Of all the American traditions that have made their way across the pond, Black Friday is one of the most exciting. Retailers across the UK will slash prices during Black Friday week (Black Friday is 25th November 2016) giving shoppers a short-term opportunity to score huge deals on products ranging from t-shirts to TVs to toilets. And we’ll be joining in (you can learn about how you can celebrate Black Friday with bathstore here).
Below we’ve created the ultimate Black Friday survival guide to ensure you get the best bargains – and have fun while doing it. Read on to learn what to do before, during and after the sales, including tips and tricks about how to get through Black Friday, find the hottest deals and cope with the chaos.
Black Friday essentials: What you’ll need
Before embarking on any important mission, you’ll need to pack your survival kit. Here’s what we recommend:
- Your Black Friday uniform: Beyond feeling comfortable, you need to be agile. Opt for a small, cross body bag to keep your possessions safe and choose shoes that will protect your toes from clumsy feet in crowded shops. If you plan on visiting any dressing rooms, wear something you can slip in and out of easily. If you’re shopping online, stick to the same principles – stay comfy in your pyjamas!
- Extra shopping bags: Plastic or paper bags may tear – have sturdy backups to avoid any ripping mishaps.
- Snacks and refreshments: You may not have the time or energy to stop for a bite, so make sure you have a small snack and a bottle of water handy to keep your energy levels up.
- A mid-day pick-me-up: Your primary target is to hunt out the best bargain – but that doesn’t mean you should neglect yourself. Take care of your skin and refresh yourself with hand lotion when those shopping bags begin to feel heavy.
- Vouchers and emails: Print or save discount emails and vouchers and keep them handy, so you can easily access them when it’s time to pay and seal the deal.
In the days leading up to Black Friday…
If you want to conquer Black Friday, strategy is key. Here’s what to do:
1. Make a list: Black Friday isn’t the day to go window shopping. Get organised and make a list of what you’re looking for – why not create your wish list online or fill and save baskets ready for checkout on the big day.
2. Establish a budget: Figure out what you can afford to spend in total, and establish limits for certain items (“I won’t spend more than X on Y”). Don’t forget to factor in delivery cost if you’re shopping online.
3. . Map your route: Plot out your travel to avoid surprises on the day – keep in mind that car parks and main stations will be busy, so
choose your route wisely. Decide which shops you’ll visit, and in what order.
4. Bookmark your tabs: If you’re participating in Black Friday online, save your tabs in advance: sites can struggle under high traffic, so ‘favourite’ the items you plan on buying to avoid getting stuck on a slow or frozen page.
5. Get to know the shop or site: Save yourself from error and check the returns policy, opening hours and any other relevant details (such as parking) before you shop. If you’re hitting up a clothing store, know your size beforehand – especially if ordering online.
The night before…
You have tingling in your fingers and restlessness in your slippers – tomorrow is the big day! Make sure you’re ready for it:
1. Lay out your uniform: If you’re hitting the shops, we’d recommend jeans, sturdy shoes and layers that can be taken on and off as you move inside and outside. But if you’re staying in and shopping online, why not keep it cosy in your dressing gown?
2. Pack your bags: Gather your essentials (vouchers, snacks, extra bags) in one place, ready to grab first thing in the morning.
3. Clear out the boot: If you’re taking your car, remove any unnecessary extras that are using up space.
4. Prep your tech: If you’re shopping online, get your tech ready for the big day. If you typically struggle with slow wi-fi make sure that nobody else is going to be hogging the connection while you’re trying to shop. Make sure all batteries are fully charged.
The morning of…
It’s time to get your game face on!
1. Wake up early: This may be very early as some offers will go live at midnight, so set the alarm and take a shower to give you a boost.
2. Prep yourself: If you’re heading out make sure you’re fresh-faced and ready to take on the crowds. An illuminated mirror provides a soft, warm glow to help ease you into the dark morning. It’s also a great place to give yourself a pre-Black Friday pep talk – and revel in the flattering lighting while you’re at it!
3. Eat a healthy breakfast: Whether you opt for porridge, cereal or eggs on toast, you'll be greatful for those nutrients when you're battling the crowds or clikcing your way to shopping heaven.
If you’re venturing out…
Braving the crowds is a bold move. Make sure you’re ready for the madness:
1. Follow your action plan: Don’t let yourself be distracted by anything that’s off the map: go to your first destination and try not to get side-tracked by tempting things that aren’t included in your budget.
2. Be assertive: The busy atmosphere can take hold of even the most level-headed shopper. Be assertive and maintain your space without engaging in any negativity.
3. Take care of yourself: Make use of what you packed: eat a snack, drink some water and find a quiet place to centre yourself – step outside for a bit of fresh air or take a minute to splash your face with water and grab a quiet moment in the bathroom!
4. Monitor your cargo: We know you wouldn’t leave your bags, but make sure not to leave your trolley or basket alone either – other shoppers might be inclined to take advantage of it!
5. Get a receipt every time: It’s easy to make mistakes amid the busyness, so make sure you have proof-of-purchase in case you need to make a return or challenge a charge. In the case of an e-receipt, ask the cashier to confirm your email address.
If you’re plotting an online spree…
You don’t need to leave the house to reap the benefits of Black Friday: last year, Black Friday was the biggest day ever for online retailers in the UK. Don’t miss out on the action this year:
1. Wake up early: The earlier you get started, the better. Deals usually start at midnight, so set your alarm and get the kettle ready in advance
2. Set the atmosphere: While others battle through the crowds, you can enjoy a pleasant and relaxing shopping experience. Light a few candles or indulge in a luxurious fragrance and listen to your favourite tunes while you shop.
3. Tackle a website at a time: Don’t get ahead of yourself and overload your computer with multiple pages. Web traffic will already be high, so take it a site at a time to avoid slowing things down even more.
4. Take breaks: It’s not good to stare at a screen for too long – be sure to give your eyes a break every hour or so. Grab a snack, splash some water on your face or go for a walk to refresh your senses before you get back into shopping-mode.
After the shopping storm…
It’s been a whirlwind day, but congratulations – you’ve survived! It’s time to wind down and celebrate your purchases.
1. Take stock: As you put your items away, double check that everything is the correct size and that nothing has been damaged. Look over your receipts and check your bank balance to make sure it all adds up.
2. Take a relaxing bath: Revel in the peace and tranquillity of your bathroom with a soothing soak in the tub. We’ve got the perfect recipes to help you release the retail stress and relax.
3. Get ready for Monday: If you missed out on a deal or forgotten to pick something up, don’t worry – Cyber Monday is just around the corner!
Black Friday is meant to be fun, but to take advantage of the offers you’ll need to be prepared. With this year’s sales predicted to be busier and better than ever, our guide will help you survive the day – and come out on top!