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Money Matters: Top tips for safe and savvy consumers on Black Friday

In this week's Money Matters column, Wrekin's Debt & Energy Manager Dan Bebbington looks at the dos and don'ts when it comes to shopping on Black Friday.

Black Friday is here this week with millions of items expected to tumble in price as retailers compete to pull in customers.

However, with people’s finances tighter than ever this year, it’s understandable if you’re questioning if it’s really worth joining the hunt for bargains.

We should say to start with that there’s evidence to suggest there are better deals on offer on what is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Research by MoneySavingExpert found the prices of more than half of 50 popular items were cheaper on Black Friday compared to a last-minute dash on 23 December.

But that’s not to say you should feel pressured to buy things for the sake of it.

Before you spend, always ask yourself if it’s something you need and something you can afford. If the answer’s no then it’s probably best to resist.

If there is a specific item you’re after then make sure to check prices before the day itself to see if the deals on offer are really cheaper.

Price comparison websites are definitely your friend here, with Google Shopping, PriceSpy and PriceRunner, and the Amazon price-tracking tool CamelCamelCamel among the most popular.

The art of haggling to get extra money off is always worth keeping in mind too as some retailers order more stock than necessary.

There are so many flashy adverts around this time with promises of “up to 50 per cent off”, but they can be misleading. It might be that only a couple of items are available at that level of discount.

The last few years have also seen the rise in prominence of companies offering “Buy Now, Pay Later” deals giving customers the chance to get items quickly and cover the cost at a later date.

Used in the right way, it can be a good way of getting cheap credit. However, the risks can be significant.

For example, if you fall behind with payments, you can be hit with late fees and even negative indicators on your credit file.

Here at Wrekin, we’ve seen first-hand how people have been hooked in by this service without realising the pitfalls.

There’s also usually a rise in online scams around Black Friday so keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Searching for customer reviews on the internet is a handy way of checking if a company is legitimate, as well as looking for their details on Companies House.

In short, if you’re looking to buy an item anyway then Black Friday can often be a good time to do so.

However, always be on your guard to make sure you’re not being ripped off.

It can be tempting to rush into purchases at this time of year but it’s really not worth leaving yourself in debt for the sake of a single day.

We're here to help

We know that it can be hard to take the first steps to talk about money or get advice, and we’re here to help. We want to make it easier for our tenants to ask for support, whether it’s for budgeting advice or full on debt management. Our friendly Money Matters team are here for you. They offer a confidential, non-judgemental service to support all tenants. Call 01952 217234 or email:

23rd November 2022