How to win at Black Fri­day

It’s one of the big­gest sales of the year and a great way to blitz the Christmas shop­ping, but while Black Fri­day throws up some amaz­ing of­fers, sadly some are just too good to be true. Fol­low our guide, and you can make sure you’re al­ways get­ting a great

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QWhat is Black Fri­day?

A tra­di­tion in the United States since the Fifties, Black Fri­day comes im­me­di­ately af­ter Thanks­giv­ing and is when shops slash prices to en­cour­age Christmas shop­ping. Asda and Ama­zon brought it to the UK in 2010 and other brands fol­lowed suit, but bun­fights over bar­gains in some stores have led it to be­come mostly an on­line af­fair over here.

QAre the bar­gains as good as they seem?

There are some great deals – last year we spot­ted a Ne­spresso ma­chine, Lego sets and a Miele vac­uum at less than half price. How­ever, some re­tail­ers use Black Fri­day as an op­por­tu­nity to clear out old stock, or even in­crease the prices of items be­fore­hand to make the deals look bet­ter on the day.

QHow can I avoid be­ing ripped off?

‘It’s easy to get car­ried away, so make a list of what you want in ad­vance,’ ad­vises Danny Mun­day, gen­eral man­ager of Ho­tukdeals. It also pays to read re­views and note the RRPS of the mod­els you like, so you know you’re get­ting a gen­uine deal. ‘Check the ship­ping costs be­fore you or­der, too,’ adds Danny. ‘Some brands charge so much for postage, it can­cels out any sav­ings.’

QWill my pur­chases ar­rive by Christmas?

It’s not guar­an­teed, so check the es­ti­mated de­liv­ery times and fac­tor in a few ex­tra days on top. Due to the amount of peo­ple shop­ping at the same time, some parcels take longer to ar­rive than usual.

QHow long have I got to get these pro­mo­tions?

Some deals sell out in sec­onds, so be ready to make a quick de­ci­sion and have your card de­tails to hand.

QShould I buy from a web­site I don’t know?

There are fake sites, so make sure the one you’re buy­ing from has a com­pany ad­dress, phone num­ber and email listed, and con­tact them in ad­vance for ease of mind.

QI’ve ner­vous of buy­ing on­line. Any tips?

Pay by credit card or Paypal for added se­cu­rity, and when you en­ter your de­tails, en­sure that the web ad­dress starts with https:// (the

‘s’ stands for se­cure) and that a pad­lock ap­pears in front of the URL or in the browser frame. If you’re not sure, don’t risk it.

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