Black Friday (27th November 2020) and Cyber Monday (30th November) are just around the corner. Here are a few handy tips to help keep your money and spending under control.

Know what you want before you start looking

Having a shopping list means that impulsive purchases do not sway you.  Sales can become addictive so try to avoid getting caught up in the hype and only buy what you can afford.  Asking yourself the obligatory “do I really need it?” is always helpful too.

Pause before you buy

Before you press the buy now button, leave your items in the basket for a while.  This can help you think about whether you really want the items and if you don’t, chances are you’ll forget they are there and you’ll have saved yourself a fortune!  Some retailers also give you additional incentives if you keep goods in your virtual basket for a while, so it’s always worth a punt.

Research brands beforehand

Read customer reviews and determine a price that suits your budget.  Remember to research using comparison sites and always check delivery costs, postage and packaging before you buy as these can make a big difference to the price if you’re not careful.

List retailers selling the same products

There’s nothing worse than having your heart set on an item, and when you log on, you find out that they have sold out.  Keep a list of retailers handy, so you can act quickly if you need to find an alternative seller.

Set up online accounts in advance

This way the shopping experience is much smoother rather than having to set up an account, verify email addresses, add payment info and addresses to the account.  Remember, when setting up online accounts, the retailer may only hold your items for a limited amount of time.  Avoid the countdown clock ticking away in the corner and set up accounts in advance, making the whole event much less stressful!!

Start early

Sometimes retailers start their sales in advance of the Black Friday date so grab your bargain early if you can.  This way, you’ll also avoid the scramble to put items in your virtual shopping bag.

Take advantage of cashback

Cashback sites offer deals at thousands of retailers so you can still benefit from additional savings or keep vouchers for future use.

Don’t be swayed by the “saving”

Try not to be taken in by the “50% off today only” ads.  Some retailers inflate their prices in the run-up to the sales so always look at the price rather than the amount you can save.

Check the returns policy

As non-essential shops will still be closed in England during the Black Friday weekend, it’s more than likely that you’ll be buying online.  This means that you have additional rights – 14 days to cancel an order from the date of delivery and a further 14 to return it for a full refund.  If you’re not about the sizing or quality of items, always check to see if the retailer offers extended returns and understand what their policy is on actual money back versus store credit and exchange

Save your pennies for Cyber Monday

Particularly for tech items.  If you can hold off, some items might be further reduced by Cyber Monday.  

Keep your eye on previous Black Friday events

Some websites give you an indication of the likely reductions you can expect based on previous year’s sales.  For example, Money Saving Expert has an alert service and predicts likely sales.

To find out more about shopping safely online, take a look at our recent blog.