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Breathe and don’t panic buy on Black Friday

Published on:November 22, 2016Author:Lucyna Rynkiewicz-Jones

Until a few years ago, Black Friday was a tradition exclusive to American retailers however; it has caught on this side of the pond and is projected that we will splurge around £3 Billion in the days leading up to and on Black Friday.

So what is Black Friday?

The term ‘Black Friday’ was coined in the 1960’s and referred to the day that many retailers moved from the ‘red’ into the ‘black’ – this was of course back when accounts were kept by hand and red ink was to indicate a loss, black for profit.

On Black Friday, prices plummet in an attempt to get people splashing the cash in the run up to Christmas. Black Friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving – an American holiday that falls on the fourth Thursday in November. As Thanksgiving is a national holiday, most businesses in the US will close their doors for the Thursday and Friday, giving those who work all week a chance to kick start their Christmas shopping. Retailers became wise to the fact that more and more people were doing their Christmas shopping on this day, and soon realised that if they lowered their prices, this would encourage more shoppers to spend their money in store.

This year it will be Friday 25 November although some retailers such as Amazon and Tesco have kicked off their offers up to 12 days early.

Bagging that Bargain

There are plenty of bargains to be had for the astute shopper.  Tesco Direct may match the 70% discount it offered off certain electrical items in 2015 but this has yet to be confirmed.  Last year John Lewis raked in sales of £187.7 million on Black Friday whilst also boosting their internet sales by 15.5%.  Many of the high street retailers limit the reductions to certain hours of the day, knowing that most people are not that organised and if they arrive at the wrong time, they are still likely to opt for a different “bargain”.  You might decide to tip up later and bag that second “bargain”.

It is easy to get caught up in the hype and find that you’ve blown almost all of your December and Christmas budget in just one day.  One in five of us plan to bag a Black Friday bargain and nearly 33% of those who do spend will put it on a credit card.

If you are thinking about applying for a credit card this Christmas, a little bit of research will go a long way. Picking the right card can make a huge difference to how much you have to repay, for example cards with lengthy 0% interest periods or cards that earn you cash back can help you spread the cost and ensure that you aren’t negating the discounts by paying out interest on your spending.

Plan and keep a cool head

If like many, you are planning on hitting the sales this Friday, we suggest you plan ahead – casually browsing in sales with no real direction as to what you need could mean you end up spending more money than you intend, on items that you don’t need and possibly won’t use.

Avoid impulse buys by mapping out your route and make a list of who is getting what. Statistics show that this year’s shoppers are anticipating spending on average, around £227 which is a large chunk of most people’s Christmas budget – spend wisely!

Internet shopping

If you are not granted with the luxury of a mid-week shopping day and are unable to participate in-store on Black Friday then internet shopping may be the way forward for you and many others.

Black Friday is a huge deal for retailers, meaning many stores extend their deals to online. But be warned cyber criminals are expected to steal more than £18.5M from UK Bank accounts on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The warning comes from Moneysupermarket.com who advise that findings from their website that 1 in 10 have had a cyber attack on the debit or credit card this year.

It is vital therefore to make frequent checks on your bank account as cyber criminals will often make small and regular thefts which are more difficult to spot.

Some savvy advice for internet shopping:-

  • Always comparison shop. Internet sites such as Google Shopping, idealo.co.uk or pricerunner.co.uk will help you compare prices.
  • Check out the return policies as it can be incredibly difficult to return goods to certain online retailers.
  • Always look for voucher codes – using sites such as myvouchercodes.co.uk and www.zalando.co.uk could save you hundreds!

We wish you all the best – stay smart this Christmas.

If you find yourself in financial difficulty this Christmas and unable to maintain contractual payments to creditors, don’t bury your head – contact our team of advisors. There is always someone here that you can speak to.

There a range of solutions depending on whether you are salaried or self employed or you are a director or shareholder of a limited company.  Should you enter into a debt solution with us, fees will apply. If you would like our team to call you, please use our contact form.

All debt solutions need to be carefully considered. IVA’s are formal solutions and failure to keep to the terms can result in your IVA failing and you could end up bankrupt.

There is also free debt help and advice available through a variety of debt charities. For more information, we recommend you visit www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk.

The Debt Advisor is Authorised and regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority (reg no: 606669).