Do you break out into a cold sweat just thinking about trying to battle your way through the masses on Black Friday? We've got some tips to help you boss it.
Yeah, we all know that Black Friday might be the new Christmas for the people who want to battle their mothers for a cheap HD TV, but for the rest of us it’s a really good time to pick up everything from discount shoes to that 50-gram fixie bike you’ve been waiting for.
Originally, the all-American sales fest was a perfect way for the US to escape the turkey Thanksgiving dinners in exchange for filling their cars with electricals.
These days though, the UK have more than enough deals online and in-store to make sure you can get your Christmas shopping done before December even starts.
While most of us will probably be sitting back at home ready to hit the Buy button, there are some people who still like to get stuck into a bit of real-time shop-floor action, so we have some survival tips on how to get the best out of Black Friday, in real life and online:
How to bo$$ Black Friday IRL
We all know that it isn’t just electronics on offer for Black Friday and when there are whole department stores going on sale or even just the rails of Topshop you need to know your battlefield well in order to conquer.
This is where Google Maps comes in handy. Head to the shop you’re scoping out for deals a few days earlier and start wandering around, start chatting to the staff and if you’re lucky they might let you in on a few secrets as to where the best deals will be. Even if they’re staying tight lipped no matter. Start marking the points on your map where you need to be running. Electronics department for the Nutribullet? Mark it. You fancy some cheap pyjamas? Mark them too. Come shopping day you can ping from one to the next just by browsing your phone.
Own a lightly padded bomber jacket, a hat and a headset? Go rogue and aim for the security guard look. If a fight breaks out over the last iPhone X in Currys who do you think is going to win, the scrabbling shoppers or the security guard? Exactly. After you find what you want, simply whip off your jacket, hand your card over at the till and walk out of there like a boss. (Obviously, we can’t say that this is totally legitimate but definitely could be worth a try!)
If you have a few friends who love a bit of Black Friday madness, team up and cover more ground per minute to get your goods. Set up a Whatsapp group in advance with the list of what everyone wants, get your pictures, sizes, styles ready – a la Glastonbury tickets preparation – and head off to the shops. Cut the time and the stress and end up with a great haul. This also works really well if you’re shopping at home but is perfect for some real-time fun.
How to win at Black Friday online
Most of us would skim straight past shopping on the high street and straight to the ultimate glory of sitting back in our PJs with a cup of tea ready to drain our entire bank account with just a few clicks. Always opt for tea or a coffee rather than a bottle of wine to avoid sticking 10 electric toothbrushes in your basket, just in case. Most importantly, don’t wait until Cyber Monday – there are plenty of deals to be found on Black Friday, too.
Be the night owl, not the early bird
Last year people spent £5 billion over the Black Friday sales, so even if you wake at 4:59 am, you most definitely won’t be the first person at your computer.
Black Friday sales start from midnight to 6am normally, so getting up early to shop might already be too late. Order a pizza and settle in for a few hours of late-night shopping, or you could always go out for a few drinks and see what you can buy on your phone while you’re out. Nothing like the surprise of knowing you bought yourself a bread maker for £20 to cheer you up.
Set your alarms
From Amazon and Topshop to Three, every store drops discounts before and during Black Friday at all hours so if you’re out for something in particular get ready and be alarmed. Set your phone to the hours you need and you won’t miss anything.
Amazon lists new deals hourly so you can set your alarm for that exact Fitbit you’ve been looking out for.
Prep your shopping lists
This is no time for browsing. Be ready and download the apps for your favourite stores… and get your basket ready with what you want to buy and get your card details saved. When the sales hit all you need to do is check your items for discounts and press BUY, BUY, BUY.
Follow the leaders
Why rely on yourself to do all the work when there are literally hundreds of stores wanting to tell you about their deals? Start following your favourite shops on Twitter and FB and wait for them to give you the heads up. You can even tweet them to find out when that coffee machine will be going down in price and even get their discount codes. If you want to get even more for less work head to HotUKDeals and MyVoucherCodes and they will give you discount codes galore.
Upgrade your handset
To whet your appetite for Black Friday deals, and make sure you’re equipped for all the mobile shopping you can muster, why not check out out Black Friday deals from Three.
Fancy a brand spanking new iPhone 8 for just £39 a month? Go on then. Or an iPhone SE for just 18 quid a month? We’ve got it. Discover all our deals on our Black Friday page and snap yourself up a bargain in no time.