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How to get ready for Black Friday

With discounts on everything from tech to fashion, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are big days in the retail calendar. Taking place on 27 November and 30 November this year, an increasing number of retailers are offering discounts on a range of goods.

To make the most of these sales, it’s important to be prepared. 

5 tips for preparing for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

1. Set out a budget

Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be the perfect time to snap up some purchases you know you’ll have to make in the future – such as Christmas presents. But before you start spending, take some time to work out what you can comfortably afford

Look at your incomings, outgoings and anything you have left over. You should be able to work out what you can afford to spend from this. You may find that giving yourself a spending limit will help you make decisions in terms of what you buy. 

If you have the HSBC Mobile Banking app on an iOS platform, you’ll get a notification when you spend on your card. You could use this to keep tabs on your spending to make sure you don’t go over your budget.

If you decide to use a credit card for any purchases, keep in mind that you'll have to repay anything you spend. You may also be charged interest if you carry a debt from month to month. 

If you prefer, you can also use your debit card to help you limit your spending and keep within a budget.

2. Decide what you need beforehand

After you’ve worked out what you can afford to spend, look at what you actually need. It’s easy to get swept up in all the offers, so deciding what you want to buy beforehand and creating a wish list can help stop you needlessly spending.

To make the most of your money, you may want to try setting spending limits on certain items. Or you could look to prioritise what you need. That way, you’ll buy the most important things before you blow your budget.

3. Look at who’s participating in the sales

Not every shop will be holding a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale. So if you can, do some research beforehand. You may want to:

  • see who’s participating – some shops may advertise that they’re taking part before the day arrives
  • look at what discounts participating stores are likely to have 
  • find out where you can get your wish list items – knowing this may give you a better chance of purchasing them before they run out of stock
  • sign-up to newsletters – they may give you a preview of sale items or offer specific discount codes
  • compare prices of your wish list items to make sure you’re getting the best deal

4. Keep your money safe while you shop

Be aware of purchase scams this Black Friday. These are when you pay for an item or service and it doesn't arrive and your money is lost. 

Some Black Friday scams may:

  • have limited availability or special discounts that appear too good to be true
  • put pressure on you to send payment before seeing goods, often using less secure means such as a bank transfer 

Remember to: 

  • use safe sites when shopping online
  • research the retailer to make sure they and the offer are legitimate and check their cancellations policy

Paying by credit card offers greater protection than other payment methods. If you buy an item costing more than £100 and less than £30,000 on your credit card (even just part of it), your purchase may be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

5. Make sure your items are protected

If you’re looking to buy specific items, like a mobile phone or laptop, you may want to consider taking out insurance. This can protect your items against a range of unforeseen events such as theft or damage. 

If there are a few different items you’re wanting to cover, multi-cover insurance may allow you to tailor your insurance to your needs. 

For example, with HSBC Select and Cover, you can choose at least 3 options, including gadget insurance and mobile phone insurance to cover you and your family members. You’ll need to be an HSBC UK customer to apply for Select and Cover.

If you already have insurance, it’s a good idea to review your policy when buying potentially high-value items such as tech or jewellery – to make sure you have the cover you need.  

What next?

It’s really important to focus on only buying what you need so you don’t overstretch your finances, no matter how great the discount.

See more about avoiding spending you’ll regret.

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