Black Friday 2021: How to get the best deals on tech and gadgets

Tempted to pick up some Black Friday bargains today?

Shopping online might be simple enough, but navigating all the deals on offer today might make it hard to find the best price.

Plus it can be easy to overspend or fall into fraudsters’ traps.

Follow these handy tips to make the most of one of the biggest shopping events
of the year.

Write a wish list

A recent survey by electrical retailer AO found that having a shopping list was the top recommendation to help you during Black Friday.

If you know what you’re after, you can shop for it more easily.

AO trading director Simon Exton says this will not only help you keep an eye on the best deals across retailers but will also mean avoiding distractions and endless scrolling if you’re on a budget.

Use a price tracker and do your research

Find the item you want to buy and start comparing prices to find the cheapest. Michele Don Durbin of task management app Evernote says: ‘If you want to check the price history of a product, use price comparison websites to find the best deals.

‘PriceSpy, for example, offers a comparison of popular gadgets from different retailers. HotUKDeals is also a great place to go for deals, discounts and freebies. Some retailers can mislead customers into thinking they’re getting a bargain when they’re not. Checking price tracker websites allows you to see a product’s price history.’

Set up online accounts in advance

It’s likely that with the expected surge in bargain-hunting shoppers, some websites will experience painfully slow response times.

Save yourself the agony by setting up an online account in advance of your shopping spree and entering your payment and delivery details so you can get in, make your purchases and then get the heck out.

Get social inspiration

Follow your favourite brands and shops on social media and sign up to email newsletters to be among the first to learn about the latest deals.

Brands often use channels such as Twitter, Instagram and TikTok to hand out exclusive offers so keep those peepers peeled to make sure you don’t miss any great savings.

Watch where you shop

Keep a lookout for the little lock symbol that appears in the corner of the URL field. This is the visual indicator you need to ensure the website you’re on is 100% safe.

Tom Gaffney, consultant from IT security company F-Secure, says shoppers must make sure that websites display ‘https’ not ‘http’, as the ‘s’ stands for secure. Once you’re sure the site is legit, using a credit card ensures added safety. Most offer consumer protection against fraudulent sites so, should anything go wrong, your credit card provider is liable to reimburse you.

Be careful what you click on

Between April 2020 and March 2021, online shopping scams were up 65%, equating to £69.9 million lost to fraudsters. For a scam-free shopping day, use a reliable security solution like the Kaspersky Security Cloud to identify malicious attachments and block phishing sites.

Equally, don’t open suspicious attachments or click on links in emails. Hackers often mimic the look and feel of big brands to trick consumers into releasing confidential information. If you’re unsure, click on the email address to see if it comes from a legitimate source. Alternatively, go to the official website and access your account from there.

According to cybersecurity specialist Mimecast, if in doubt, it’s worth researching the company online to ensure websites and emails are from official sources. Also, double-check the format of the URL or spelling of the company name. It could be a duplicate looking to steal financial and personal information.

Black Friday spending statistics

4.8billion

Brits plan to spend an estimated £4.8billion on Black Friday weekend buys, claims market and consumer data specialist Statista. That’s down from previous years, as the total Black Friday and Cyber Monday spending in the UK will decrease from £5.6bn in 2019 and £6bn in 2020, to £4.8bn in 2021.

40%

Statista also reports that 40% of shoppers are likely to opt for a physical shopping experience over online.

£275

Research from Finder reveals Brits plan to part with £275 of their cash on average. That’s 7% less than last year’s spend, where shoppers spent an average of £295 during Black Friday weekend.

54%

Gen Z will be the biggest shoppers, with 54% planning to splash the cash. Following closely behind, 48% of millennials say they’ll shop for deals, while Generation X and baby boomers will account for 35% and 15% respectively.

Protect your accounts

Research from F-Secure discovered that 41% of people use the same password on multiple accounts, opening them up to being compromised should their login information get stolen.

Unless you’re the kind of person who can memorise Pi to 50 digits, remembering dozens of unique, difficult-to-guess logins is virtually impossible. Password manager apps such as 1Password and F-Secure ID Protection do a great job of keeping your logins under digital lock and key.

If it seems too good to be true, it usually is

Opportunistic scammers often promote pretend deals on products they don’t have in order to get you to part ways with your cash. If you receive an email or message about a deal from an unknown source, it’s best to ignore it.

The same goes for suspicious social media posts promoting ‘amazing’ tech deals. Take the time to do your research into who is selling the product and whether they’re legitimate.

Metro.co.uk’s Black Friday shopping sense check

We love to bring you the best available bargains for Black Friday, but don’t want you to go into debt or suffer financial hardship as a result.

When shopping the sales, ask yourself these questions to ensure you’re buying smart:

  • Do I need this? If your cooker has broken and needs replaced, this would be an essential purpose, while a new smoothie maker or air fryer is a desire not a need.
  • Can I afford this? If you need to put something on credit – or put off essential spending to purchase it – you can’t afford it. If it’s a ‘want’ purchase, that means you should avoid. If it’s a ‘need’ purchase, look for the most affordable option.
  • Am I buying for the sake of it? Whether it’s a gift or something for yourself, consider if you’re buying just to take advantage of discounts. For the environment and your bank balance, try to buy with intention. This could mean fewer, better quality garments you actually love (instead of throwaway trend-led fashion), or only buying gifts you know will be treasured, rather than disposable trinkets.

Get further advice on debt and money from Citizen’s Advice.

Black Friday 2021 deals

Black Friday 2021 is finally here, and Brits are busy securing some sweet savings on their Christmas presents.

The mad dash to grab unmissable bargains has commenced, with stores around the world slashing their prices.

Here are some of the highlights from Black Friday 2021 so far:

  • Currys cut prices on Samsung and LG TVs
  • The absolute best Black Friday 2021 UK video game deals
  • Top Amazon Black Friday 2021 deals
  • Best sex toy deals to snap up this Black Friday weekend

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