Black Friday is this week! There are already zillions of early offers in the shops and online. But are they genuine deals or just fiddling with the figures – and how can you find out?
My advice is to use a price comparison website. These are like the energy or car insurance comparison sites except for shopping. You simply type (or paste) in the name of your item and hit go. The site then lists the retailers who are selling it at the cheapest price. You click on the best deal and get taken to the retailer’s site where you can make the order. SMM likes the following: Pricehunter, Pricespy and Idealo*.
This is how it worked for me. I was looking for an Ultimate Ears Boom 2 wireless speaker for Darling Son as a gift. Last week I was browsing Amazon and the price seemed to be about £85. Fair enough – but I thought I’d hang on for any potential Black Friday deals. In a spare moment at the weekend, I looked again. To my horror, the price had gone up to £99!
How had this happened? I was suspicious that, as this was my second trip to Amazon, the algorithms thought I was now ready to buy and would try inflating the price. It achieved the desired effect. I panicked. But I thought I’d just look on Idealo* to see if there was a better Black Friday bargain somewhere else.
There wasn’t. I decided to leave it till later. But as I left, Idealo* asked me to input the price I was looking for and offered to alert me when the Boom 2 speaker reached it. I put in £85 and went off to make Sunday lunch.
Then miraculously on Monday, I got an alert from Idealo*. The Boom 2 had mysteriously dropped to £69. I couldn’t press go fast enough. I am now smug Santa as well as being chuffed that I have figured out how to work the technology to my advantage.
Real savvy bargain-hunters would, of course, have taken the process further. I didn’t do it this time but you can Google the product name along with the word ‘voucher’ or ‘voucher code’. This may bring up further discounts. Or you can see if you can buy your chosen item, at your preferred price, via cashback websites such as Quidco* or TopCashback* for further savings. Incidentally, SMM has organised a £10 bonus cashback from Quidco* if you register here so it might be worth your while to take a look.
Happy Black Friday 2018! And see our SMM guide to saving at Christmas here.