10 tips for getting the best Black Friday deals in 2018

Before Black Friday returns this November, we're committed to helping you become a deal-finding master. Here's how to bag the best bargains this Black Friday

Lanterns in a boho style living room
(Image credit: Lights4fun)

If you haven't already heard, the excitement for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018 is already building. With brands launching their Black Friday deals early, there's no escaping the fact that autumn is the time to bag a bargain. 

You may already be aware of the best Black Friday deals and how to get them and even of the classic Black Friday dos and don'ts,  but our guide to making the most out of the price plummeting event is worth a quick scan at the very least. Because, whether you're spending from the comforts of your sofa or battling through the crowds in store, you'll need all the help you can get to snag yourself the Black Friday deal of the year. 

1. Do your research before Black Friday

As exciting as Black Friday is, you may not always be getting an actual bargain. As with any sale, there are some end-of-line products as well as items that haven’t proved popular throughout the rest of the year in the mix on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, there are also some genuine savings on offer. 

To separate the genuine deals from the fake bargains, check the price history of what you're planning to buy on CamelCamelCamel.com or PriceSpy. Both sites will tell you whether the savings are real or illusory, ultimately helping you decide if you should make the purchase.

2. You've found a Black Friday deal – but are you missing a better one?

Pretty much a given, but ensure you're deeply searching for that bargain product you want, and that you've found the cheapest price out there before you purchase. For the very latest deals (and helpful, in-depth buying guides) on Black Friday favourites, check in with our Black Friday deals guides (see below) – we'll be updating them daily in the run up to Black Friday so you can be sure of the best prices for what you need.

3. Be smart and shop online this Black Friday

Avoid the in-store madness and spend money from the comfort of your own home this Black Friday; you can even catch those bargains with a cuppa in hand. In 2015, 36 per cent of e-commerce transactions were on mobile, so Black Friday doesn't just mean discounts on in-store items, in fact, more often than not, you can find deals more easily online and you have more of a chance of actually getting the bargain. Shopping online means no queues, no being shoved for a microwave and most of all, no changing out of your PJs. 

4. Know what you're buying before Black Friday

It's a good idea to create a wish list before Black Friday hysteria takes over. Making a simple note of the things you want and their normal price is extremely useful, so every few days, you can keep checking the prices online (with us) and comparing. 

It's also handy to note the places they come up the cheapest, so you can remember when it comes to the crucial week leading up to Black Friday. Websites such as Amazon, Asos, Argos, B&Q and John Lewis have wish lists for their customers to create, so that they can add all of the products they've been eyeing up into one easy folder. Rather than trawling through each site during the weeks coming up to the event, you can refer to your list and quickly check if the prices have dropped.

5. Sign up to Black Friday newsletters now

Some stores have opened their online Black Friday shops early, and you can already sign up to their newsletters to have deals sent to your inbox. Although a nightmare to keep on top of if you subscribe to a few, it's much easier than having to sift through the best deals yourself. Here's a handy list of the Black Friday pages already live: 

Or, of course, you can keep returning to us, because we'll be monitoring the best deals for you daily. We have already started rounding up some of the predicted best Black Friday deals, so keep an eye out on these pages for any updates:

6. Check Black Friday returns' policies

Always check returns policies, Black Friday or not. You definitely don't want to purchase something with a large price tag to later find that it's not what you are looking for, or doesn't fit your requirements. The majority of stores' returns policies for Black Friday will be the usual 28 days, but it's definitely worth checking.

7. Consider last year's Black Friday discounts

Having a look at last year's deals will give you an idea of what to expect this year and which companies might give the best discounts on the products you're lusting over. 

Last year saw Black Friday washing machine deals from brands such as John Lewis, which cut prices by up to £170, and Currys which offered up to £250 off. 

Those on the hunt for a new sofa will be pleased to hear that Marks & Spencerknocked a whopping 60 per cent off products across all its departments in 2017, and Debenhams offered savings of 60 per cent off furniture. 

Sleeping a few more family members this Christmas? Treat yourself to a new sofa bed from John Lewis. Last year, they had a great Black Friday deal on their Sacha sofa bed, dropping the price by over £400.

For those who are shopping for a new bed this Black Friday, homeware haven Habitatslashed their prices by 50 per cent during the event last year, and in 2016, Veryoffered a 50 per cent discount on several of their beds and sofas.

Searching for a new fridge or freezer to store all the Christmas grub you've pre-ordered? Currys PC World offered top-class deals on their fridges and freezers last year, including a huge £400 off the LG GSL961PZBV American-style fridge freezer.

For those wanting to make their home smarter than them this Christmas, you're in luck. Amazon slashed prices on its own smart products last year – think the Echo, Echo Dot, Kindle... and also helped customers save a hefty £90 when purchasing a Hive thermostat. John Lewis also knocked £50 off the Google Home smart speaker

In need of a new mattress? Last year, big online mattress brands such as Simba, Casper and Eve get in on the Black Friday action, too, with some of them offering 30 per cent off over the Black Friday weekend.

Why not add some brand new luxury bedding to go with it? Last Black Friday had Debenhams offering large savings on homeware, with 30 per cent off bedding. Wayfair also had impressive offerings last year, and this year should be no different.

The hub of the living room, a TV may be a big purchase, but not on Black Friday. Last year, Currys had 36 per cent off the Sony Bravia Smart Ultra HD TV, taking the price down from £1,099 to a staggering £699. Amazon also had some cracking TV deals, including a Sony TV reduced from £999 to £599. 

8. Get an early start on Black Friday

Whether you're shopping in-store or online, be sure to get an early start, and this doesn't just apply to the day of Black Friday. If you're truly desperate to get that bed you've been dreaming of for a cheap price, you should be scouring sites every morning in the run up to the big weekend. For those who are braving in-store discounts, it's best to arrive as early as possible to beat the crowds, or later on in the evening just as stores close. 

9. Have a Black Friday back up plan

If you've found a product you desperately want, but aren't willing to pay the full price tag, then it's best to have a back up plan. For instance, have a similar item in mind so that if the worst comes to worst, you can get the alternative instead. Or, consider waiting until the Boxing Day or New Year sales to see if your preferred item is discounted then.

10. Don't be afraid of not shopping on Black Friday

As we've said before, Black Friday isn't just limited to one day. Savings can be seen weeks before or after the event, so don't just plan on getting a deal on that one day. In fact, it will probably be easier (and less busy) to nab a good deal on any other day than Black Friday and Cyber Monday if you're shopping in-store. Always leave your options open.