Black Friday can be a great opportunity to bag some bargain Christmas presents, but if you’re not careful you could end up with a painful financial hangover.
Black Friday takes place on the Friday after the American Thanksgiving celebration, and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, when retailers pull out all the stops to tempt us to spend.
It can really be easy to get carried away when you’re bombarded by special offers, but there are certain things you can do to try and rein in your spending, and to make sure that you find the best possible deals on any goods you’re planning to buy.
Before Black Friday arrives, work out who you need to buy presents for, and how much you can afford to spend on them. Having a clear budget in mind can help stop you over-spending.
Patrick Dever, director at ThreadSpy, a website that finds and shares discounts on premium menswer, said “Ahead of Black Friday, take time to divide your shopping lists into categories and by priority. These categories can ease your shopping experience while breaking these down into specific searches can help organise your time and allow you to find the best deals quickly.”
Even if you think you’ve found a great deal, it’s still worth doing a quick check to make sure you’re getting the best possible price.
Jonathan Watts Lay, director at WEALTH at work, said; “Use price comparison tools to find the best deals on gifts. Idealo finds the best price online for a particular product and CamelCamelCamel allows you to track the price of Amazon products. Consider installing browser extensions like Honey that search for discount codes during online check-out”.
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Beware Black Friday scams
If you are planning to make purchases this Black Friday, make sure you watch out for scams.
Jodie Wilkinson, spokesman for digital payments provider takepayments said; “Scammers often replicate email or text message communications from big-name brands that typically sell products at higher price points - which are usually target products for consumers on Black Friday. The bogus communication might include fake discount codes and a link to a counterfeit website. If a transaction is made on this site, scammers can steal card details and personal information.
“Some of the biggest tell-tale signs of bogus promo emails are if they’re sent from a suspicious email address that contains random letters or numbers and generally don’t look official. If the email is littered with poor grammar or spelling mistakes, it’s a sign that it’s not from the actual retailer.”
When shopping online, make sure the web address has ‘https’ at the beginning. Your browser should also display a padlock icon, usually located next to the web address. This ensures that your information, such as you credit card details, can be sent securely.
Wherever possible, it’s a good idea for your online shopping with a credit card, as it comes with increased fraud protection to safeguard you against unauthorised payments. However, you must be confident that you’ll be able to repay your balance full at the end of the month to avoid being hit by interest charges. PayPal is also a good alternative.