Black Friday arrives this week, with Cyber Monday close behind, which means a lot of people will be on the hunt for excellent bargains. It can be a good opportunity to get that one thing you’ve been after at a discounted price, or to pick up presents for loved ones during the gifting season. But it’s also got a reputation a gimmicky retail event that gives retailers a chance to boost sales dramatically without necessarily giving the best prices. Ultimately, deal hunters can take advantage of the special offers without falling foul of the hype so long as you bear the following bits of advice in mind.
This is a basic but essential step towards becoming a true bargain hero. It means making sure that you use deal combos rather than single savings, to essentially double-up on discounts. At it’s most simple, it would involve using a discount code or free credit to purchase an item that has already been reduced through a sale. Or, as a new customer at a store you can often get an additional discount by signing up for an account. If you’re feeling bold you could also try using two discount codes on the same basket – although many savvy retailers will block you from doing this.
Offers such as discount codes or sales can also be stacked with cashback schemes. In this case, you would benefit from a reduced price now as well as an eventual cashback payout. Sites like Quidco and TopCashback have a good reputation for providing fair deals.
Use a price tracker
Price tracker sites show you the fluctuations of an item’s cost over time, and can be a great way to catch out retailers who have artificially increased an item’s price ahead of a sale to ensure that the savings look impressive. Search online and you’ll find a wealth of these tools, many of which specialize in providing price information for specific shops such as Argos or Amazon. This will help you identify what a fair price should be.
Do research ahead of purchasing
If you are participating in a retail event such as Black Friday then it’s easy to act impulsively. Head to your local shopping centre for a browse and you’ll quickly find your basket filling up with unexpected buys. Acting on the spur of the moment can be fun. But it’s an easy way to inadvertently end up with a bad deal. Instead, decide what items you’re going to purchase ahead of time and do some research to make sure you know what the standard price is, and what would be considered a worthwhile discount.
Sign up for newsletters and follow social media accounts
Many deals will be available in limited quantities, with nothing left over for latecomers. Signing up for an email newsletter or liking a shop’s Facebook page is a great way to make sure you get quick access to deals as they’re announced. It can also open the door to some exclusive additional discounts.