Black Friday, the biggest retail event of the year, is almost here! Brands will be massively reducing the prices on certain items to provoke crowds of buyers, which can sometimes lead to brawls in-store, or e-commerce websites crashing through overloading. Crazy, huh?

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny that Black Friday helps many people to buy their Christmas gifts for family and friends early while saving lots of money. If you’re new to Black Friday shopping then here’s our guide on how to find the best deals, and avoid some of the worst excesses that come with it.

Plan Ahead

Before you start shopping, decide beforehand exactly what you’re looking for to save time. It helps a lot if you know exactly where each item is in each store, either the web page, or in the physical store so you can move directly to that aisle. If you’re after technology this is especially useful, as you won’t have a great deal of time to go through different specs. Buying clothes? Visit the shop beforehand to try the item on, so you know what size to get, as returns policies for Black Friday sales are often stringent.

Buddy-Up

If you’re going around the shops, bring a friend along with you. Not only does buddying-up like this ensure you can carry twice as much between you, but it means you have company, a second opinion, and someone to help you navigate the stampede. A handy hint is to pick someone who shops at a similar pace to you, to avoid frustration.

Shop Online

Shopping online where possible is far preferable to visiting the physical store. It can save you masses of time of course, and reduces the risk of being squashed! Also, many online Black Friday deals will be available from midnight, so you can beat the rush. Remember that the intensity of shopping does lead some websites to crash, so if you’re on a popular site, be prepared for frustration. A tip for financial safety online – if you’re shopping unfamiliar websites, check that the domain starts with https so you can be confident it’s secure, and use either Paypal or a credit card to make your purchase for added security.

Stay Alert

Black Friday shopping requires stamina and alertness. Fire up on coffee before you hit the shops, so you don’t miss any amazing deals staring you in the face. You want to be fully amped up for the challenge ahead! Side note: drive carefully – any savings you make on Black Friday can be easily wiped out if you have a collision with someone else’s vehicle in a busy car park.

Shop Safe

Unfortunately it’s not unknown for things to get raucous in some shops on Black Friday – we’ve all seen the horror stories in the news. If trouble does start near you, head for the exit as quickly as possible, or at least move to the edge of the store. It’s for this reason that many people choose to leave the kids at home.

If you’re planning to shop in designer boutiques then it can make sense to bring along a few plain bags to carry your purchases around, to make you less of a tempting target for sneak-thieves.

Use Technology

Apps such as Invisiblehand can help you check if the item you’re looking at is available at a better price elsewhere, while camelcamelcamel can show you if a retailer has increased a product’s price before artificially reducing it for Black Friday.

Meaningful Gifts

If you are using Black Friday as an opportunity to buy Christmas gifts for friends and family, then instead of focusing on the savings you’re going to make, or worrying about whether you’re buying the right thing, cut through the chaos by finding a more meaningful gift. At Tinggly we’re offering a huge 33% off all our gift experience collections for Black Friday – why not give someone the gift of choice this year? The anticipation before an experience, and the happy memories afterwards, are sure to satisfy even the trickiest person to buy for this Christmas.

Skip It Altogether

Black Friday isn’t for everyone. If you don’t enjoy the hustle, you can always ignore it and wait for the January sales instead! Remember also that many big retailers will extend their Black Friday deals well beyond the actual day.

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