Natalie Berg

Brits unaware of retailers Black Friday sales tricks

Black Friday bargain hunters have been warned to beware some of the biggest traps set by retailers as they prepare to kickstart their Christmas shopping.

Expert Natalie Berg has shared her top tips on how to avoid getting fooled and overspending, as 70 per cent of people say they are planning to hunt out some bargains in this year’s sale.

Most shoppers admitted they are unaware of the tactics used by shops to make their sales more attractive, according to new research from Capital One UK which spoke to 2000 adults.

Nearly half of Brits (44 per cent) didn’t have a clue that cookies used online could show higher prices on the same item depending on their spending habits. While one in three people (29 per cent) didn’t realise that some stores put up their prices before a sale to make their discount seems bigger.

While over one in 10 Brits seem to think that Black Friday is a bit of a scam, there will be plenty of people trying to score themselves a bargain when the sales start.

In an effort to save Brits a few quid, Berg has designed five top tips as part of Capital One’s One Good Thing campaign to help shoppers make the most of the Black Friday sales.

1. Do your homework

Be aware that retailers often inflate prices just before Black Friday to create the illusion of jaw-dropping discounts. In order to separate the hype from reality, I’d encourage consumers to utilise price checker sites to view pricing history.

2. Register with your favourite retailers

Consumers should sign up for their favourite retailers’ newsletters and loyalty schemes in order to receive exclusive discounts and early access to sales. Downloading retailers’ apps and following them on social media platforms can help you spot the best deals.

3. Start looking for bargains before Black Friday

It’s common knowledge that Black Friday is no longer a one-day event, the deals can start even earlier. While it may be tempting to hold out for deals on Black Friday itself, consumers should also bear in mind that items may sell out before then.

4. Stay focused

In order to avoid buying things you go on to regret, I would encourage making lists or adding products to online shopping baskets in advance. This doesn’t reserve them, but it may instil some discipline, keeping buyers from veering from their shopping lists while also expediting the checkout process.

5. Understand returns policies

Retailers typically offer extended returns windows at this time of year. This will vary by retailer so it’s important that consumers familiarise themselves with individual policies. Consumers should also bear in mind that some retailers have begun charging for returns, so unwanted purchases may come at a cost this year.

6. Utilise cashback sites and credit cards

Utilise cashback sites and credit cards that offer additional rewards on the money you spend. Credit cards can be great tools to budget and purchase big-ticket buys if used responsibly. Purchases in the range of £100 to £30,000 may be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means that if anything goes wrong with your order, your credit card provider may be jointly liable to reimburse you.

While internet shopping is generally safe, information on how to spend safely online can be found online, from the Citizen Advice Bureau, while Capital One have issued the following handy advice on their website.

“The research shows that most people are buying items they don’t need on Black Friday– and with lack of knowledge of sales tactics commonplace, we want to arm consumers with the information they need to make genuine savings this year,” said Capital One’s John Birkbeck.

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