With Black Friday fast approaching, we thought we'd share all our top tips, tricks and everything that we so know far. There are lots of great savings to be made in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but also traps and pitfalls that are easy to fall into.
Remember, a lot of the Black Friday anticipation is psychological. Big signs start appearing in shop windows, companies hyping up their "clearance sales" - it's enough to get anyone excited about grabbing a bargain.
Follow our top tips and save yourself getting (too) sucked into the madness!
What can we learn from last year's Black Friday?
Last year more stores than ever cashed in on the Black Friday fun, with sales appearing on tech sites, clothing stores and even supermarkets. Amazon (the first retailer to bring Black Friday across the pond), delivered with all sorts of deals available in the run-up to Black Friday, as well as the weekend itself.
It's anticipated that more retailers will follow suit this year, with deals expected to appear from as early as the beginning of November.
Online sales proved to be on the rise, with more people choosing to stay inside and buy online rather than face the high street sales. In fact, online retail sales were up +11.7% to £1.39bn, according to data from IMRG.
How can I get ready for Black Friday?
First things first...
Mark Friday 23rd November in your calendars as that is Black Friday 2018's official date. Cyber Monday takes place the Monday after (26th November) and is traditionally when online retailers go big on sales.
If you're wanting to make the most of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, then take note of these top tips:
Make a list of everything that you need & price check
Remember: a deal is only a deal if you need the item in the first place.
Come up with a list of the items that you're after and note down the prices as well. Just because a company is offering "50% off" their own price, doesn't mean it will be the best deal out there.
Black Friday's timing makes it perfect for nabbing great deals for Christmas presents. Take a bit of time beforehand and come up with a list of all the people you need to buy for and any present ideas.
Set a budget for items
It's easy to get carried away on Black Friday.
The latest tech items, new additions to your wardrobe, just one more pair of boots... you know the drill.
Everyone deserves to treat themselves now and then, but to make sure these treats stay within your means give yourself a budget for each item. For example, if you're after a new pair of jeans you could set yourself a budget of £30 and only look at items within this price range.
Add items to your 'saved' basket online
If you're a fellow ASOS addict, you'll already be well familiarised with Saved Items. But did you know lots of other online retailers have this tool as well?
In the days/weeks leading up to Black Friday, pop items that take your fancy into your saved. Then when the inevitable discount code drops, you'll be ready to grab the items you want quickly before they run out.
Be ready before the day
The majority of retailers will start their Black Friday discounts in the week before (if not earlier). Don't get caught out and be ready for the sales ASAP.
Ask yourself - is this actually a good deal?
Don't get sucked into the bright colours and flashing signs shouting about discounts and offers. While there are definitely some bargains to be had, some of the time Black Friday 'deals' are just normal discounts dressed up as 'new'.
It's always a good idea to be aware of an items original price, in order to be aware of the price 'drop'.
Set your alarms
Online sales often start early in the morning, so to avoid missing out on stock make sure you're ready early.
What do we know so far about Black Friday 2018?
The original Black Friday retailer promises to not disappoint this year, with deals set to land onsite from 16th - 26th November. Plus, Amazon Prime Members have reasons to celebrate, as this year they gain a 30-minute sneak-peak to all flash lightning deals.
Argos normally run big Black Friday discounts and this year looks to be no different. Sign up for Black Friday updates to be first in the know!
Are you a Health & Beauty cardholder? If so, you're in luck as Black Friday in Superdrug has started early. Score major discounts on beauty products, perfume, aftershave and electrical goods (but only if you have a Health & Beautycard!).
Our favourite deals are the TRESemme Keratin Smooth Control 230 Hair Straighteners down from £69.99 to £23.99, the Revolution Christmas Tree Advent Calendar half-price from £120 to £60 and the Braun Series 3040 Wet And Dry Shaver less than half-price, down from £109.99 to £44.99.
Black Friday has already begun at Smyths! Score big discounts on toys from Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Disney and more.
John Lewis is a great place to score a bargain all-year round, thanks to their commitment to being Never Knowingly Undersold (they'll match competitors prices).
This Black Friday is no different, and the folks over at John Lewis will be working hard to check and respond to competitor's prices. These changes are quicker and easier to do online, however if you're shopping instore they'll always honour any online price.
Expect big deals on PS4, Xbox One and Switch this Black Friday at GAME.
Currys PC World is expected to be a great place to swipe up big savings on TVs, Computers, Audio and more this Black Friday.
Rather more traditionally, these offers normally only last for 24 hours on the day itself so don't forget to set your alarms!
If you're due an upgrade, or just fancy a new handset, you might be better off holding off until the Black Friday sales begin at Carphone Warehouse. Their Price Promise and free next-day delivery leaves you in pretty safe hands in scoring yourself a great deal on your next mobile.
With the closure of Tesco Direct this year, instore will be the place to be for all the best savings this Black Friday. Best set your alarm clocks and get ready to battle...
Score deals on the latest handsets at Three, both online and instore. It's been announced that the first wave of deals will be released on Thursday 15th November and the rest on Black Friday.
Retailers to watch!
In previous years these retailers have all held sales or ran discount codes. We're considering them ones to watch:
- Lookfantastic.com (25% off every order last year)
- Pretty Little Thing (up to 50% off everything last year)
- ASOS (20% discount on everything last year)
- Boohoo (up to 50% off sale last year)
- All Saints
- Oliver Bonas
- Urban Outfitters
Remember, keep your wits about you and you can score yourself some amazing bargains this Black Friday.
Want even more?
Check out Inside Source's guide to Black Friday 2018 for even more top tips and tricks.
What's your best Black Friday bargain? Have you got any top tips we've missed? What's the worst 'saving' you've seen?!