People always ask me what to buy on Black Friday, this is what I tell them

Do you have a game plan for your Black Friday discount shopping? Here's what I suggest

Cyber Monday sale on a laptop
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's very easy to get swept up in the excitement of the Black Friday deals, with big discounts off just about any type of product you can imagine. You really can save some serious cash if you're smart about it, but that takes planning. 

I don't know the percentage, but I imagine a lot of the purchases over Black Friday aren't planned, and are things that people might not have bought had they not been on sale. So, rather than saving money, that's just extra spending. 

Having covered the Black Friday sales for T3 for some years now, friends and family often ask for my advice before Black Friday. What's good to buy this year? How do I get the best deals? Will there be good discounts on air fryers?

My advice is to have a plan and stick to it. I use the same thinking when hitting the tables in Las Vegas. You might not always stick to that plan, if you see a really tempting deal on offer, but having a line of attack in advance will make your browsing simpler and should save you cash. 

Here are my pointers for a successful and financially astute Black Friday shopping spree. 

1. Get your list together

One of the reasons I end up shopping from Amazon so much is that I love its list facility. Creating a wishlist, whether it's on a site like Amazon, or just on a piece of paper will help you to prioritise your purchases. 

2. Check the reviews

If you see a product you like, it's always worth doing a little more research as to what the experts think. The models likely to get the biggest discounts are unlikely to be the most popular, but take a looks at the pros and cons and also look for variations. TVs for instance are likely to have a few similar models, which gives you extra choice when it comes to sale prices. 

3. Compare prices

Once you have your products locked in, you can start researching the prices across various stores. Even though list prices may be the same, some stores may already have discounts running, so that saving for Black Friday might not be as big as it seems. 

4. Don't jump too early

The Black Friday sales span the whole month of November these days, and even into October. That means there will be tempting prices in the weeks ahead of Black Friday. The chances are though, these prices will get even lower as the weeks roll on. Something with a 10% discount could have 20% off next week. Of course, there's always a risk that it will sell out, but hold your nerve as long as you can. 

5. Treat yourself, don't cheat yourself

The Black Friday sale is a great way to get an early start on your Christmas shopping, and save some cash in the process. But don't forget about yourself. As long as you don't go crazy, it's a great chance to buy yourself something nice too. After all, you deserve it. 

Mat Gallagher

As T3's Editor-in-Chief, Mat Gallagher has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. He has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing, Hong Kong and Chicago is now based in the UK. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, Apple, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.