Here's how to actually bag a bargain in the Black Friday sales

Where do you stand when it comes to Black Friday?

Most people I speak to fall into one of two camps. There are those that love it, and can’t wait to hunt down huge savings. They’ll stop buying things in October, waiting for the big day (or week) of sales to come along.

And there are those who hate it. They see it as yet another marketing ploy pushing consumerism. A month full of false deals that trick us into buying old stock and cheap tat.

So what’s the truth? Well, both can be right, and both can be wrong. There will be some genuine discounts, bringing prices very low. Sometimes these can be close to, if not at, the lowest they’ve ever been.

The way to spot these genuine bargains is to check the price history. Sites like PriceSpy and CamelCamelCamel will show you the recent changes in prices, allowing you to see if the £200 off RRP advertised in the sale is actually just £30 off the price last month.

Another winner is when retailers run what I call ‘generic’ discounts, where you can pick up a set discount off everything, including stock that’s rarely on promotion.

And there will be some extra voucher codes and cashback deals that can be stacked on top of reduced prices to save you even more cash.

But there will also be plenty of run-of-the-mill promotions that are hardly different to the usual price. They could even be more expensive than normal.

Again, looking at the price history helps you avoid getting swayed by the advertised size of the discount.

Often the biggest discounts are end-of-the-line and clearance items which would drop in value anyway when new models are released. Though it’s not necessarily a bad thing to buy these items, the low prices are likely to stay.

The worst aspect of Black Friday though is getting caught up in the hype. Even if the deals you spot are decent, you’re not saving money if the sales encourage you to shell out more than you planned. Or worse, spend more than you can afford.

Really the only good Black Friday deal is the one where you buy something you actually need at a price you’re happy to pay.

If you can make sure every purchase you make fits those two principles, you’ll hopefully have saved yourself some cash.

Inflation is hurting your savings

Inflation is now at its highest since 2011, coming in at a huge 4.2%. This is bad news for savers, with pretty much every single savings option paying less than this, and in many cases significantly so.

But that doesn’t mean moving your money is pointless. Every little extra you can earn on your cash will minimise the damage done.

For smaller amounts of cash you can get around 2%, while larger sums can earn 0.67% in the best easy-access accounts.

Alternatively you could look at Premium Bonds. Though the prize rate is 1%, you won’t get this. But save more than £5,000 and you’ll hopefully get more than that easy-access option.

Highest easy access savings accounts

Virgin Money M Plus Current Account

2.02% AER on up to £1,000

Claro app (iOS only)

2% AER on up to £3,000

Shawbrook Bank Easy Access account

0.67% AER on up to £85,000

Premium Bonds

1% Prize Rate on up to £50,000

For more details on these and other easy access savings accounts, head to becleverwithyourcash.com/savings

Andy’s Who To Follow: @chloesdealclub

There are some very good Instagram accounts sharing deals, but if you want savings on beauty, home and fashion, then follow @chloesdealclub, run by Glaswegian Chloé Carmichael. There’s also a free weekly newsletter.

Chloé’s top bargain tip

‘Search for the items you’re buying on comparison websites such as Price Spy and Price Runner to easily compare the prices across thousands of online retailers. It’s an effortless way to find deals.’

Andy Webb is a award-winning blogger and podcaster from Be Clever With Your Cash

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