Yes Black Friday is upon us, but what exactly is it?
Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving in the USA (4th Thursday of November each year). It has been known as the first day of the Christmas shopping season. Bargains are offered to attract customers into stores and start spending. It has been the busiest shopping day of the year in America since 2005 and the trend is catching on here in the UK.
In 2014 quite a few UK stores tried a Black Friday style sale, police forces had to be called to shops across the UK to deal with assaults, crowd control issues, threatening customers and traffic issues. Stores often open much earlier and close much later, unfortunately the day wasn't planned well enough and staff shortages lead to safety of the public being a major issue in the eyes of the police and ambulance services.
Lets have a look at how Black Friday played out in 2015
Currys/PC World - The electrical retailers website was making 5 sales per second and shifting 30 TVs every minute. HERE
ASDA stores dropped out of the sales in 2015 due to fights that broke out in 2014 HERE
More than £1bn was spent on Black Friday with more than £3.3bn (£45.8 million per hour, £763,000 per minute, £12,700 per second) spent over the 4 day period including Cyber Monday.
Black Friday was the busiest day on record for online retailer Amazon UK the company has said, with around 64 items being ordered per second.
But beware! A tactic by retailers is to up the price of items prior to the sale, then when we see £150 marked off a TV we think it is a bargain but it may have been £140 cheaper before the sale so you are really only saving £10. Which? Group warned retailers to 'play fair' and to make special offers 'special'. In one example, Which? said Currys reduced the Samsung UE40JU6740 TV by just £1 on Black Friday, even though the retailer reportedly claimed a saving of £101. See the full BBC report HERE
Sign up for email newsletters so you can get a heads-up on the deals in advance. Loyal customers often get first dibs on deals. Think long term about presents, those that you could give out next year. Stay indoors and shop from your sofa, it is warmer and there is no hassle, you can compare prices easier too! Saves carrying around a 55 inch TV. Some retailers offer deals earlier than Black Friday, so don't forget to keep your eyes peeled all week.
So arm yourself now with the recent prices of items you would like to get at a bargain price so you are not disappointed. A good place to start is eBay, you can search for completed listings on brand new items to get a good idea of their current value. Argos also state on each product page info like 'Please note item 5339178 has previously been on sale at £549.00'.
Peter Morrey, Which? head of campaigns said: "Shoppers might be surprised to learn that only halfof Black Friday deals are actually cheaper on Black Friday".
If shopping online or reserving to collect in-store then factor in Cashback. Going through a site such as TopCashBack.co.uk can save you money on your online shop, even eBay have 1% off. Also a little tip, I have been stood in Halfords before and ordered a car stereo on my phone for a click-and-collect, this saved me £60 from the shelf price and I collected it within 30 minutes This Black Friday I am looking for a 4K TV but I can wait, before any purchase I ask myself 'can I afford it and will I use it'.
Black Friday sales have already started at Amazon which will run until 23:59 GMT on Friday, 25 November, 2016.
The Techradar site has tips on avoiding scams, you can check it out HERE And The best Black Friday deals 2016 HERE
While trying to find a good smartphone deal I bumped into Black Friday @giffgaff. They are offering from £20 to £100 off on selected mobile phones like (£100 off) Sony Z5 Premium with a 4K display screen to latest S7 (£50 off), Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, Sony Xperia X Compact, iPhone 6s 32GB, iPhone 5s 16GB, Sony Xperia XA Ultra, LG G5, Huawei P9 Lite, Sony Xperia E5, Sony Xperia XA, iPhone 6S 128GB. It goes until the 30th of November. Loved it! See HERE
So to conclude, stay safe, shop online if you want to avoid the potential trouble, don't get ripped off, If you see something you like then get it in your trolley and search reviews online before purchasing it, remember that this is also a great time for stores to get rid of their inferior items to make way for upgrades so you might not be getting the quality you were hoping for. Pay by Credit card wherever possible so that you have more consumer rights if there is a problem (Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act)
If you are looking forward to Black Friday sales or have any tips or stories then let me know in the comments below, we can all learn from them.