How do I choose the best online Black Friday deal?


The Black Friday deal of the year used to be a random collection of products handed out by a sales team.

It was only once the term was turned into a widely-used marketing term did the concept become profitable.

Now, is anyone actually prepared to listen to some research about which products to pay for online, and which to save for later?

In one recent study, the idea of “rare objects” was recommended to consumers as a viable strategy to help them resist the pressure to splurge on a discount-stuffed bargain.

And yet, it’s also a trade-off. You could buy something you really don’t need, but then do your research about what you really do need instead.

And that’s actually quite a wise approach, says Prof Matthew Stephenson from Leeds University Business School.

“The issue is that consumers tend to pay for things that they think that they may enjoy,” he says.

“Most people like a bit of chocolate and tea, and yet they don’t mind paying for it.”

Black Friday should be as good as free

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption How any retailers make the money from Black Friday has been a subject of debate

Black Friday can definitely be a reason to splurge, however.

Jeremy Bennick from Swansea Business School considers every sale to be a genuine deal.

“Everything is going for something cheap or free” he says.

So, what do you get for free on Black Friday?

Well, The BBC has talked to some retailers about Black Friday deals. Some deals were made available before the day started. Some will still be available on Sunday, and others will be available once you check with your seller before you go shopping.

Before you go shopping

Image copyright Instagram Image caption Instagram has done its bit to help you get ready for the day

Don’t get carried away

Try not to fall for the biggest sale of the year or chase bargain prices by buying at full price as soon as they appear.

Ask yourself whether you’ll really use what you’ve bought that day, and what exactly you want to buy.

Write a ‘to do’ list

Budget for each item so you’ll know how much you’re going to spend.

If you’ll be buying things online or over the phone, do your homework about how much you’ll actually spend.

Don’t be drawn in by special offers: typically they’ll be offered at a discount price for just a few minutes and then removed.

• jennie_johannnn / CC BY 2.0, @- @CTJC002

What we won’t do

Hack your way around stores

Don’t go into any store unless you’re using your phone to do some online research beforehand. Shop online or over the phone and if you’ve got the information, wait until the prices drop and then head in.

Some shoppers are taking advantage of staff as research assistants and using them to deal with a range of other people who’re trying to get them to buy other items.

Use your time effectively

As it stands, so many people are buying everything in one day – even while on holiday – that the place of the shops is becoming a pocket of cash machines.

The idea of offline is that people can’t use the internet to research and guess what others will be buying.

Now that we do so much more shopping online, that offline tactic will no longer work.

We already pay for it, via taxes on all our internet purchases.

Or we can wait a few days if our sale results in something we need but don’t know what it is.

Use these tricks to make sure you get what you want on Black Friday – and learn the difference between a bargain and a lost opportunity.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption A quick Google can reveal a retailer’s Black Friday website

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