Martin Lewis, of Money Saving Expert fame, is no stranger to spotting financial scams and advising people on avoiding them. And, sadly, this savvy is especially useful come Black Friday. Despite the growing popularity of the big sale event in the UK, not all that glitters in the Black Friday sales is savings gold. For too many of us, Black Friday purchases result in regret, or in the realisation that we actually didn’t save that much at all.
Whether you are after Black Friday home deals or are planning another big purchase around this time, read Martin’s advice first. The personal finance expert recently took to Twitter to issue a word of caution to anyone planning to buy anything in the Black Friday sales later this November.
‘Quick tip’, Martin announced in the Tweet: ‘Got anything you’re planning to buy during BlackFriday promotions? Go and do a price check now, so you have a benchmark to see if it is really cheaper when it is ”discounted.”’ Martin posted his tip at a crucial time weeks ahead of Black Friday. While many retailers offer genuine, large discounts on their products during the annual sale, over the years, consumers have reported being ripped off by some retailers, paying ‘discounted’ prices that later turned out to be only very slightly lower, or in some cases even higher than the original price.
Moreover, concerns have been raised over some retailers even selling lower-quality products over Black Friday that they normally wouldn’t sell at all, just to attract customers with lower prices. Martin’s advice is clear: if you want to truly benefit from Black Friday offers, you need to come to the event prepared. That means properly researching the product you’re interested in – how much it normally costs, what the authorised retailers are that sell it, and what discounts, if any, are already being offered. Some retailers like starting their sales early in November, so you may well already be able to access an attractive deal.
Remember: only pay what you’ve budgeted for, and if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.