In the US Black Friday follows Thanksgiving Thursday and, along with so-called Cyber Monday, has become one of the biggest days in the online shopping calendar. Inevitably it has become a big deal in the UK now too.

On Friday’s ITV Good Morning Britain I was in the studio sharing some tips on how to bag the best online Black Friday bargains.

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the Black Friday hype? Here’s how to get the best deals online without spending needlessly!

Posted by Good Morning Britain on Friday, 25 November 2016

Many Black Friday shopping tips apply equally to buying online around the rest of the year, but some peculiarities have emerged:

  • Keep checking throughout the day. A large element of surprise and secrecy exists around Black Friday that retailers are keen to persist. Prices change, new deals get added and stocks are limited: it’s all part of a clever strategy to keep us interested throughout the day and coming back to their online stores. But that does mean that a good price at 8am might be even better by midday, but sold out by six. That’s the risk you take.
  • Black Friday Pop-Up Portals: Comparison sites and aggregation tools are useful all year round, but on Black Friday dozens of pop-up sales portals appear on reputable websites. Which to choose? If you’re shopping for gadgets and technology (always a big deal over this weekend) then take a look at the website of popular gadget magazines or online titles – referrals and traffic mean Black Friday is great business for them too, and many have journalists locked in a room all day hunting down the best deals so you don’t have to.
  • Is it really a bargain? It’s worth pointing out that some retailers don’t play fair – research by Which? found many so-called Black Friday bargains were anything but, with prices cheaper both before and after the shopping bonanza weekend. Websites like camelcamelcamel.com (I’ve no idea…) keep track of prices over a period of time to let you see how the price you on offer today compares with the price over, say, the last twelve months.

It goes without saying to watch out for scams though phishing, smishing and malvertising, be aware of your rights and consider paying by credit card for the best consumer protection.

A final thought:

  • Don’t let Black Friday Frenzy take over. Remember this is essentially a bit of fun – the worst that can happen is that we pay full price for something or don’t buy it at all. Part of the fun of the whole experience is the thrill of chasing a bargain but your life absolutely does not depend on it. Keep it in perspective and if the fun stops then switch off your computer, switch on the kettle and make a cup of Black Friday tea.