A Survival Guide to Black Friday by Andy Hazell at Smart Home Sounds



With Black Friday 2019 around the corner, we’ve put together our top tips for coping with the madness and getting the best consumer electronics deals. Black Friday this year falls on the 29th of November and we’re expecting to see some great discounts across the market.

The day itself originated in the USA and falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday of November) when it was believed many Americans started their Christmas shopping. The trend caught on in the UK from 2010 onwards, building momentum ever since with Black Friday now rivalling Christmas sales. In 2018, it is estimated that over £1 billion was spent over the Black Friday weekend in the UK alone!

Most stores and retailers won’t announce their deals until just before Black Friday, some waiting until the day itself, but we have some tips so you can get ahead of other bargain hunters.

We’ve broken our tips down into what can be done prior to Black Friday and what to do on the day itself:

Pre Black Friday Top Tips

Our first tips are ways you can prepare in the weeks before Black Friday to make sure you are as ready as possible when the day finally arrives!

1. Have a game plan

Black Friday sales are often dominated by consumer electronics, tech and gadgets which can get very overwhelming. Start preparing for Black Friday in advance and keep a record of the products you want to buy by creating a wishlist.

You can also research some of the retailers so you have an idea of where to start and where you want to buy from. Check out reviews on products and retailers, watch reviews on YouTube and read blogs so you know exactly what you’re looking for.

2. Set a budget

Following on from our first piece of advice, it’s important to not get distracted by the chaos of Black Friday. Give yourself a rough budget and stick to it, try not to be led astray by the discounts and end up buying something you don’t need! Don’t be tempted into buying something you don’t really need or want just because it looks like a good deal.

3. Set up personalised alerts from voucher sites

Voucher sites like Hot Deals UK let people post the most recent offers available. If you know the product you’re after, you can search the name/brand & set up an alert to be notified of the best deals on your chosen product. This is a great way of being notified of any hidden deals that eager shoppers have utilised.

Another tip when using Hot Deals is to check the comments on any deal you are interested in as people often post if they’ve found something extra.

4. Sign up to newsletters

Once you’ve got an idea of some retailers you want to keep an eye on, sign up to their online newsletters. Most retailers will send out a newsletter as soon as their deals are announced so you can be among the first to find out. They might even include something extra, exclusively reserved for those who have signed up.

5. Get social & set up store / brand alerts

Follow brands and retailers on social media that you are considering buying from and make sure to turn on post notifications. Retailers want to tell you all about their deals and discounts so you can bet they’ll have announcements on their social media too. With notifications switched on you will be notified as soon as stores post their latest offers.

Black Friday - Tips for the big day

Now that you’ve prepared as much as possible in advance, let’s take a look at the main event!

6 - Don’t panic!

Our first tip is DON’T PANIC! Most people fall into the trap of panicking in the early hours of Black Friday and either going for the first deal they see or buying the wrong thing.

You have time! In fact you often have 3 extra days. Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, was traditionally a day reserved for online sales exclusively. However, retailers tend to extend their Black Friday deals until midnight on Cyber Monday (2nd December this year), turning Black Friday into a whole weekend. Take your time and don’t panic buy.

7. Make sure you get the best price possible

A lot of consumer electronics retailers offer a price match policy. Don’t be afraid to contact a retailer if you’ve found a better deal for a product elsewhere. Just be aware that they might want physical proof so screenshot any deals you see or are given by other retailers.

8. Use live chat to check deals

A lot of websites now offer a live chat allowing you to speak with a sales advisor. This is a valuable resource if you have any questions about a product or offer. We recommend that you also use live chat to double check if there are any additional bundles or deals available. If you don't ask you dont get!

9. Read reviews

If you find a deal from a brand you’re unfamiliar with, make sure to do some research and read reviews to make sure they are legitimate. Some people can take advantage of the chaos of Black Friday weekend to scam consumers or sell knockoffs/fakes so make sure to double check before you part with any money!

10. Check the warranty

If you’re comparing two retailers who can match on price then check other features to make sure you’re getting the most for your money. One way you can improve your deal is by checking the warranty. Some retailers will offer additional warranty for no additional cost so you’re better off purchasing from them and covering yourself for the future.

11. Check the delivery charge

Some retailers might be able to offer lower prices because they hide the extra in delivery charges. Be sure to check this when comparing retailers as one might appear cheaper on the surface but offers less of a saving in reality. Some stores offer free next day delivery and even free Saturday delivery which might help you decide when weighing up two retailers.

12. Check the returns policy

If you’re not 100% sure on a product then be sure to check out the company’s return policy. Some might hide information in the small print and returns might be affected by Sales so make sure you know exactly what each retailer is offering.

13. Don’t just take a price comparisons site’s word for it

It’s sometimes easier to look at price comparison websites to compare different retailers for a product but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend that! Prices are subject to change, even over the Black Friday weekend. While these websites can be handy for a rough idea, you should check the retailers’ own sites for the most up to date prices.