Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping events of the year. Some deals can save UK consumers a significant amount of money on everything from clothes and jewellery to toys and electronics, making it a great time to tick some items off the Christmas list.
However, among the substantial savings you could make, there are some offers that can end up costing more than you think. Below, we have explained how to use this shopping season to your advantage, and how you might be able to finance these purchases effectively.
Black Friday is a discount holiday that originated in the US. It typically follows on from Thanksgiving and signals the start of the festive period, with retailers offering some of their products and services at a discounted rate.
This trend has been adopted by many companies in the UK, but in recent years it’s grown from being a one-day sale to a weeks-long event, with some retailers starting their Black Friday discounts in early November and extending it into the following week.
And consumers are keen to take advantage. In fact, research from TopCashback found that shoppers are planning to spend an average of £249 each across the Black Friday period this year, with clothing (36%), toys (22%), skincare (20%), makeup (18%) and electrical appliances (17%) topping the wish list of bargain-hunters.
Cyber Monday immediately follows Black Friday. It’s another day for shoppers to enjoy discounted prices, but this time the sales take place online.
Some sites save special deals for this day, while other more traditional retailers may reserve certain discounts for online purchases. However, this isn’t set in stone – in reality, Black Friday and Cyber Monday can merge into one, with bricks-and-mortar retailers often extending their sales into the new week as well.
This year, Black Friday in the UK takes place on Friday 24 November, and Cyber Monday follows on Monday 27 November.
Since Black Friday precedes the festive period, it may be worth using this day to purchase your Christmas presents. Not only could you find some discounted items, but it may relieve some stress on your December spending, allowing you to spread the cost of your festive purchases.
After all, given that typical consumers are set to spend £569 on Christmas this year, according to Hargreaves Lansdown, it could certainly be prudent to shift some of this excess spending onto your November budget.
That said, it is important to not get drawn into impulse purchases, and to do some research before Black Friday kicks off.
It’s worth starting to think about the products you’re looking for ahead of time and seeing where you can find the best deals. If you’re after a phone, laptop or Xbox, for example, start scouting out tech stores and see when their sales are due to start.
Helpfully, many of the major retailers will announce the highlights of their sale before the main event, so it’s worth keeping up to date with these offers by signing up to their newsletters or picking up their brochures in-store.
This comes with two main advantages. Firstly, it will give you an understanding of how much you will save on your chosen deals. Some retailers will offer only minimal savings on many of their items, with these types of deals commonplace during other sales throughout the year.
Secondly, prior research can give you an idea of how much you will spend on Black Friday. Waiting until the day itself can leave you vulnerable to clever advertising where you overextend yourself to purchase an unnecessary item, as you may feel the pressure to not miss out. Researching your chosen deals beforehand will give you an indication of how much you will be willing to spend on Black Friday, and therefore if you require any form of credit to help cover the cost.
Below we have listed four ways you can finance Black Friday this year.
Ideally, savvy consumers should save as much in advance as possible for their purchases, but if you are looking for a last-minute funding boost this is probably not an option. Among these four options we have listed two forms of borrowing that could cost you no interest whatsoever. Meanwhile, personal loans could be an ideal way to get a cash advance.
The listed options below do not constitute advice. Beware of spending beyond your means, as credit used irresponsibly can rack up a serious amount of debt.
This is the ideal way to prepare for Black Friday as it does not involve any form of borrowing nor an interest repayment. Six months before Black Friday savvy consumers should consider what purchases they would like to make, whether it be a new television or a Christmas present in mind, and consider its potential cost. After this they can set their money aside in an easy acces savings account or notice savings account and pay a regular portion of their salary into these funds each month.
A 0% purchase credit card could be ideal for those with an average or excellent credit score.
In essence, this type of credit card offers its users a 0% interest rate for a fixed period and can be a useful option for shoppers to spread the cost of their purchases. Of course, the main advantage is that if shoppers were to repay their expenditure in full before the end of the interest-free period then their debt would not cost a thing.
Still, it is worth noting that other activities on this card may incur a charge, such as balance transfers or cash withdrawals. So, users should try to stick to only making purchases on their card, and must always pay at least the minimum payment each month.
Some shoppers prefer to stick to spending on their debit card, but if they outspend their current account balance then they can find themselves facing high overdraft rates. This is where a money transfer card can be useful.
This type of card is designed to pay money straight into your bank account to clear any overdraft charges. In return, lenders will either set their own rate of interest or require a one-off fee.
Just like a 0% purchase credit card, there are some money transfer cards that include an interest-free period too. For those who wish to use their debit card, these offers can be a cheap way to borrow money.
A personal loan may be the best option for some consumers this Black Friday.
A personal loan differs from a credit card as your borrowed cash is set and comes with a payment plan. Adhering to this plan is crucial, as missed payments will adversely impact your credit score. This is preferable for some shoppers, as the flexibility in repayments for credit cards can encourage additional, unsustainable spending.
A personal loan can also be ideal for consumers wishing to make purchases with the flexibility of cash. While a 0% credit card is tempting, it can charge interest on cash withdrawals and this should be compared to the interest charged on a personal loan.
Disclaimer: This information is intended solely to provide guidance and is not financial advice. Moneyfacts will not be liable for any loss arising from your use or reliance on this information. If you are in any doubt, Moneyfacts recommends you obtain independent financial advice.