2018 will see Black Friday falling on November 23 and, as ever, shops online and on the high street are ramping up their deals to entice customers to spend their Christmas shopping budget with them.
If you want to bag a bargain, you might have to be ready at the stroke of midnight with mouse poised to click – or you might find yourself leisurely checking the online shops that utilise the whole of November to tempt you to part with your money in return for Christmas presents.
Here’s our guide to which shops you should be stalking now, and which you’ll need to wait until the day itself dawns.
What is Black Friday?
In the run up
Amazon's Black Friday sale boasts 50% off thousands of products with new deals appearing every day, from electronics and gardening supplies to fragrance and even cleaning products. It runs from 16-25 November. If you don’t fancy logging in regularly to see if something grabs your attention, you can have a sneak preview of upcoming deals.
Argos started their Black Friday deals before the big day. Instore reservations can be extended by two days, and if you've paid online you have seven days to collect your order, so you can pick it up in your own time and hopefully avoid the queues.
Boots have a selection of Black Friday offers, plus a selection of daily deals - top fragrances, electrical brands such as Braun, Philips and Oral-B, and beauty are all included - plus online only deals.
Clarks run deals in the days approaching Black Friday, and suggest signing up to their emails to find out about the savings on the day.
Debenhams have twelve days of Black Friday deals in store and online starting from 20 November. There are various deals each day offering savings of up to 50% on more or less everything you might need for Christmas, and look out for online exclusives as well.
have Countdown Deals throughout November, with deals released until November 24 and beyond into Cyber Week in early December. Look out for big discounts on kids' bikes.
House of Fraser
House of Fraser have a selection of Black Friday deals available online and instore with up to 60% off.
John Lewis runs a Black Friday event, and they’ve pledged to match selected competitors' promotions.
Get ready for Black Friday spending
On the day
Currys don’t start their Black Friday event until 23rd itself, but you can register your interest with them via their website that will keep you updated about their promotions and they also have a Black Friday Wish List tool on the website so you can compile your must-haves in advance.
Lakeland's Black Friday event includes big brands such as Morphy Richards, Joseph Joseph and KitchenAid. Sign up for their newsletter and you'll be the first to see their offers.
Top tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
A word of advice
Don’t be drawn in by something that looks like a good price – decide what you’re after, check the prices in the run up, and make sure you’re not distracted by the worry of missing out.
Some companies have been known to actually hike the prices up on Black Friday, relying on the blind panic of shoppers to get what they mistakenly see as a good deal – so be wary.
Do your homework, and don’t lose yourself to the Black Friday fever!
Six worrying things about online shopping
Stay safe online this Black Friday and beyond
Many people choose to avoid crowded shop floors over the festive season so more and more people are shopping online. With massive discounts on a huge number of products from online stores such as Amazon, we all need to be aware of the scams that online shopping events such as Black Friday can lead you into.
How to stay safe online
As you would do when you're shopping on the high street, always stick to stores you know and trust – as well as the stores above, Smyths Toys and AO.com are also taking part in Black Friday.
To help you to navigate the many online Black Friday deals, here are top tips from Saga's Information Security Expert, Adam White, for avoiding online scams this festive season.
Check and check again!
There are a lot of places to shop online and many of these places are safe and secure. If you find yourself shopping online at store you are not familiar with do some research into them first. A simple Google search on a web shop will offer some guidance
The most obvious thing to look for to help identify a scam website is the quality of the site itself. If the site appears unprofessional or is full of spelling errors, this can be an indication that things are not genuine.
Make sure you keep an eye on your address bar at the top of the page to ensure the web address does not completely change, especially when you come to pay for your goods. Remember, if an offer appears to be too good to be true, it probably is… even on Black Friday!
Whenever shopping online, use a secure form of payment. One of the most secure ways to pay online is with Paypal. Avoid direct bank transfers to pay for any goods online.
Always check there is a padlock symbol in front of the web address and that the web address begins with ‘https://’. The padlock means the website has been security tested and the ‘s’ in ‘https’ stands for ‘secure’.
Do not click on any strange links
It doesn’t matter what device you are using or even if a link appears in an email you have been sent, do not click on any unfamiliar links. Be mindful of clicking on adverts and links within social media.
If you see an offer or deal that looks tempting on Facebook for example, it is best to go directly to the website advertised than accessing the offer through a link you have found.
Up to date anti-virus
If you're using a Windows computer or Android device such as a smart phone or tablet, you should protect it using anti-virus software.
For more information about the best anti-virus solution for your system, have a look at AV-TEST.
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