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The Black Friday frenzy: did you love or loathe it

The Black Friday frenzy: did you love or loathe it

Category: Money

Updated: 02/12/2015
First Published: 01/12/2015

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Black Friday has divided the nation this year, as while some people were happy to grab a bargain, others steadfastly refused to get involved. On the plus side, the whole thing seemed to be a lot more civilised than last year – fights to get the last HD TV seemed few and far between – but did you love it or loathe it?

According to research from eDigitalResearch and IMRG, it's probably a fairly even split: the results of a survey taken before the main event showed that 31% of online shoppers either "like" or "love" major discount events such as Black Friday, while a further 30% "don't like" or "hate" them, with the remaining 39% being undecided.

The analysis went on to reveal that 20% of respondents shopped during last year's Black Friday with 55% heading online to do so, and if current estimates are to be believed, that figure could be even higher this year – 30% of shoppers said they were planning to shop on the day itself, but with many people being put off by last year's shopping frenzy, they could well have ditched the high street in favour of the online arena.

Despite fears that many people could end up spending a fortune on things they don't actually need, the figures suggest a different story – 24% of respondents said that they made no impulse buys at all during last year's Black Friday sales, with just 10% saying that all of their Black Friday purchases were bought on impulse, which suggests that the majority of people planned ahead and were hoping to get a deal on things they were already planning to buy.

Initial figures from Experian Credit Expert and IMRG suggest that many were successful, with online Black Friday sales hitting a record £1.1bn, up 36% on last year to make it the biggest day of online shopping ever, and the first time that the £1bn mark has been breached. Plus, that's just online sales – high street figures are yet to be released – and it's before we even get to the sales figures from Cyber Monday (prior to the day, it was estimated that the online total would hit £943m, with overall online sales for the entire weekend standing at an estimated £3.5bn), but it's safe to say that record amounts were spent this weekend.

Top tips to bag a bargain at all times

Like it or loathe it, a lot of people have been able to benefit from retailers' huge discounts in the last few days, but we want to make sure you can get a bargain at all times of the year. Here are a few ways you can do just that:

  • Think you've found a great deal online? Before you frantically click the "buy" button, take a moment to compare prices elsewhere, as you may be able to find it even cheaper. Make sure to check reviews, too, particularly if it's a heavily-discounted big ticket item, as it could be cheap for a reason…
  • See if you can use online voucher codes. Some retailers have strict policies of only allowing one discount at a time, so if you've already found something in the sale, you may not be able to use your added voucher codes. Always double check though, as you may be able to lower the price even more.
  • Don't buy on impulse! It may be tempting to buy something simply because it's on offer, but if it wasn't something you really needed in the first place, it's a complete waste of money. A bargain is only a bargain if you're saving money on something that was already on your shopping list, so be ruthless, and don't be swayed by discounts!
  • Stock up for next year. Even though you shouldn't buy on impulse, there are certain things you may like to stock up on when you can. The January sales will be a prime time to find things like Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, cards and associated accessories at bargain prices, and many people like to stock up to get ahead for next year. It'll cut down next year's Christmas spend, after all (just don't forget you've got everything!).
  • Remember to use cashback and loyalty points. If you've accumulated a nice amount of loyalty points in the last few months, now's the time to spend them! The same could apply to any cashback you've built up, perhaps through cashback credit cards, or even thanks to online cashback sites such as Quidco and TopCashback, and if you've got any reward points or vouchers to redeem, you could cut costs even more. Remember to continue earning cashback when you're shopping, too – just think of how much you could rack up in the next few weeks!

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.