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Black Friday Deals

Top 10 shopping tips for Black Friday deals

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Top 10 shopping tips for Black Friday deals

Tempted to pick up some Black Friday deals this year? Use our top 10 Black Friday tips to stay ahead of the mayhem and shop like a pro.

Before you plunge into the pandemonium of Black Friday, use these tips to get ahead of the game.

We’ve compiled our top Black Friday tips for savvy shopping that will give you the advantage over the crowds. Whether you’re heading out on foot or taking on the Friday frenzy from behind the safety of your computer screen, we’ll make sure you’re as prepared as possible.

1. Preparation is the key to Black Friday

If you know what's going to be on sale beforehand, it's easier to check if it's a good offer or not. Sign up for retailers’ newsletters, ‘like’ their Facebook pages and register for Twitter alerts, as they’ll be keen to publicise their best deals.

2. Find out whether retailers will match prices

Some retailers, such as John Lewis, will match prices on Black Friday deals (but won't match prices with online-only stores, such as Amazon or AO.com). This means that you can do most of your shopping with just one retailer - which can make life a lot easier.

Most other shops don't have price-matching policies, but they may agree to refund the difference if you challenge them about a price drop soon after you’ve bought something.

3. Sign up for online accounts with the biggest retailers a few days in advance

Make sure you’re signed in to your account before you start shopping. Consider pre-entering your payment details and shipping details and saving them to your account so you can complete your purchases more quickly.

Last year, many websites slowed to a crawl, so you'll want to get in and out as quickly as possible.

4. Research the products you want beforehand

It's no use grabbing a bargain if the product's no good. In previous years we've seen shoppers nearly coming to blows over items that we wouldn't bother putting on our own shopping lists. Nearly a third of 2015 Black Friday shoppers didn't read any reviews of the products they bought beforehand.

So do your research. We've got lab test results for thousands of products on our website, so use our reviews to find out which products are best for you and your budget. Popular products on Black Friday include coffee machines, such as Tassimo and Nespresso, blenders such as the Nutribullet, and tablets.

5. Research prices online before hitting the shops

There are useful web tools you can use to check how much a product has actually been sold for previously. 

CamelCamelCamel, for example, provides price history for products sold on Amazon. 

On Which.co.uk you can also see how the price of an item has changed over time, and whether we think the current price is likely to go up, down or stay the same based on past prices. Click the ‘Where to buy’ tab on a product review to access this price predictor feature – it’s currently available on some of the most popular product categories such as washing machines and TVs, and we’ll adding more in the near future.

6. Make a list of different retailers selling the same product

If one of the websites crashes on Black Friday, you can try others so you don’t miss out on the best deals.

7. Check whether retailers will let you buy online and pick up later

Some retailers, such as Argos, will hold your product for seven days. This means you can go and collect it after the Black Friday shopping crowds have disappeared and can avoid paying postage costs.

8. Start your Black Friday shopping early - really early

Although shops might not open their doors until after breakfast, websites never close. Take advantage by checking Black Friday deals at the crack of dawn - or even midnight.

Some shops, such as Currys, will be offering deals starting from the Monday before Black Friday, so you might not even need to wait for the day itself.

If you're planning on hitting the high street on Black Friday, remember that the best deals are likely to be snapped up the quickest - especially the big-ticket items. Make a note of opening times for different shops on Black Friday (they may open earlier than usual). Plan which shops you want to visit, in order of priority.

9. Check the returns policy

Just in case your Black Friday purchase turns out to be something that you regret buying by the next day, double-check what the retailer's returns policy is for Black Friday items before you buy. You can only return non-faulty goods for an exchange or refund if the retailer has a returns policy - almost all shops do, but they're not required to by law.

If what you've bought is faulty, that's a different matter. You have 30 days to reject it and get your money back. Find out more about your rights on Black Friday deals.

10. Look at the price, not the 'saving'

Don't assume that a deal is worth it just because it has a big attention-grabbing saving. Offers like ‘was £100, now £50’, in our experience, exaggerate the discount you're actually getting.

Shops are supposed to use the most recent price that the item was sold at for 28 consecutive days or more as the 'was' price. But our research has found many cases where the shop didn’t use the 'was' price it should have – and few where it had.