9 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 (29 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 for cheaper. It also pays to check the sale price is actually cheaper than the normal retail price.

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 is 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 shop must sort it out.

6. Find out where to shop for good service. There are some shops where you’re just likely to have a better experience. Our latest retailer satisfaction survey found it’s the little guys that do a better job at keeping their customers happy than the big chain stores.

7. It never hurts to ask. Leave your shyness at the door when you’re hunting for a deal and see what the salesperson is prepared to offer. Ask what the store is prepared to throw in 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. Steep interest charges with some of these deals can also leave a sting.

9. Add in an exchange card. While retailers have no obligation to take back a gift if the recipient doesn’t like it or you change your mind before giving it to them, some will do so in the interests of good customer relations. Always ask the retailer for an exchange card to go with the gift.

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