Black Friday – a long-standing tradition in the USA – is quickly becoming a fixture in the calendar of retails across the UK, and in 2014 it is expected to be no different.
The concept first appeared on British shores around four years ago, although 2014 will see many leading British firms joining early winter sales.
Friday is expected to mark the biggest ever day for online sales, with some predictions suggesting that £6,000 will be spent every second. Visa has even predicted spending of £360,000 every minute, with many companies forced into cutting prices as a result of price promises.
Price reductions across many retailers
John Lewis for instance, promises it is “never knowingly undersold” and so matches prices when they are reduced elsewhere.
It’s easy to forget that some bargains are not always as good as they seem however, which is why consumers need to take care when searching for some pre-Christmas bargains.
Sainsbury’s is also recognising Black Friday for the first time in 2014, with the supermarket chain joining rivals such as Asda and Argos who have marked the occasion in years previous.
With around a month to go until Christmas, Black Friday is expected to kick-start consumer spending, with predictions revealing that even more could be spent this year than last.
Proceeding with caution
Black Friday may appear a fantastic opportunity for people to find bargains and cheaper Christmas presents on the surface but this is not always the case. People are warned to take care to ensure that they are getting deals that are as good as they think they are.
For anyone looking for certain items, it helps to get involved early. Some retailers have already started to slash prices so the item you want may already be available for less.
This is where it helps to do extensive research – while something may be drastically reduced in price there is little point in buying it simply because it is cheap.
Part of this means checking that products are genuinely marked down and this can be discovered by searching for the best prices across many different retailers.
Knowing your rights as a customer
As a customer, buying online is advantageous because of the number of restrictions and legal rulings that define the sales.
More rights exist when purchasing online and all goods can be returned within seven days of receiving them – subject to the usual returns rules.
The Sale of Goods Act 1979 also applies so it’s important to print out receipts and orders if participating in Black Friday, just in case arriving goods are not as expected.
Think before purchasing
Further protection exists when purchasing from brands that are known and trusted. This can also make it easier to return goods to a store if necessary.
Finally, customers should always check website addresses prior to releasing any bank details as scammers can try to take advantage of the Black Friday frenzy.
However, with a little planning and forethought, consumers can stay protected and even find themselves a Christmas bargain.