Black Friday – deal or no deal?

Woman and daughter shopping and pointing at a shop window for Black Friday


MoneyPlus Features Team

26th November 2015 at 2:02pm

The day is upon us and everybody’s talking about Black Friday – the biggest shopping day of the year. It’s the time when retailers slash their prices in an attempt to kick-start the season of goodwill.

In the UK alone, Britons are expected to spend as much as £12,000 per second and that’s just online, according to The Telegraph. But don’t be fooled by the notion of buying at bargain-basement prices – it’s all too easy to get caught up in the moment and spend much more than you’d planned.

Where did Black Friday come from?

It’s believed the name ‘Black Friday’ originated in Philadelphia in the early 1960s to describe heavy traffic the day after Thanksgiving. Later the more widely recognised explanation emerged suggesting that retailers traditionally were ‘in the red’ from January through November, and Black Friday was the turning point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or were ‘in the black’.

Whatever the origins, it’s safe to say that Black Friday is now completely synonymous with consumerism. But before you start spending, take a look at some of our tips to help make sure you come out on top:

Make a shopping list                 

Don’t fall victim to the impulse-buy. Make a list of everything you want and stick to it. Once you have your list you can do your research and find your items at a discounted price. This way you’ll know you’ve saved money on something you would have had to buy anyway.

Compare prices

This is true for any time of the year. It’s always important to check prices across the board – don’t let the ‘offer ending soon’ message drive you to panic-buy at the first opportunity. Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you won’t get it cheaper elsewhere.

Some retailers have published their discounts already so you can start you research in advance.

Go online

As thousands flock to the shops to snap up a deal, more and more of us are going online to skip the queues and avoid the mayhem. Doing your shopping online means you’ll save time and because it’s much easier to compare prices it could save you money too.

Don’t panic – there’s always Cyber Monday

If you think you’ve missed the deal of a lifetime remember there’s always another day. Cyber Monday, the Monday following Black Friday, was created to encourage online spending and basically means the discounts will keep on coming.

Keep calm and shop carefully.


Join the conversation

What do you think about Black Friday – a clever marketing ploy or a chance to save some money? Join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook and let us know about your own experience.