With the countless sales and temptatious deals on offer this Black Friday, it can be far too easy to get blindsighted and risk losing your precious pennies.

Back in 2020, an investigation by Which? found that 85% of Black Friday product prices weren’t the cheapest they’ve ever been, prompting consumers to thoroughly research deals before signing up to them.

With this in mind, Nick Drewe, money-saving expert at online discounts platform WeThrift, has shared some key tips on how to avoid making the wrong purchasing decisions on Black Friday.

Create a list beforehand

You may be using the Black Friday sales to get some excellent discounts on your Christmas shopping, or you may just want to treat yourself to that coffee machine you’ve had your eye on all year. Whatever the reason, knowing what you want from the sales and already having a list of things to buy will make it easier for you to not splurge your cash on things that you don’t need. Setting a suitable budget for yourself would also be sensible.

Do compare the price of products

Stores are competing against each other to drive sales. So, when you think about it, there is no such thing as an “exclusive special offer” on Black Friday. Before you checkout, make sure you’ve compared the price of your chosen product with those offered by other retailers. There are websites such as CamelCamelCamel which show you price drops, as well as the price history of items on Amazon. Be sure to also look at customer reviews to determine whether others have had a good or a bad experience with the product.

Compare the different guarantees offered

When you’re shopping for the latest household appliances and gadgets, you want to be confident that your product is going to last. So, as well as comparing prices, look at the different guarantees offered by different suppliers. For example, Amazon may offer a shorter lower warranty on a vacuum cleaner compared to Currys. While Amazon may advertise the product at a lower price, maybe consider whether it’s better value for money buying the vacuum cleaner from Currys, as opposed to buying a new hoover when your cheaper hoover packs in after it warranty has expired.

Be watchful of sale terminology

The term ‘price promises’ tends to get overused during a massive sale such as Black Friday, but it’s important to be wary of sales terminology such as this. For example, John Lewis does not price match another retailer unless it has a store presence, so it’s important to do your own research and compare prices.

Similarly, it’s important to be critical of products that are advertised with ‘was’ prices, e.g. ‘was £50’. Research by Which? reveals that retailers sometimes use old RRPs (recommended retail prices) as ‘was’ prices, meaning they reflect the value of the item when it was first released and not its current value. Also, Amazon displays every single price reduction as a discount – even if the price drop is as little as 1p.

Understand the consumer rights act

Not happy with the product you bought? The Consumer Rights Act 2015 has got your back. According to the regulations of the act, you have 14 days to return your item for a full refund. However, it’s always best to check the returns policy of your chosen retailer.

Likewise, if you are dealing with a faulty item, you are entitled to a full refund for faulty items up to 30 days from purchase. You do have longer than this if you’re happy to get a replacement or the item fixed; with shops having a requirement of six months to repair or replace faulty products. However, if the fault of the item is pointed out at the time of purchase, you cannot take it back.