Tomorrow Black Friday is upon us. A few years ago, in the UK, this term meant the last Friday before Christmas when all the council staff and office workers would head out to celebrate, which meant the pubs were chock-a-block and police and ambulance services were extremely busy.
But these days Black Friday has become known more for shopping rather than drinking, after the American tradition has travelled across the Atlantic Ocean and landed on the shores of Britain, bringing it’s frenzy along with it.
Traditionally, Black Friday is the day that follows Thanksgiving Day in the USA (the fourth Thursday in November). It marks the start of the Christmas shopping season, with retailers offering huge discounts on items that encourages the mass frenzy and violence that has been witnessed on Black Fridays.
In November 2014 the Black Friday trend well and truly struck with people fighting over huge flat screen TV’s in the supermarkets. But in 2015, with retailers better prepared for mass hysteria, people seemed to have learnt from the previous year and decided to stay away from the shops and shopped online instead. This year, with Black Friday falling on 25 November, who knows? Maybe people will go out in mass numbers again because last year was so quiet?
So what tips do we at FamilyPoint Cymru have for a pleasurable Black Friday shopping experience?
1. Make a list and check it twice.
Don’t just go out and frantically buy things just because it’s a fantastic deal. You could end up with lots of items that you don’t need. Plan your Christmas list; think what may be on a deal and what you really want/need. It’s only a bargain if you need it; otherwise you’ve just paid for something you really didn’t need.
2. Research & budget
Black Friday deals are not necessarily the best deals out there. There have been lots of articles recently stating that things found discounted on Black Friday have been discounted cheaper at other times of the year.
Think what you need beforehand, and search online/in catalogues/in shops to see how much they are going for and where you can get it cheapest. Then when it comes to Black Friday you can see whether you really are getting a good deal or if you’re being sucked in to spend your money.
Have a budget, and stick to it. It’s very easy to spend when you think you’re getting a bargain. But it’s only a bargain if you need it and you can afford it.
3. Take your smartphone
If you see something you want, and you have plenty of data on your phone, then you can check your prices directly, like for like, then and there, making sure that you really are getting the best deal. Use price comparison sites to search various websites at the same time.
4. Step back and take a deep breath
Remember all the footage on the news a couple of years back, with people shoving and fighting over stuff, behaving like a pack of animals? What did you think back then? Did you think that people had lost all sense of reality, or did you think that you would have joined in if you were there?Before diving into that busy shop and fighting for something take a step back and ask yourself “is it worth it?” Is it really worth the pushing, verbal abuse and fighting if people are really going frantic over a product? It’s easy to get swept away with the hysteria, so being able to stop and take stock of the situation is a good idea.
5. Buy online, buy local or buy second hand
Some of the big retailers that offer the Black Friday deals often offer the same deals online. So you don’t have to perfect your elbowing technique and can do it from the comfort of your home instead.
Or why not shop local? There’s a big push to support your local high street at the moment. Putting money into the pockets of local business people that employ local people, instead of in the pockets of the fat cats of the huge corporations. Just because it’s high street doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily dearer. You can get some lovely, unique gifts from the high street, and it’s easier for people to return if they don’t like their gifts!!
Or why not buy used items. Lots of people have a big clear out before Christmas and sell items on local selling groups on Facebook or on auction sites such as eBay. Very often kids toys look as good as new as they haven’t been played with much and you can grab much better bargains then you ever could during Black Friday deals.
So those are our top tips, but if you don’t want to take this advice and are getting yourself ready for a frantic Friday on the 25th, then wear a helmet and some shin pads to protect yourself!!
If you have any useful advice to shopping on Black Friday, leave a comment below.
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