Top tips for shopping online on Black Friday
Beat the crowds and bag a bargain with our handy guide
In the blink of an eye, the Black Friday weekend has grown to become the biggest shopping extravaganza of the year.
From must-have gadgets and toys to essential electricals and the latest fashions, the biggest brands across every major retail category will be discounting their prices on the final weekend of November through to Cyber Monday, sometimes even earlier.
If you’re looking to take advantage of the many flash sales on the horizon then we advise you get prepared.
To give you a helping hand, we’ve compiled a host of handy tips to ensure you don’t miss out on the pre-Christmas bargains you want.
Do your research
Knowing what you want and where you want to buy can be a huge advantage when the sales start. In the weeks and days leading up to Black Friday you should read up on reviews of the product you’re after and compare prices. That way you’ll be clear in your mind the price at which discounts should start.
Remember, Black Friday discounts cover almost every category these days so if you’ve had your eye on something, no matter how random, it’s worth putting in the effort.
Sign up with retailers in advance
If you haven’t already, create accounts with the brands you love and sign up for their email newsletters. In the period leading up to Black Friday they will be a key channel of communication, publicising upcoming deals and early bird offers.
Having accounts with pre-registered delivery and payment details can save vital seconds when you go to purchase. Such are the levels of web traffic on Black Friday that some sites can make it feel like you’re using a dial-up connection from the nineties…the quicker you can get in and out the better!
Social media and apps
Following retailers on twitter and ‘liking’ them on Facebook can give you a vital edge. New offers are increasingly given a first airing on social media. If you’re feeling really competitive you can even set up alerts from brands on Twitter so that they flash up on your phone. To ensure you’ve got all bases covered, you could even download retailer apps. Many will cater for Android and iOS devices.
Many brands will put their deals live on their websites just after midnight on Friday 25 November so it’s worth staying up late on Thursday to bag your bargain before the masses logon the next morning. The busiest period online tends to be between 9am-11am.
It’s worth bearing mind that many retailers will drip feed offers to their customers throughout the day, so try and resist the temptation to blow your budget straight away. Of course, if you see a product you’ve been planning to buy, at a price that matches your expectation, then go for it.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is now the world’s biggest shopping event!
Originating in the United States, the event traditionally falls on the first Friday after Thanksgiving and features retailers across all categories offering huge pre-Christmas flash sale discounts and promotional offers.
Since gaining traction in the UK a few years ago, retailers have increasingly launched their discounts in the days and weeks prior to Black Friday before bringing the event to a close on Cyber Monday.
When is Black Friday?
Black Friday 2016 is on the 25 November with Cyber Monday landing on the 28 November.
Not yet a Quidco member? Make sure you sign up today to get our latest offers via email and for Black Friday sales updates from our partners.
Quidco will launch its Black Friday deals pages on 21 November and will keep them live all the way through to early December.
Check the returns policy
Just because you’re bargain hunting doesn’t mean you should take liberties with your hard-earned cash. Double check the retailer’s returns policy for the sale period…just in case you find you’ve purchased something you regret once it arrives. Non-faulty goods can only be exchanged or secure a refund if the retailer has a returns policy. They’re not required to by law, but must stick to it if they have one. If your purchase is faulty you have 30 days to send it back for a refund.
Use credit cards rather than debit cards to pay
By and large credit cards offer consumers more protection than debit cards when shopping online. One of the big advantages is that credit card accounts aren’t actually link to the funds you own. If what you’ve bought doesn’t get delivered or is faulty, you’ll be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act meaning you can claim the money back. Items must have cost more than £100 to qualify. Goods worth under £100, or payments made by debit card, can be recovered via your bank through ‘chargeback’. If you’re shopping on eBay or other auction sites, stick to paying with PayPal.
Don’t forget Cyber Monday
Black Friday may have earned credence in the States as a one-day event just after Thanksgiving, but now it starts earlier and ends later. Lots of brands are expected to start discounting in the weeks and days leading up to 25 November and many will expect a second bounce in sales when they offer new discounts on Cyber Monday – traditionally the day when people used to shop for bargains online. While the trend for buying has grown exponentially to incorporate the entire period, you may find new stock is made available on Monday just as things appear to be tailing off.
Earn cashback when you save with Quidco
We wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t give you a gentle reminder that many of our retail partners will be offering exclusive cashback deals on top of their Black Friday sale discounts.
We’ll be running Black Friday offer hubs across a number of categories from 21 November through until 4 December and we’ll also have details of special offers on participating retailers’ respective pages on Quidco. As always, we suggest you clear your cookies before signing-in so to ensure the cashback tracking process runs as smoothly as possible.
If you think your friends and family might like to earn cashback in the sales, be sure to tell them about us. We even offer a cash treat to those who refer us as a little thank you!