Whether you are heading into the city centre or shopping from your sofa, many people in Preston will be looking for a bargain in this year's Black Friday on November 24.
The US custom is the day following Thanksgiving in the US and is regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in America.
A PWC report from last year showed 27% of Brits planned to buy something on Black Friday or Cyber Monday last year.
The shopping craze started in the UK in 2013 with US-owned Asda (Wallmart) and hit national headlines with chaos in shops as shoppers battled for goods.
Preston businesses taking part:
Online stores taking part:
Your Black Friday battle plan
Sit down with a cup of tea and make a plan -Open a spreadsheet on your laptop or tablet – 15 minutes prep is a must for maximum savings.
Work out who you need to buy for and write a list – This should be everyone so get thinking. Teachers, scout leaders, colleagues, next door neighbours and a couple of extra emergency gifts for the drawer just in case. Go minimalist if you can, now is the time to agree with friends and family to do Secret Santa. You could buy for the kids only, go for drinks instead of gifts or at least set a limit of how much you’ll spend on each other.
Figure out a realistic budget – You don’t want to start January worrying about a massive credit card bill. Look at how much you can realistically afford to spend on Christmas, set some aside for food, drink and the tree and decide a gift budget. This is your limit – challenge yourself to stay within this. The ideal is having this cash spare now so you don’t need to dip into your overdraft or spread the cost over the year (adding interest will mean Christmas costs you a lot more.)
Decide how much to spend on each person – Once you’ve done this add it all up and make sure you haven’t gone over your maximum budget. If you have work out who you don’t mind spending a few quid less on this year or think about what you might be able to make people instead.
Create a wish list – Write down ideas of what you want to buy everyone, or if they’ve given your ideas themselves start researching where to buy them from. Is it cheaper to buy online or instore and make sure you know what colour, type, version etc to save you time when you’re shopping on Black Friday.
Start deal hunting – Find the cheapest place to buy each gift and add the amount and link to the relevant page on your spreadsheet. This will allow you to compare costs on Black Friday to see if you’re getting a true bargain.
Pay the smart way – Paying for items over £100 on a credit card gives you Section 75 protection if things go wrong (getting a cashback or reward card will give you a little extra back too). Debit cards or PayPal also give you buyer protection although they’re not guaranteed by law. If you’ve got old gift vouchers you’ve never spent this can be the perfect time to put them to good use.
Cash in loyalty points -This can net you significant savings – just make sure you check for the best way to maximise their value.
Know your rights – Chances are you’ll be spending a significant amount of cash in the coming weeks so make sure you know where you stand if you change your mind or if something goes wrong. https://www.money.co.uk/guides/your-refund-rights-explained.htm
Work through the links on your spreadsheet - Check for voucher codes and compare this to the amount you would get by going via a cashback site for each. Choose whichever option gets you the best price.
Remember to factor in delivery costs – The cost of delivery could add a significant amount to your total so add it in. See if you can find a voucher for free delivery with the cheapest retailer. Don’t forget to check if a retailer offers click and collect for free.
Don’t assume big retailers will be best – Smaller sites can often have even better deals but just remember to check they’re legit if you haven’t heard of them before. Make sure their site is secure, has a working UK customer service line, their address is registered as a business on Google and good reviews on ReviewCentre or TrustPilot. If they’re registered with the Retail Ombudsman even better.
Check refund windows – Buying on Black Friday can be a great way to save but some retailers will only allow refunds on non-faulty goods for a fixed amount of time (often 28 days). If you’re not sure whether you’ll need to change a gift (because it’s the wrong size etc) after Christmas bear this in mind.