably will have to if you’re shopping in-store), then you’ll need to park it somewhere. Most likely in designated parking spaces where other cars are parked.
Such places offer the perfect opportunity for thieves to commit their crimes and indeed, theft and vandalism often happen in parking spaces, according to the Crime Doctor.
Because of this, many designated car parks now have surveillance.
Take advantage of that and park where you can see a camera – usually mounted on the ceiling.
Despite the fact that parking could be difficult to come by on a Black Friday sale, resist the urge to just park willy-nilly and be more vigilant. Come early so you can wait for a well-lit space to come up and park there.
Avoid dark parking spaces at all costs.
Best not to give any would-be criminal the opportunity to commit a crime.
Out of sight, out of mind
Just like my first advice, this second one is important and you’d do well to keep it in mind anytime you need to park your car.
Hide any valuables under the seat or in the trunk.
Don’t’ wave a red flag in front of the bull. No matter how docile, it could charge given the opportunity.
It’s the same for theft.
It’s entirely possible that the person passing by your parked car had no intention of stealing anything but if he sees a high-end laptop in the backseat of a car parked in a dark space with no camera in sight, said passerby just might take it.
So, don’t provide additional temptation. Hide your stuff.
Shop with a friend (again)
When choosing targets for crime, it’s easier to be ignored if you’re part of a group.
If you’re shopping in-store, see if you can go with a friend (preferably more than one).
Use a buddy system if you’re divvying up tasks and set a firm meeting time and place. Try to wear bright coloured clothes so it’s easy to find each other. Maybe even colour coordinate.
Also, have your phones on at all times and set them to vibrate. In the Black Friday din, it’s easier to notice the phone’s vibration than hear it’s ringing.
My husband and I also have a tracker on both our phones. That way, if we’ve missed the deadline and we can’t call or answer, we still know the general vicinity of the other person.
You don’t have to go all out on a complete security system (though you can). We simply downloaded Life360 on our phones and signed up using the free membership.
It serves our purpose well enough.
Don’t show ’em the money!
Be creative with where you stash your cash.
I don’t actually stash cash anymore but when I used to (gosh, decades ago now!), I never put it in a purse or a wallet. Easy pickings.
If I’m carrying a lot of money, I split them and put them in different parts of my body. One stash would go in a plastic bag (the kind that banks use) inside a shoe each. I’d stash another in my bra. And again one more in an undershirt moneybelt.
Of course, this was back in the day when pickpockets would jostle you and slice through your bag handles, taking off with everything in it.
Now, bags are more sophisticated, as are thieves.
I now use a purse but only Pacsafe ones.
My favourite is the Pacsafe Metrosafe LS100 3 Liter Anti Theft Shoulder Bag, which is not only practically pickpocket-proof but also prevents electronic theft. Check out the video below:
It’s also best if you go in-store with all the cash you need instead of relying on an ATM machine, where some criminals lie in wait for unsuspecting would-be victims.
They wait until their victims have withdrawn money and then threaten them into handing it over.
Avoid when you can.
This should be relatively easy in most countries anyway, with the proliferation of contactless methods of payment.
Use a single credit card for all your purchases
If your credit limit allows, just use one single card for all your planned purchases and leave the rest at home.
That way, if it did happen that you’ve lost or misplaced your purse or someone’s stolen it, you only need to cancel one card.
Tip: Make sure your credit card is encased in an RFID-blocking wallet to prevent electronic theft of EMV card information, which has become more common.
Channel your inner Jack Reacher at the parking lot
Once you’re done with your shopping and you’re about to go back to your car, channel your inner Jack Reacher at the parking lot and be extra vigilant – especially if you’re a woman and especially if you’re a woman alone.
Check out the general area for suspicious characters lurking about. If you see them, don’t even attempt to get in your car. Go back and wait with a security guard and then ask them to escort you.
If there’s no one around and you feel safe enough to get closer to your car, inspect it before you get inside.
Check inside and under it. Make sure nobody is lying in wait inside.
Have your keys ready. Get in the car. Start it and drive away.
Don’t sit in your car in the parking space and then stay there, especially if you’re rummaging around your purse or texting on your phone.
That invites attention and if you’re distracted, it makes it a hell of a lot easier for would-be criminals to accost you.
Tip: If you’re in the US (or any other country where it’s legal), carry pepper spray with you and make sure it’s visible. As far as I know, members of the public in the UK are not allowed to carry pepper spray so I always recommend knowing the basics of self-defence (at the minimum).
Avoid unsafe situations in-store
All the above safety precautions usually take place when you’re outside but what can you do to avoid unsafe situations in-store whilst shopping?
As always, prevention is better than cure so it would be best not to get involved in arguments in the first place.
If you manage to grab the last item in stock, go for it.
But if another shopper challenges you, drop the item – even if you were there first.
If someone is challenging your claim, then they clearly want it more than you and it’s simply not worth the trouble.
Remember to “go back to the original meaning of Christmas,” according to Kate on Thin Ice.
Be generous and take the high road.
Get receipts for every purchase.
If you’re buying for a someone, you can get gift receipts instead of original receipts.
Gifts receipts don’t show the price of the item but do show proof of ownership so your intended recipients can exchange the item for a different size or colour. The drawback is that they often can’t get money back or just get the store credit.
Personally, I don’t mind knowing the price of an item and also don’t bother getting a gift receipt. I just chuck in the original receipt along with the gift and say in person that I’ve included the receipt in case they need to return or exchange it.
If you saw a deal online or in a flyer, take the proof with you when you go shopping in-store.
Whilst this is no guarantee that the deal will be honoured (there’s usually a caveat saying that the retailer has the right to change terms at will), you bringing proof can often persuade sales associates and managers to give you the advertised discount.
This is also essential if you were planning on invoking price match guarantees on the day.
Learn how to identify fake websites
In this day and age where e-commerce reigns supreme, you might be tempted to just ditch the in-store shopping chaos and choose to do (the bulk of) your Black Friday shopping online.
It’s a commendable choice. It’s what I do myself.
Just make sure that you don’t fall victim to fake websites that just want to take your money but have no intention of honouring your purchase.
I personally just shop at the big name stores like Amazon.
But if you’re looking at a product or service available from a less-popular company, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not looking at a fake website.
Look for a valid SSL certificate
The first thing to check? SSL certificates.
Make sure that the online shop you’re thinking of patronising is using a valid SSL certificate, which protects against payment card fraud by making it more difficult for hackers to capture and collect usable payment card information in transit between consumers and retailers.
Of course, it’s not 100% foolproof but it’s better than nothing, right?
Never, ever enter your credit card information on a site without a valid SSL certificate.
Tip: Check the website. It should start with HTTPS instead of just HTTP.
You can also look for the Verisign Secured seal upon checkout. Verisign provides additional protection against other hacking methods, up to and including attacks that tempt shoppers to enter sensitive information or download files that contain dangerous viruses.
Check contact information
Whilst this does not guarantee protection, it does increase the possibility that a real human is behind the website and not a bot designed to harvest your details.
Check for phone numbers, physical and electronic addresses as well as social media contacts. Make sure the first three are valid. As for social media, check them out too. If their last post was 3 years ago, be very wary.
Never pay by Western Union or Moneygram
If the only way to pay for a product or service is via a money transfer service, consider this a pretty big red sign that the website you’re on is fraudulent.
A reputable company should be able to offer you other, more secure ways of paying (preferably PayPal – see below).
If you can, buy using PayPal so you can avail of the extra layer of security provided by their Buyer’s Protection Guarantee.
It simply means that “when buyers pay with PayPal on any website, PayPal Buyer Protection covers them in case there is a problem. If an item doesn’t arrive or is significantly not as described, we will help buyers get a full refund.”
Use a reputable browser
In order of preference, my browser of choice would be Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and then Apple Safari (except just now, when some of the extensions I have installed aren’t working in Chrome).
Internet Explorer, in my experience, is slow and outdated. It’s also so easy for a virus to get through it so I don’t even bother installing it anymore.
You’ll want to be very conscious of the fact that you’ll be keying in sensitive information whenever you shop and so you’d want to use a reputable browser that has the capability to flag potentially dangerous websites.
They can also make it inconvenient for you to browse because they might block the site. But, trust me, I’ve been scammed off £250 before. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
To recap, how do I survive Black Friday?
- Prepare for it. Know what you can afford, what you need to buy and what shopping strategy to adopt.
- Be informed. Learn how to get the best deals on Black Friday, how to know if the deal you want is actually a good deal (join Slickdeals and use an Amazon Price Tracker to do that).
Sign up for retail newsletters and follow their social media accounts. Join FB groups. Bookmark websites with good deals. Take advantage of Price Matching Policies. Check returns and refunds policies. Get a Black Friday App.
- Plan your Black Friday. If you’re shopping online, download a cashback browser extension and get Pouch to maximise your savings. On the day, use a rewards card or a discounted gift card. You can even take advantage of credit card sign up bonuses and 0% APR.
If you’re shopping in-store, leave the kids at home. Shop with a friend. Arrive early or start shopping early. And don’t leave any stone unturned – look for Black Friday specials for even your subscriptions and house bills.
- Wear a Black Friday-appropriate outfit. Think comfort. So, no heels or clouds of wool. Layer your clothes and wear light shoes that won’t tire you out within the first hour.
- Safety first. Be extra vigilant on this already chaotic day. Avoid dark parking spaces. Hide your valuables. Shop with a friend (again) and use the buddy system.
Use a single credit card for all your purchases and avoid cash. If you must carry a huge amount of cash, make sure it’s not in one place. Be creative – split the money and hide them in different areas.
Avoid ATM machines and channel your inner Jack Reacher at the parking lot – no distractions, focus on getting in the car (safely) and getting out ASAP. Don’t dilly dally in the parking lot.
Avoid unsafe situations in-store. That means, don’t get caught in an argument with another shopper.
Get receipts. Bring proof of any deals you come across that you want to take advantage of.
- Never pay via money transfer. Use PayPal whenever you can. Use Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari when browsing. They have extra security features that can help.
And in the end, know that you’ve done your homework and there’s nothing left to do but to relax and enjoy the day.
What do you think? Did we miss any tips? Let us know in the comment section below.