Don’t miss out, hurry! Last chance to buy. Yes, it is that time of year, Black Friday is here and already the shops have started early. While we are not immune to the pull of bagging a bargain, you have to ask yourself is it really a bargain?
We previously touched on Black Friday in our ‘Avoiding the debts of Christmas Future’ blog but now we take a look at Black Friday and give some suggestions on how to best navigate it.
According to Which 76% of people who bought Black Friday DIY products have gone on to regret it, this drops down to 41% for tech products but this still means 4 out of every 10 people who buy some tech on Black Friday regret it.
Why do so many people regret their decisions? There are two main reasons either overspending or buying something they hadn’t properly researched because they feel rushed. Does the Amazon countdown clock on Black Friday stress anyone else out?
Make a plan:
Planning comes in two forms; one deciding what you want to buy and two deciding how much you can afford to pay. Let’s look at those two elements separately and in more detail.
If there is something you have been planning on buying for awhile then yes looking on Black Friday can be a good idea, especially if you have a budget. One of the biggest problems with Black Friday is that it pushes us to buy things that we weren’t planning on buying. For example, Amazon have dropped their Echo Dot from £39.99 to £18.99 for the week leading up to Black Friday. Now on the face of it this seems like a good deal, it is more than a 50% drop. But let us ask you a question, until we told you of that deal had you been thinking of buying the Echo Dot this year? Was it even in your mind? If not then this deal doesn’t represent a £20 saving it represents a £19 unnecessary spend.
When planning for Black Friday the Money Saving Expert has two key questions for you to ask yourself:
- Do I need it?
- Can I afford it?
If the answer is no to either of these questions, then don’t buy it.
If you have decided that there is something that you need then take time to research it. Let me give you another example.
After 12 years of hard use my trusty vacuum cleaner has just stopped working, no sound, no power, it is completely dead. I therefore need a new vacuum cleaner; this has led to a need for me and I intend to see if I can take advantage of Black Friday. However, I am doing my research now. I am looking for the makes and the models that I want, and I am seeing which retailers are selling them. From here I am looking at the costs and where the vacuum cleaner I want is the cheapest. Once all of this is done I am going to wait, if one of my chosen models comes on a Black Friday deal then I will buy, but I will compare the price to what was already there and I will make sure that the deal I am getting is actually a deal. In my scenario I pass a good rule of thumb, if it wasn’t Black Friday this week, I would still be buying a vacuum cleaner.
To summarise, look around and do your research including price comparisons before Black Friday.
The US website nerd wallet focuses our minds on budgeting. We are entering the most wonderful, and expensive time of year. There are going to be family presents, there are going to be parties, travelling, meet ups with friends and all of this takes money. So, the first question you need to ask yourself is do you have enough money to buy what you want? If the answer is no and unless it is a real necessity, then you shouldn’t be buying on Black Friday.
Going back to the research from Which shows that across their product categories between 20 -28% of people had to use credit or borrow from friends and families to afford their Black Friday deals. If you are borrowing to pay for your Black Friday purchases, do you have a plan in place for how you are going to pay back that borrowing?
If you are reading this and you already have found yourself in debt and you are struggling to pay back your purchases then you can read our debt solutions page and see if there is an option to help you with your debt. Alternatively contact us for free information from The Debt Advice Service
To finish all of this off and to not appear to be the ultimate scrooge our advice for Black Friday is quite simple. Decide what you want or need before the deal, do your research ahead of time and then plan a budget. Don’t let the countdown timer pressurize you into buying something you don’t need.