The Black Friday phenomenon is back! Retailers and stores worldwide have all began launching their deals.
Today marks the unofficial start of the Christmas Shopping season in America – the event occurs every year on the day after the US Thanksgiving celebration – and is embedded in countries across the world, the UK being a key adopter of this event. Cyber Monday (26th November 2018) follows – this weekend being the last big sales before Christmas.
With a current high street crisis and the technological advancements over the years, it is set to be online shopping that benefits. However, its predicted that overall, Black Friday sales will suffer from the pressure on spending and reduced disposable income that the UK economy is currently facing. Being a week earlier than usual also causes issues, as many customers will not be paid until after the sales have passed. Despite this…retailers are still hoping to see sales and profits rise, seeing customers spend like no tomorrow to get the best bargains they can. The question is…how much of a bargain are you really getting?
Some tips for you consumers:
- It isn’t just a one-day event!! Check the sites out – some companies will launch deals for the whole of November, or for an extended period – don’t be fooled
- Check the terms and conditions before buying anything – is it refundable?
- Take care and time when out shopping, be prepared for long queues – but also online, where website crashes are likely
- Enter your personal information, especially payment details, only on encrypted sites with the famous green padlock in the omnibar. Similarly, if purchasing in the shop, ensure you keep your purse safe, and bag locked up
- Check every email ‘deal’ you receive – is there any spelling errors? Are there any downloadable attachments? What is the senders address? Make sure that it is safe, recognisable and trusted before opening
- Many shopping accounts tend to be opened this weekend, as much is brought, and online details are entered. The password you have for other accounts tends to be used – is this risky? Try to use another password, a less common one to avoid being hacked and access being given to all data
- With deals coming in thick and fast, you will have to move rapidly to get what you want, exposing you to great risk from scammers and hackers. It is a great opportunity for scammers and hackers to get your details and fool you. Use a credit card to make payments (in particular online) as this way it is easier to be reimbursed if you end up suffering from fraud.
- Be wary. Some retailers are sneaky. Is it really a bargain? Which? Found that 60% of a range of Black Friday deals in 2016, were actually cheaper or at the same price at other points of the year. Research by Idealo backs this up – suggesting smartphones are £72 cheaper on the 5th August, when compared. So, are you just getting ripped off? Are retailers encouraging you to spend more for their benefit – leaving you to start the New Year worse off? Of course, not everyone will be like this…there are some legitimate deals – just take caution and don’t be fooled. Do your research
- It tends to be popular with large stores with an online and high street presence; Amazon, John Lewis, Debenhams, Currys PC World
So, now you have been educated.…take the advice on board and don’t be fooled!! Stay safe and get ready for Christmas…Happy Shopping!!