Black Friday is the best time of year to snap up some great bargains, but it also makes shoppers more chaotic than ever which marks the perfect conditions for fraudsters to take advantage. Here are our 5 top tips to keep you safe and make sure you bag that bargain stress free.
1. Prepare in advance
Black Friday is always hectic, so you should prepare yourself by knowing what you want. Create a wishlist of the products that you want and keep yourself organised by finding them on various websites and bookmark these pages so that you can easily find them when you want to buy. As the day itself gets so busy in the shops, it's worth thinking about shopping from home on the internet. By adding your favourite stores on social media, you can keep up-to-date on any new sales they’re having.
2. Sign up for online accounts with big retailers
If you know which big retailers you want to buy from, sign up for an online account with them a few days in advance. Companies often offer first dibs on many deals to their loyal customers so you may receive some exclusive deals from them. Also, if you're planning on shopping online, you can speed up your checkout process by saving your delivery and payment details to your online account in advance. This will be particularly useful as many websites crash or slow down due to the huge increase in website traffic during the sales. Another tip you can use throughout the year is that many retailers will offer a discount off your shop if you leave your basket abandoned. You can add items to your basket but then close down the window and in a few days, they’ll email you with a discount code that can be used to get money off.
3. Do your research
Once you’ve got your list of items you plan to buy, do some research online to find the prices of the items, along with exactly which brand is best. You can do this by looking at product reviews online. Find out what their original prices are too, to make sure you'll actually be getting a great deal and compare the sale prices of the items at various stores. You can search the product name into google on the ‘shopping’ tab to easily compare the prices. Many stores have doorbuster sales which can be very tempting but you should try researching them first as many stores only have a very low quantity of the item so the chances of you actually getting the product might be slim. If you’ve found a great looking offer, be sure to check if there are any restrictions on it, like if it's online or in-store only, and check the returns policy.
4. Set a budget
With so many great deals available, it’s easy to spend more than you mean to, so work out what you can afford to spend and set yourself a budget, and stick to it! Although some things have a big discount, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can afford it. However tempting the offer, think twice before buying - is it really a great offer and do you actually need it? You don’t want to end up in debt, especially if spending on a credit card.
5. Beware of scams
Black Friday brings shoppers and chaos together, making it the perfect place for scammers and fraudsters to pounce. Watch out for online adverts for big deals at big retailers, as sometimes these can end up being fakes and the ink will take you to a fraudulent website. Try checking for the blue verification tick next to company names on social profiles and look at their official website to see if they’re advertising the deal there too. Another common Black Friday scam is the ‘click and collect’ scam. You’ll receive an email asking you to follow a link and enter your details so you can rearrange the delivery of your order. If the email doesn’t give you any specific information about your order, contact the company you're expecting the delivery from to see if they have contacted you. As well as looking out for these scams, you should watch out for fake or exaggerated offers in the stores. Shops have been known to raise their prices before Black Friday to make the discounts on products look bigger than they actually are, so be careful!
If you're buying something online from an unknown seller or from someone you don't know, like on a peer-peer marketplace like eBay, Gumtree or Etsy, make sure you protect yourself by using a safe way to pay.
Shieldpay protects both buyer and seller in any transaction so that you can deal with anyone, anywhere with total confidence.
How? We verify the identity of both sides, funds are held securely in the Shieldpay vault and only released when both sides agree they’re happy. If anything doesn’t go to plan, we help out with any disputes - so you can feel totally secure in snapping up your Black Friday bargain.