10 ways to shop smart on Black Friday

How to make the most of Black Friday sales.

Person holding tablet with shopping bags on arms.

With big sales being promoted this Black Friday (27 November), it can be easy to get caught up in the hype. Here are our top tips to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

1. Check the Black Friday deal is really a bargain. Compare prices online to make sure another shop isn’t selling the item cheaper. Don’t buy something “just because” the store claims it’s on special.

2. Know the 3 Rs and forget the extended warranty. In most cases, an extended warranty isn’t worth it – you’ll be paying for cover you already have under the Consumer Guarantees Act. The shop has to repair or replace faulty goods, or provide a refund, even if the item you bought was on sale.

3. Make the right choice. If you change your mind about a purchase, the retailer doesn’t have to take it back. Check out our product tests to help you pick the best buys.

4. Don’t forget your chargeback rights. Bought something online and it never showed up? Or maybe it did but was nothing like the description? If the retailer refuses to put things right, get on to your bank about a credit card or debit card chargeback. If your claim's accepted, you’ll get your money back.

5. Know who’s responsible for deliveries. Under the Consumer Guarantees Act, retailers that arrange delivery have to ensure items arrive on time and in good condition. So if an item arrives damaged, you don’t have to muck about with the courier company – the retailer must sort it out.

6. Find out where to shop for good service. There are some shops where you’re more likely to get above-par service. Our latest retailer satisfaction survey found the little guys did a better job than the big chain stores at keeping customers happy.

7. It never hurts to ask. Leave your shyness at the door when hunting for a deal. See if the salesperson will offer anything extra to sweeten the deal.

8. Think carefully before signing up for a “buy now, pay later” deal. The appeal at this time of year is understandable – you only ever have to shell out a fraction of the item’s cost upfront and pay off the rest over time. However, if you start missing payments, you’ll pay default fees.

9. Add in an exchange card. Buying a gift for someone else? Always ask the retailer for an exchange card to go with it. Retailers have no obligation to take back a present if the recipient doesn’t like it or you change your mind before giving it to them but some stores will do an exchange in the interests of good customer relations.

10. Ignore the pressure tactics. “Selling fast!” “10 others looking at this item.” “Don’t miss out!” These kinds of claims are designed to tempt you to make a purchase you wouldn’t otherwise have made. The best protection for your wallet is to resist the sales pitch.

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