Martin Lewis has issued a bleak warning for shoppers to “be careful” as they risk losing “100 percent” of their money on Black Friday.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which typically fall on the final weekend of the month, see shops globally promote price cuts on products, enticing customers with special offers in the lead-up to Christmas.
But the Money Saving Expert founder urged Britons to only buy what they need or they risk losing a lot of money.
Speaking on his weekly Money Show earlier this week, Mr Lewis told viewers: “If you were going to buy it anyway and it is half price, you have saved 50 percent. But if you weren’t going to buy it but do cos it’s half price you have wasted 100 percent of your money.”
Mr Lewis also reminded people to “be careful” and check thoroughly before making a purchase, as not all discounts are as good as they seem.
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PriceSpy, a comparison recently shared some examples of Black Friday “pricewashing” from last year. Pricewashing sees retailers raising the price of a product ever so slightly, before quickly reducing it and promoting a discount based on the previously inflated original price.
In an exclusive for The Mirror, PriceSpy tracked products that increased in price between October 1 last year and the Sunday before Black Friday (November 20, 2022). Worryingly, the research found one in 10 (10 percent) of products on Black Friday 2022 were “pricewashed”.
The digital spy also found that 25 percent of products were more expensive on Black Friday last year than they were at the start of November.
This is even more worrying, as new research from Virgin Media O2 shows that a staggering 50 percent of Britons are more likely to impulsively buy items on Black Friday compared to any other time of the year.
Kia Commodore, finance expert and founder of Pennies to Pounds podcast and blog said: “It’s natural to feel pressure to go with the first good deal you see during Black Friday sales.
“But when you’re investing in new tech in particular, it can be a big financial outlay so you want to make sure you’re not only getting a good price, but value for your money too.”
Ms Commodore said it’s important to have a clear budget in mind before committing to any purchases. She explained: “It can be really easy to panic buy and unwittingly spend more than intended.
“Take the time now to decide the top things you would deem ‘must-buy’ as well as a list of any ‘worth checking out’ purchases. This will help you to prioritise and avoid spending more than planned. Write out, or have clear in your head, your goal budget as well as your maximum spending cap so you can keep track and avoid overspending.”
Additionally, Ms Commodore urged: “Take your time. With so many deals up for grabs, it’s easy to feel pressure to buy right then and there, shown by the fact that 50 percent admit to spending less time deciding to buy a product in Black Friday sales compared to usual.
“But you do have time. Nowadays deals tend to start appearing from mid-November right up until Black Friday weekend and many even continue in the run-up to Christmas. So, take your time to assess what you really need and can afford.”
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She also suggested people take care in considering the “added value” a product is offering and truly try to understand what they’re buying.
Ms Commodore said: “People rarely look at the smaller details before making purchases, often due to fear of missing out on the deal. But it’s worth taking the time to understand what you’re actually getting.”
For example, in terms of some mobile phones, some providers don’t fully roll down the phone bill once the handset has been paid off. She said: “Before you commit to a new mobile deal this Black Friday, it’s worth checking that the deal you’re after won’t leave you potentially paying for your phone twice! What is the warranty like? Can I get a split contract? Do I get inclusive roaming?
“These are some of the questions to consider before you buy to avoid any unwanted extra costs down the line.”
Ashleigh Tosh from MuscleFood.com weighed in: “Not all of the discounts are as good as they seem.”
She said: “If you have a desired list of items you want to secure, check a couple of days prior for the original asking price. Then after the sales have ended, check to see the price again.
“If you’ve overpaid for a product, it’s worth contacting customer service to request a refund and get the item at a lower price.”
Ms Tosh added: “Try not to be too pressured by the limited discount as some of the deals last longer than just Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Have a look at the fine print for how long the offer is on so you can decide what works best for you.”
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