5 things I wish I'd known before shopping the Black Friday sales

The best tips & tricks to help you find the best Black Friday deals this year

5 things I wish I'd known before shopping on Black Friday
(Image credit: Cottonbro Studio / Pexels)

Black Friday 2022 is only a week away and now is the time to start looking for the best Black Friday deals to help you save money on luxuries, Christmas shopping or everyday necessities. A handful of big-name retailers, including Amazon, Currys, John Lewis and Very have set their Black Friday sales live early, so you’ve got plenty of time to find the best prices on popular products.

But, what is an amazing Black Friday deal? How, amongst all the madness, am I meant to find the right prices or the right product that I’m looking for? And how do I make sure I’m buying something that’s the real deal and I’m not getting swept up in the excitement of the sales?

That’s where I come in. As Deals Writer and Shopping Expert for T3, I know how to find the best prices throughout the year, but specifically during Black Friday. However, like many people, I’ve been a little apprehensive before when it comes to shopping the sales. In person, it’s every man for themselves with people pushing others out the way to get their hands on a bargain. Online is no better, with products being rapidly added to people’s baskets by the second and stock running out fast.

Before you start shopping deals in this year’s sales, here are 5 things I wish I’d known before shopping on Black Friday. Keep these in mind as you shop on the 25th November 2022 as they can help you save extra money and calm your nerves during the big shopping event.

P.S. For more Black Friday advice, check out my 5 predictions for Black Friday 2022.

1. Ignore the advertised saving

Many retailers like to entice shoppers by advertising a products’ saving rather than its actual price. Most of the time, the saving has been artificially created or changed so the saving looks bigger than it actually is. This is done by creating the saving based on the original RRP (which might not have been sold for that price for several months or years) which makes the saving completely fake. Some retailers will also artificially up the product’s price in the month leading up to Black Friday, only to bring the product down to its original price in the sales, making you think you’re getting it for much cheaper.

To avoid this confusion and to make sure you’re getting the best prices, I suggest you check the price of the item you want to buy at multiple retailers. You can do this manually or use price checking sites or extensions that scans the price history and shows you the most and least expensive the product has ever been. At T3, when we say it’s the lowest or cheapest ever price, it’s because we’ve used price checkers to confirm this so you know you can trust us!

shopping bags

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. Do your research

When shopping on Black Friday, I’ve often made the mistake of jumping in without properly researching what I want to buy. To avoid spending too much on things you don’t need, do your research on the products you want to buy. For example, let’s say you’re looking for a new tablet. First, think about what you want to use it for, the size and amount of storage you want, the brand you like, etc. From there, you can determine which tablet is best for you (or you can check out T3’s guide to the best tablets) and start looking up prices.

It’s also important to do your research on the retailer or brand that you plan to buy from. By looking up the store or website before shopping on Black Friday, you can find all the information on their delivery and returns policies, if they offer any cashback or price matches, and their customer reviews. This helps you determine if the site is trustworthy and when your order will arrive. There’s nothing worse than bagging a bargain on a Christmas present for someone if it’s not going to arrive until January!

3. Use Black Friday price match guarantees

The main thing that overwhelms people during Black Friday is that everyone gets involved. From supermarkets to jewellery stores, subscription services to tech companies, it can be tricky to know who is offering the cheapest prices. One thing I wish I’d known before shopping Black Friday is that select retailers offer price match guarantees during the Black Friday sales. A Black Friday price match guarantee is where specific retailers will match the price of a product if you find it cheaper elsewhere. They’ll either sell the item to you from their site at the same price or refund you the difference. All you need to do is check if your retailer of choice offers a price match guarantee and get in touch with their customer service. Retailers that offer Black Friday price match guarantees include AO.com, John Lewis, Currys, Halfords, Blacks and NordicTrack.

4. Hide out of stock deals

Have you ever found a cheap price on a product that you’ve been looking for and gone to add it to your basket only to find that it’s out of stock? This has happened to me so many times! Some retailers like John Lewis or Currys will still show all their deals even if they’re not available online or if they’re out of stock which is not only confusing but it wastes your time. So, to avoid disappointment, use the filters on the side to hide out of stock products.

Black Friday Sales and Shopping

(Image credit: Pexels)

5. Keep an eye out for discount codes

While most retailers won’t allow you to use discount codes on items that are already on sale, many will make an exception to help shoppers save extra money or get delivery or installation for free. This is something I wish I’d known in previous years as I tend to do my Christmas shopping during this time, and it would have been handy to save some extra money here and there. Below are a few examples of Black Friday discount codes to watch out for.

ASOS offers 15% off everything if you’re a new customer when you use the code HIFRIEND at the checkout (see best ASOS Black Friday deals for more sales and discounts). In the AO.com Black Friday sale, you can find special discounts in the top bar on product pages, for example, on TVs over £300, you can get an extra 20% off when you use their exclusive code. Finally, in last year’s Black Friday sales, Currys offered extra discount codes on large appliances so shoppers could get free delivery and installation.

Bethan Girdler-Maslen
Home Editor

Beth is Home Editor for T3, looking after style, living and wellness. From the comfiest mattresses to what strange things you can cook in an air fryer, Beth covers sleep, yoga, smart home, coffee machines, grooming tools, fragrances, gardening and much more. If it's something that goes in your house, chances are Beth knows about it and has the latest reviews and recommendations! She's also in the know about the latest deals and discount codes from top brands and retailers.

Having always been passionate about writing, she’s written for websites, newspapers and magazines on a variety of topics, from jewellery and culture, to food and telecoms. You can find her work across numerous sites, including Wedding Ideas Magazine, Health & Wellbeing, The Bristol Post, Fashion & Style Directory, TechRadar, CreativeBloq and more. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, reading, baking and attempting craft projects that will probably end in disaster!