Black Friday Guide

Black Friday is one of the biggest days in the retail calendar and is the perfect opportunity for you to grab the best deals in time for Christmas. Whether you’re planning to face the manic scenes in stores, shop from the safety of behind your computer screen or simply have no idea what Black Friday is, we have created a guide with all the information you need to know about this high discount shopping day.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a huge day in the shopping year, where retailers drop their prices, giving massive discounts for traditionally twenty-four hours just in time for the festive season. It originally started in America and was introduced to the UK in 2010 by online retailer Amazon.

The name black Friday was first coined by the Philadelphia Police Department as the large crowds attending shop sales created traffic accidents and congestion. However, it is now known as Black Friday because when accountants record the days book entries the colour black is used to signify a profit, therefore Black Friday represents a day of profit for retailers.

When is Black Friday?

Black Friday always falls on the day after thanksgiving, an American holiday on the fourth Thursday of November.

This year Black Friday will be on Friday the 24th of November, however, in recent years retailers have begun to extend their sales across the whole weekend to cyber Monday or in some cases the weeks leading up to it. This is the case for retailers Argos and Amazon, both known for their huge black Friday deals.

This year Argos are having a ’14 days of deals’ event and have begun their sales earlier than ever, kicking them off on the 15th of November lasting through to Cyber Monday on the November 27th.

Amazon has also already begun their sales, with their Black Friday store opening on the 17th of November and closing at 23:59 on November 26th. They are someone to keep an eye on as they often have Lightning Deals, where limited quantities of a product are put on sale for a short amount of time, with Amazon Prime members getting early access. They are also offering daily deals everyday across the nine days of sales.

How can you protect yourself on Black Friday?

Although Black Friday is a fantastic opportunity to get some great deals in time for Christmas it important to remember to protect yourself from dodgy deals whether shopping in store or online, especially your banking information when shopping online.

It is worth noting that the best deals may not be in-store but online instead, as online shopping increases this year it is predicted that the deals online will grow both in quantity and value for money. So, make sure before you head out you check the deals on online retailers such as Amazon for what you are looking for.

It is also worth doing your research to see which retailers will price match, John Lewis for example will match the price of Black Friday deals, although usually not online. This means that if you go in prepared with the sale prices other stores are offering you can get all your shopping done in one place for the best price.

The cheapest deals aren’t always the best. There are often huge deals on electronics on Black Friday including products such as TV’s, but just because they have the biggest discount doesn’t mean they are the best quality, do your research of the brands and products before you go to buy so you can be sure you are getting what you are looking for.

Look at websites you don’t know carefully to make sure they are not fake. Some websites may say they are offering the best deals, however once your payment has gone through and you receive your product it may not be what you paid for or not turn up at all! One way to identify a fraud website is by checking the URL. They often have URL’s similar to a real retailer or have a name that you recognise. According to consumer rights group Which? online shopping is not often offered on websites with domain names ending in .net or .org.

Another way to protect yourself is by thinking about your paying options when buying online. Using a Credit card is often a better option than Debit as they offer consumer protection if anything were to go wrong with your purchase. When buying on sites such as eBay, PayPal is a good option as you are more likely to be refunded for your purchase should there be any problems further down the line.

The final thing you can do is make sure you have anti-virus installed and up to date on your computer. This means that you are protected from any virus’s fraudulent websites may try to transfer to your computer.