Black Friday can be a good time to make some savings and get all your Christmas presents boxed off, but you also need to be smart and cautious about your shopping. UK consumer body Which? researched the prices of products in Black Friday sales and found that 85% of the items were available for the same price or cheaper in the six months prior.
These are some of the precautions to take before buying any items in Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales:
Don’t be fooled by the hype and great advertising tricks
When you see signs that say ‘30% OFF’ in the shops or supermarket, you are more compelled to buy it but doing some research and online comparisons can help you to check whether you are actually saving money or can buy the product somewhere else for cheaper.
If you have a list of items that you want to buy, do all your research before Black Friday, so you can see which retailer is offering the best deal and whether the price is actually cheaper than usual.
Another trick to be aware of is that online retailers will often use tactics such as displaying ’10 people bought this item in the last hour’ to try and force you into a panic that you must buy it quickly.
Avoid impulse purchases
Sometimes a discount is advertised so well that it seems too good to be true and that you can’t afford to miss it. In some cases, you might be able to get a genuine bargain, but you should avoid impulse purchases where you are buying items that you did not actually intend to buy.
Set yourself a budget
Give yourself a budget for Black Friday and don’t forget that Cyber Monday is just a few days later when you might be able to find better deals online. However, if you are buying online, make sure you include any delivery costs into your comparisons, or you could end up paying more than if you had bought the product in the shop or with another retailer offering free delivery.
Be vigilant to scams
Fraudsters have a busy time over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as they use the opportunity to set up scams. There are many different types of scams to be aware of including fake company websites, emails that include harmful links and also delivery service scams.
The best way to avoid falling for fake company scams is to only shop with brands that you trust and to make sure you carefully read the website address or email sender address, as fraudsters often use addresses that are similar to well-known companies. Be wary about clicking on any links in texts or emails that could be fraudulent.
In the excitement of getting ready for Christmas, it can be tempting to take out credit cards and other high interest loans. If you are going to borrow money, try to consider the long-term financial impact, as you could end up paying twice the value of an item if you are paying interest for years.
If you are looking at ways to budget, CLCU can offer financial advice, as well as providing information about loans and savings.
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