With some 14 million shoppers set to spend a whopping £2.3million every minute on Black Friday, the Money Advice Service is sharing its tips to prevent eager spenders getting carried away on 25th November.
Black Friday is a long-standing American tradition. Falling the first Friday after Thanksgiving it marks the start of the festive spending spree with retailers tempting shoppers with attractive offers.
However, retailers on this side of the pond have picked up on the trend in recent years and it’s now the most popular shopping day of the year in the UK, with high street and online retailers all participating.
Four tips to bag a bargain
You may not be fighting over TVs in your local Asda but it’s still easy to end up in hot water, so follow these tips to make sure you only bag the right sort of bargain.
1) Set a budget
Just because something is heavily discounted it doesn’t mean you can afford it. Work out what you need or want to buy and shop for those items only. If you weren’t planning on buying a new TV, there’s no reason to buy one on Black Friday just because its £200 cheaper. Also work out how much you can afford to spend on those items and don’t spend a penny more.
2) Compare prices first
Whether you are buying somebody a fitness tracker for Christmas or need a new washing machine do your research first. Work out what features you need and how much you can afford to spend, then pinpoint a few models that meet your criteria and shop around for the best price. That way on Black Friday it will be much easier to spot whether you are genuinely getting a bargain or not.
3) Think about how you will pay
It definitely makes some financial sense to pay for your purchases with a credit card. This is because anything costing between £100 and £30,000 is covered by the Consumer Credit Act and your credit card provider is liable if you encounter problems. You must, however, resist the urge to rack up a bill you won’t be able to pay off in one go. Put yourself into debt and any savings you make on that fantastic new tablet will quickly be undone by interest charges if you don’t clear your balance straightaway.
4) Know your rights
When you are making large purchases it’s important to know your rights. According to the Consumer Rights Act all goods must be of satisfactory quality, fit for the job and last a reasonable length of time. You have 30 days after purchase to return goods and get a full refund. If 30 days have passed, the retailer must agree to replace or repair the item, but the consumer gets to choose which option. If a fault occurs in the first six months, it’s down to the retailer to prove the product wasn’t faulty when you bought it, not you.
If you are buying online or by mail order your rights are enhanced. As you don’t get the opportunity to inspect the items before you buy them, you have the right to return any non-faulty goods within 14 days. Many retailers will accept returns for a longer period, however, so always check the small print first. Although returns may be accepted it’s important to note you may still have to pay for postage.