Want to find a real Black Friday deal? These experts show you how…

Elevate your Black Friday game with these expert top tips.

Despite the cost-of-living crisis squeezing wallets, it’s looking likely that spend will be up this Black Friday.

Recent figures from Square, a payment technology provider, indicates that 72% of consumers plan to spend the same amount or more during this holiday season compared to last year. Additionally, 39% of shoppers intend to purchase their gifts during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.

If you’re a bargain hunter looking to save some money, perhaps for Christmas, Black Friday is traditionally an excellent time to score a great deal. But how can you be sure you’re getting a genuine bargain?

To help you make the most of your money, we asked experts to share their top Black Friday tips.

Woman making a purchase on a tablet -Credit: Shutterstock/Miljan Zivkovic
Black Friday is a great time to get deals – as long as you know where to look

When is Black Friday?

Put it in your diary

This year, Black Friday falls on Friday, November 24, marking the official start of the holiday shopping season. Originating from the United States, Black Friday sales traditionally commenced the day after Thanksgiving. However, it has evolved into a shopping extravaganza that extends throughout the weekend, with many deals continuing until Cyber Monday on November 27.


Is Black Friday the best time to buy?

Start browsing now

Retailers frequently kick off their Black Friday sales early, making it wise to start your browsing now. For instance, Amazon has already reduced the price of one of its Echo Show displays, and both AO and John Lewis have unveiled their Black Friday deals on their websites.

If you’re patient, waiting until Black Friday itself might yield even better discounts, as some retailers offer additional savings on the day.

It’s essential to note that most Black Friday sales extend throughout the weekend and into Cyber Monday, giving you ample time to find a great deal.

With this in mind, here are five expert tips to ensure your Black Friday purchases genuinely offer excellent value for your money.

1. Do your research

Check you’re actually getting a good deal

“It’s worth googling the item you’re after and making sure that the discount you’ve spotted is the best one,” says Adam Bullock, UK director of TopCashback.

A survey by price comparison site Idealo revealed that 45% of Brits said they didn’t price compare once last year.

Bullock says: “Keeping an eye on the true cost of the items that you’re hoping to purchase is an important strategy to follow, so you know exactly how much you’ll be saving.

“You should also be sure to shop around – many trusted retailers will offer products at different prices and compete for your custom, so always double check your options.”

Price comparison websites are the easiest way to check the price change over a set time. We like:

They work well if you’ve got a specific brand or item in mind. Just type this into the search box on the site and you’ll be presented with a set of different prices.

Some sites will also show you the price history over time – so you can see if a Black Friday price is good – and you can also set a price alert. This means you’ll be emailed if that product drops to the price you’ve chosen.

Liz Hunter, director at Money Expert also emphasises the importance of reading reviews before Black Friday to ensure you’re making worthwhile purchases, particularly when it comes to tech gadgets.

“Customer reviews provide valuable insights into the quality of a product,” she advises.

“Pay attention to feedback on performance, durability, and any potential issues.”


2. Get prepared

Make a list – and check it twice!

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday present excellent opportunities to grab bargains, it’s crucial to approach these shopping events with a savvy mindset.

“Amidst the excitement and pressure to make quick decisions, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and end up with purchases that may not be worthwhile in the long run,” cautions Katy Phillips, senior brand and communications manager at Idealo.

A survey by Idealo revealed that over half (51%) of respondents regretted purchasing items they didn’t really want during Black Friday sales last year.

To avoid impulse buys and ensure you’re getting the best deals, Phillips suggests creating a list of the items you genuinely need or want. This will keep you focused and prevent distractions from enticing, yet unnecessary, deals.

If you’re planning to shop online, be prepared for the potential stress of website crashes due to increased demand.

Hunter’s Black Friday tip is to set up accounts with your preferred retailers in advance to expedite the checkout process and minimise delays.

Additionally, subscribing to mailing lists or downloading apps from your favourite retailers can provide early access to special deals and offers.

3. Buy from trusted retailers online

Keep to brands you know

The simplest way to steer clear of scams is to shop from established and reputable retailers you know and trust. However, when venturing into the realm of online shopping, especially during the frenzy of Black Friday, there are some golden rules to follow:

Check for SSL security

“A genuine website will always have an SSL certificate, which is represented by a padlock icon next to the URL,” advises Bullock. “Avoid shopping on sites that lack this security measure.”

Read customer reviews

Another tell-tale sign of a legitimate retailer is the presence of genuine and honest customer reviews beneath the product descriptions on their website. These reviews provide valuable insights into the product’s performance, durability, and any potential issues.

Use secure payment methods

For an extra layer of protection, Bullock recommends using credit cards or PayPal for your online purchases. These payment methods offer buyer protection and chargeback options for transactions exceeding £100, ensuring you can recover your money in case of scams or disputes.

4. Keep to a budget

Don’t buy something just because it’s discounted

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the day and end up spending more than you intended. Financial expert Gary Hemming advises that despite the tempting deals, having a well-thought-out plan can help you stay within your budget.

“It’s crucial to approach the day with a clear plan,” he emphasises. “Start by setting a budget that aligns with your financial stability. Identify the items you genuinely need or have been waiting for a good deal on, and prioritise those purchases. Stick to your list to avoid impulsive buying.”

Before making a purchase, ask yourself two vital questions: ‘Do I need it?’ and ‘Can I afford it?’ If the answer is no to either of these questions, it’s best to walk away from the deal. This thoughtful approach can prevent overspending and help you make more mindful purchasing decisions.

Can I get a refund if I’ve changed my mind?

If you’ve overspent during Black Friday or Cyber Monday and regret your purchases, you may want to consider returning some items. While there’s no automatic right to a refund if you change your mind about an item that’s in good condition, many retailers will accept returns for a full refund.

Many stores have return policies that allow you to return items within 14 (or sometimes even 30 days) of purchase, as long as they’re unused and in original packaging.

When it comes to online purchases, different rules apply. Thanks to the Consumer Contracts Regulations, you have a 14-day grace period to change your mind after receiving an item. Once you’ve decided to return an item, you have an additional 14 days to send it back to the retailer.

There are a few exceptions to the online returns rule, including personalised gifts, tickets and perishable items such as flowers or fresh food.

It’s always a good idea to check with the retailer before making a purchase if you’re unsure about their returns policy.

5. Be extra cautious

Watch out for deals which seem ‘too good’ to be true

Unfortunately, there are always scammers and untrustworthy retailers who take advantage of this time of year to deceive people into parting with their money. It’s crucial to learn how to shield yourself from Black Friday scams, and this begins with trusting your instincts.

“If an offer seems ‘too good to be true,’ it might very well be,” warns Bullock.

“Be cautious of products, especially high-end designer items or expensive technology, that are heavily discounted on websites you can’t verify as genuine. These could be replicas, and the website itself might not be a legitimate retailer.”

Bullock also advises exercising caution when encountering substantial discounts shared on social media profiles, as these can lead you to insecure, fraudulent websites.

When in doubt, it’s best not to click on suspicious links. Instead, visit the official retailer’s website directly to confirm the authenticity of their Black Friday deals.

Now's the time to sign up for a cashback account – if you don’t already have one

Want to save even more on your Black Friday purchases? Sign up to cashback site. These sites allow you to earn a percentage of what you buy when you buy via them. It may only be pennies, but it all adds up over time.

Our Senior Editor, Jayne Cherrington-Cook, has saved over £1000 over the last couple of years using sites like this.

“It literally just adds a click to your buying journey, and it’s definitely worth it,” she says.

“Some cashback sites will have better deals around Black Friday as well, but be careful as sometimes you can’t get a discount and cashback. In those cases, it’s better to go for the discount alone.”

Most of the big cashback sites such as TopCashback and Quidco only partner with verified retailers, which gives you an extra level of protection when shopping.

Jayne Cherrington-Cook

Written by Jayne Cherrington-Cook she/her


Jayne is the Senior Editor at Saga Exceptional. She cut her online journalism teeth 23 years ago in an era when a dialling tone and slow page load were standard. During this time, she’s written about a variety of subjects and is just at home road-testing TVs as she is interviewing TV stars.

A diverse career has seen Jayne launch websites for popular magazines, collaborate with top brands, write regularly for major publications including Woman&Home, Yahoo! and The Daily Telegraph, create a podcast, and also write a tech column for Women’s Own.

Jayne lives in Kent with a shepsky, her husband and her son, who is attempting to teach her the ways of TikTok, Aston Villa and anime. A keen neurodivergent ally after her son was diagnosed as autistic five years ago, when Jayne does have some rare downtime she enjoys yoga, reading, going to musicals and attempting to emulate Beyonce (poorly) in street dance classes.

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