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black friday in diary

Does Black Friday deserve all the hype?

Friday 24th November is Black Friday. Which hopefully could mean great bargains and the chance to save money. But does Black Friday deserve the hype? Are there real bargains to be had or is it all just a clever way for retailers to get rid of their old stock?

And what exactly is Black Friday anyway? It’s only in the past few years that it has become a thing in the UK. So how did it all start?

In this article we answer ten of the most common questions people ask about Black Friday.


1. When and where did Black Friday start?

Black Friday is an annual shopping event that originated in the USA in the 1950’s. It marks the official start of the Christmas shopping season and is always the day after Thanksgiving. 


2. Why is it called Black Friday?

There are various different explanations for the name. One is that the Philadelphia police used it to describe the huge amount of people and traffic in the city on the day after Thanksgiving. 

Another explanation is that stores would see it as the biggest shopping day of the year, and depend on it to keep their accounts in the black for the rest of the year.


3. What is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday – which this year is Monday 27th November – originally developed to offer shoppers an opportunity to continue their Black Friday shopping online. Many people had better Internet access at work than at home so it made more commercial sense to extend the online bargains to Monday.

The lines are now increasingly blurred between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, making it a four day shopping bonanza. But there may still be new online-only offers to look out for on Cyber Monday, particularly in beauty, fashion and toys.


4. How do people react to Black Friday?

There seems to be something about Black Friday that makes people react in extreme ways. In 2014 in the UK there were many disturbances in stores on Black Friday, with people fighting over reduced items such as televisions. Arrests were made and some stores had to close.

Back in the US, shoppers have been known to camp outside stores from mid-November in the hope of bagging a bargain. And, according to CNN, more than 12% of Black Friday shoppers turn up to stores under the influence of alcohol.


5. What kind of items are worth looking out for this Black Friday?

There are likely to be millions of deals across a range of sectors including technology, TVs, beauty, fashion, kitchen appliances and furniture. 

Some of last year’s best buys included iPhones, iPads, Lego and other toys, kitchen appliances such as air fryers and coffee machines, designer clothing and cult beauty products.

But to get a real bargain, the key thing is not to be distracted by price reductions in general, and end up spending money on things you don’t really need. Instead, make a wish list of items that you need to buy anyway then search for the best prices to make sure that you save money on those items.


6. Which UK retailers are participating in this Black Friday?

Most major retailers – both in store and online – participate in Black Friday. For example, Amazon, Argos, Boots, Currys, John Lewis and Selfridges.

Also look out for popular brands such as AllSaints, Asos, Charlotte Tilbury, Cult Beauty, Game, Lego, Missoma, Ninja, Nintendo, Shark, Uniqlo and Zara.

It is also worth searching online for any other specific retailers or products that you are interested in. Try entering the name of the retailer or item into Google, along with the search term “Black Friday” to see if there are Black Friday offers available. 


7. How can you make sure you get a genuine bargain this Black Friday?

You are much more likely to get a real Black Friday bargain if you focus on a small number of specific things that you really need, and put time and effort into tracking down the best bargains.

Do a bit of research in advance to become familiar with the specifications and essential features of the items you want. Otherwise, you could mistakenly buy a product that is either an outdated model or doesn’t have all the features you expected. 

Also make sure you know the best current price for the items you want. A retailer may advertise a Black Friday price with what looks like a huge saving on the RRP (Recommended Retail Price) but the item has actually been selling for less than the RRP for a while. So, familiarise yourself with current prices so that you know whether or not something is a genuine Black Friday bargain.


8. How can I avoid scams this Black Friday?

In our recent series Stop the Scammers, we looked at different ways that people can try to scam you. For example, How to spot a fake website. But at busy times like Black Friday, when you may be doing more shopping online than usual, it is all too easy to be caught off guard. 

Sadly, during the Black Friday and Christmas shopping period from November 2021 to January 2022, UK consumers were scammed out of £15.3 million, with an average loss of £1,000 per person.

So be aware that not everything is as it seems. Never give personal or financial information away, either online or by phone, unless you are absolutely sure that it is genuinely needed for a transaction that you know about. Wherever possible use a payment platform, such as PayPal, Google, or Apple Pay, for extra protection when paying for your orders.

And if you do think that unfortunately you have been scammed, contact your bank right away.


9. Can you return an item you buy on Black Friday?

As a consumer, the same rights regarding refunds and returns apply to sale items as normal priced items.

This means that if you buy an item that is faulty, not as described or does not do what it’s supposed to do, you are entitled to a full refund.

There is a bit of a grey area if you buy from a physical store then simply change your mind about an item : there is nothing actually wrong with it. In this case you don’t have an automatic right to get your money back, but most stores will accept unused items back within 14 or even 30 days, and give a full refund. But it is always worth checking the returns policy when you buy something, just in case.

However, if you buy online, you are entitled to a full refund for any reason at all, as long as you tell the retailer within 14 days and then return the goods within 14 days after that.


10. What can you do if you miss out on a Black Friday bargain?

The good news is that many retailers are now extending Black Friday far beyond one day. So even if you miss out on a special Black Friday offer from one retailer that is just available on Black Friday itself, you should hopefully be able to find a similar deal elsewhere.

But if there is something that you really want and need, with a bit of careful planning you should be able to find that elusive Black Friday bargain on the day.


Enjoy Black Friday. We hope you find the items you’re looking for at the very best price, and save money in the process.

Do check back here soon for more lifestyle and financial tips from Loans 2 Go.