Make the most of Black Friday

Published: Thursday 24th November 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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What is Black Friday?

Black Friday has quickly become one of the biggest shopping days of the year in Britain. With its origins firmly in America, the day of discounts has got many UK businesses following in the footsteps of our stateside friends.

Jim Harris, Centre Manager at St Stephen’s, is particularly excited for this year’s Black Friday sales:

“Black Friday has become a UK retail sales phenomenon over the last few years. Driven particularly by online offers, the last Friday in November is increasingly important in both giving customers access to lots of great bargains and launching the Christmas shopping period.”

Whilst savvy shoppers can save an incredible amount on their Christmas gift lists, there are a few things you need to consider before handing over your hard earned cash.

Be prepared

Kathryn Shillito, City Centre Manager at HullBID, advises that those wanting a great deal should do some research first:

“Hull city centre retailers are gearing up and see this as a precursor to the Christmas rush, which helps put ‘meat on the bones’ to seeing retailers through the leaner times in January and February.”

“Shoppers need to be savvy and do a bit of homework, but ultimately they’ll reap the rewards!”

With many companies having a large online presence, it’s often really easy to find out who is having a Black Friday sale. A simple Google search will let you know if a specific retailer is slashing their prices, although exact details may remain a secret until the day.

Meanwhile, online stores like Amazon offer previews of their discounts, with countdown clocks to when the products will be available. Have a shop around to see which place is offering the best discount.

Get there early

Whether you’re heading to the high street for your bargains or plan to do it all from the comfort of your sofa, being early is always a good idea.

Top products at the best prices usually sell out quickly. Find out when that specific store opens or what time the online deal starts, and pick your gift up as soon as you can.

Take into account traffic and parking

If you’re venturing outside to do your Black Friday shopping, be sure to consider where you’re going to park and the possible traffic situation.

If you’re heading to a large shopping centre or retail park, you could struggle for a car spot, so make alternative transport arrangements if necessary.

Only buy what you need

Have a think about some of the things you need to buy this Christmas. It’s all well and good getting a great price on the latest video game, but if you don’t know anyone who has an Xbox you’ve wasted your money.

Make a list of who you have to buy for, with possible ideas of what you think might be on sale. However, we’re not saying stick to a strict list of specific products; after all, there could be some amazing surprises on the sale shelf.

Stay safe online

Make sure to use trusted retailers when shopping online.

Unfortunately, Black Friday buyers are often at risk of being scammed when they make ‘too-good-to-be-true’ purchases on the internet. Visit the sites of retailers that you can fully trust.

Alternatively, use PayPal where possible. This will ensure that you have some protection against scammers, who may offer you a great deal but may not necessarily deliver the goods.

Have fun and grab a bargain

Black Friday shopping can be stressful and there’s a risk of it bringing out the worst in people.

Be sure to stay positive, have fun and grab yourself a good bargain. If you miss out on something you really wanted, keep in mind that it could be reduced again in the run-up to Christmas, or the New Year sales.

Who is offering Black Friday discounts?

Princes Quay, St Stephen’s and Prospect Centre are all keeping very quiet about offers, so we suggest that you check with individual retailers before planning a trip to the sales.

Small and independent shops might be putting on special activity too, so take a look at their social media channels to see if they’re sharing any secrets.

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Published: Thursday 24th November 2016 by Rich Sutherland

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