Every year, straight after the fun of Thanksgiving comes the bustle of Black Friday. This can be a great time to nab a bargain and spend that cash that has been burning a hole in your pocket. Waking early and going to bed late are all some of the tricks that retailers will pull to ensure your hard-earned dollars go to them.
This article helps you navigate the bargains from the bluster on Black Friday – and spend your cash wisely!
How did we get here?
Black Friday used to be a single day in November, but in recent times it has stretched to being promoted weeks before the actual day. This is all designed to create the illusion of bargains and ensure consumers lose track of the actual prices of items. But there are ways to navigate this to your advantage. For big purchases you may be considering, the first trick is keeping an eye on their price in the run-up to November. This will tell you if the “bargain” you are being told is unmissable is even a bargain at all.
Black Friday trick or treat
Retailers use a whole arsenal of tricks to create sales on Black Friday.
One of these is to use Black Friday to sell overstocks of unsuccessful products. From a consumer’s point of view, this can be a misnomer because the inferior quality of the product can quickly mean it is not a bargain at all.
For the same reason, you should also be wary of buying warranties. For example, if you have bought a heavily discounted refrigerator on Black Friday and also purchase an extended warranty, you could simply be paying to make up for the lack of quality in your new investment. Instead, consider a potentially better option for your refrigerator, but make the saving on the extended warranty instead.
Security on Black Friday
Although it may be tempting to get sucked in by time-limited offers, be careful. Before you go ahead and enter your credit card details onto any website, check it has an SSL certificate to guarantee the safeguarding of your valuable personal data.
You should be particularly wary of following links from emails, as there are some very convincing phishing emails out there. If you receive an enticing email, the safest way is to open up a new browser window and go directly to the retailer’s website from there. This ensures you are not clicking a malicious link to a fake website.
Think about anything you buy
Black Friday is intended to create a buzz and a panic for shoppers to spend. But don’t be fooled. In the same way you would not take the plunge on a new car without properly researching it first, apply the same logic to Black Friday.
Smaller items are not so important, but if you know you risk being impulsive, set yourself an ‘impulse budget’. Whatever that amount is that you can afford, do not spend above it no matter what other offers you see. This alone will encourage more pragmatic thinking!