The dos and don'ts of Black Friday deals: how to shop like a pro

Tuck those elbows away and learn the tricks of the trade this Black Friday

Coffee machine sale: Lattissima One Silky White
(Image credit: Lattissima)

Black Friday is a time that reminds us that we instinctively behave like animals when a bargain buy is at arms reach. You know, those videos of hysterical shoppers fighting tooth and claw over flat screen TVs and Nespresso machines. For one weekend it seems you sign away your etiquette, mind and money. 

The aim of the game this year: bag your bargains and keep your cool at the same time...dreamy. 

We're here as the angel on your shoulder, with a list of dos and don'ts to help you to retain your dignity in spite of those wonderful deals that make your elbows stick out like weapons. Good luck out there; we believe in you...

However, if you've got your Black Friday info and etiquette down, just check out our deals page. New offers are added super regularly so you can count on us. Alternatively, shop current deals at our pages below.

Don’t: think Black Friday just happens on the Friday

This year's Black Friday will fall on Friday 29 November, with Cyber Monday on 2nd December. The sales will, however, last for about a week or so, and some retailers, such as Amazon (opens in new tab), will start cutting prices before. In other words, keep your eyes peeled (or just keep popping back here) for great deals from the beginning of November onwards.

Logitech MX Sound Bluetooth Speakers

(Image credit: John Lewis)

Do: shop online for Black Friday deals

Why face the crowds when almost all Black Friday deals are available online? In fact, some retailers will be doing online-only deals. Plus, we've got loads of Black Friday deals all in one place to make it super easy for you to nab a bargain.

See below a list of retailers who have already opened their Black Friday pages for 2019.

Don’t: leave it to last minute

A wise man once said ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and while we're sure Benjamin Franklin wasn’t planning on his mantra ever being applied to Black Friday, we think it works. 

Do your research, people! Check out what we are expecting from Black Friday so you have an idea of what's going to be on sale, then make a list of what you want to get so you don’t end up panic buying. Which leads us onto our next tip...

Do: create Black Friday wish lists

Websites such as Amazon (opens in new tab), Asos (opens in new tab), Argos (opens in new tab), B&Q (opens in new tab) and John Lewis (opens in new tab) let you set up a wish list where you can add all the products you want to buy. Rather than trawling through the entire site you can click on your list and immediately see if the prices have dropped. If you leave deals languishing in your basket, some retailers will even offer you further discounts on them in an attempt to get you to complete your purchase.

Zara new kitchen collection

(Image credit: Zara)

Do: set up online accounts ahead of Black Friday

Prepare yourself by setting up online accounts with stores you know you're going to be shopping with come the big day. This will save you precious time at the checkout so you can get onto buying the next bargain. In some cases, setting up an account with a retailer may well mean an earlier, or bigger discount.  

Do: compare multiple deals

We know it’s easy to get excited about what appears to be an amazing deal, but make sure you shop around a bit first before buying. Browse all our Black Friday deals or find out about the latest Black Friday deals to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. 

Don't: just take our word for it

Many products' prices yoyo frequently, so checking the price history of what you're planning to buy on (opens in new tab) or PriceSpy (opens in new tab) will tell you whether the savings are real or illusory. These clever and handy sites show you whether a price is likely to re-occur, so you can allocate your budget to something that is more rarely discounted on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, if you prefer.

Do: check social media

Make sure you’re following all the brands you might want to shop at come Black Friday on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to hear about offers or further discounts.

Too much like hard work? Follow us, Real Homes, on Facebook (opens in new tab), Twitter (opens in new tab) and Instagram (opens in new tab) instead, as we will be updating all our social feeds with the top Black Friday deals throughout the sale. 

Do: check Black Friday returns policies

Just in case you end up regretting buying that leopard print velvet loveseat when you were deep in a Black Friday hole during the early hours of Friday morning, double-check what the retailers' returns policy are for Black Friday deals before you buy. 

loaf sofa in blue with scatter cushions

(Image credit: loaf)

Do: shop safely on Black Friday

Just as you would usually, ensure you're shopping securely. Paying by credit card should give you more protection than paying by debit card. If you pay with PayPal or another third party payment service you may not be eligible for these payment protections.

Don’t: forget about Cyber Monday 

Once upon a time, Black Friday was all about hitting the high streets and Cyber Monday was for all the online deals. Now, the two have merged, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep your eyes peeled for anything that might be going on during Monday 26 November.

Best hair dryer: GHD hair dryer

(Image credit: GHD)

Do: have a back up plan

No one knows yet what's going to be in the Black Friday sales, so it's best to always have a back up plan. So, if that Made (opens in new tab) sofa you've had your eye on since forever doesn't make it into the Black Friday sales, you can opt for a John Lewis (opens in new tab) look-alike. You'll thank yourself later, and you won't be let down. Win win!

More Black Friday deals:

Niamh is a freelance journalist and the Head of Content at Raft Furniture. She is obsessed with all things interior design, with a particular focus on sustainability and city-dweller style. The wooden floorboards and built-in bookcase in Niamh’s rented North London home occupy her daydreams between writing, and after work, she has a knack for finding cheap plane tickets.