Black Friday Reality

November 25th, make sure its in your diary, as that’s the date set for this years Black Friday Sale. Like the arrival of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, this once American only tradition has now become one of the most anticipated sales events of the year.

Many of the retail deals are legitimate bargains, but others are nothing more than ordinary sales wrapped in shiny packaging. How can you tell the difference? Well, we have all the secrets to help you decipher all the sneaky trick that retailers use to clear unwanted stock.

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Massive Deals are RARE.

Mega Deals are the staple of every Black Friday sale aren’t they? No? Well, they should be. Blockbuster deals that have people queuing around the block are few and far between and usually offer very limited stock for very limited times.

The products look good, and the prices certainly sound good, but the reality of actually getting your hands on one of these items isn’t so rosy.

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In 2015, for instance, Sears plastered a Kenmore Elite washer and dryer on the front page of its Black Friday ad, with the promise of 51% off on the pair. But the fine print below the deal revealed that there were approximately only four available per store.

Discounts Are Often Inflated.

Black Friday deals aren’t just hard to come by, but most of the time they are just simply over stated. Its common for retailers to hike prices pre sale allowing them to make larger cuts come sale day, making their tiny discounts more appealing.

If you shop this year on Black Friday, don’t pay attention to the supposed percentage of the discounts. Instead, judge the value of a product based on the sale price and how it compares with the item’s price at other stores.

 

Always Read The Fine Print.

Finally, even if you manage to avoid all of the above tricks and traps, you could still be faced with more fine print. Retailers have a way of making some sales difficult to actually claim.

Certain deals may require completion of a mail-in rebate. Other products are available at their advertised sale price only for a few hours and then go up in price. Keep an eye out for such fine print and exclusions — usually located at the bottom of a Black Friday ad or beneath individual deals within the ad — so you aren’t surprised when you get to the store on Black Friday.

 

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How to find the best bargains online.

Do you really need a WiFi Toaster?

Product: This might sound quite simplistic but the easiest way to save a few pounds while shopping online is to know exactly what you want. Look at the features offered, can you do without them, do you really need that four slice Wi-Fi toaster? Making these decisions before hand will save you a pretty penny as you will avoid paying for all those unnecessary mod-cons.

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Research: The internet is your friend and use it fully to your advantage. There are a host of websites out there that offer comparison services for savvy shoppers and our only advice would be to always use more than one. Comparison websites ONLY offer products from companies that pay them in one form or another, usually on a commission basis but the upside is that they will usually offer price comparisons from the companies you know and love.

Don’t forget the little guy: By far the best thing about the internet (as far as we’re concerned anyway) is that you quite literally have access to stores word wide, large AND small. Even your local shops will likely have a web or Facebook page. Don’t forget them. The chances are you will get access to shops you didn’t even know were on your doorstep. If your up for a little bargaining you can always get a great deal from these smaller outlets.

Do’s and Don’ts:

Do:- Make sure the company offering the lowest price is reputable. Remember, if its too good to be to, it probably is.

Do:- Only ever buy online from a secure website. Look out for the little lock symbol in your address bar and ensure the website offers a secure connection.

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Do:- Always check to see if there are extra charges or fees. These include but are not limited to, delivery, booking fees and taxes. These can add up significantly and could end up making your cheap looking bargain quite expensive.

Don’t:- Try sourcing non branded products online, its quite easy to end up with a surprise that’s just not what you wanted. This is just trial and error so proceed with caution if its something you HAVE to do.

Don’t:- Assume will always find an item cheaper in store, especially during sales.

The best price comparison sites

Larger comparison websites

www.kelkoo.co.uk
www.pricerunner.co.uk
www.shopping.com

Smaller comparison websites

www.dealtime.co.uk
www.shopzilla.co.uk
123pricecheck.com/
comparisonmagic.co.uk/

Specialists

www.fixtureferrets.co.uk – ‘ferrets’ out the best grocery promotions at major stores
www.quaffersoffers.co.uk – low prices on a good selection of wine and beer
www.findadvd.co.uk – a huge range of DVD, CD and videogames over a number of sites
www.trolleydolly.co.uk – price comparisons on big range of branded grocery items
www.pricegrabber.co.uk – a specialist in PC goods and consumer electrical equipment