Read this before you FOMO into Black Friday and Cyber Monday

For many of us, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are opportunities to bag some Christmas bargains for our friends and family. For others, the high-street becomes a battleground, kicking grannies out the way to secure the latest Samsung OLED T.V.

But are you really saving money? Or have brands just created a marketing ploy to lure us into spending more money?

Do Black Friday deals actually save you money?

Now, I could explain the psychological reasoning behind why we get a buzz out of saving money. But I think we're all in agreement that we love to save some pennies and we don't need the science to back it up.

The question is, do we feel great because we are saving money, or because we think we're saving money?

In 2020, Which? found that 99.5% of Black Friday deals were cheaper or the same price at other times of the year. The study found that you're almost guaranteed not to find the cheapest price of the year by buying on Black Friday, after analysing 201 major retailers.

Perhaps you're thinking it's a coincidence, after all, 2020 was a crazy year.

But oh no, Which? were back again in 2021 and found 98% of products were cheaper or the same price during other times of the year. There were 214 major retailers analysed this time.

So how is this the case? Well, Which? recommend keeping an eye on the 'was' prices. Just because an Echo dot 'was' £30 a week ago doesn’t mean it was more expensive 3 months ago. Some retailers up their prices just to lower them again during the Black Friday weekend. Sneaky!

Given us Brits spend billions on Black Friday, businesses have become accustomed to performing well and may feel less pressured to slash prices compared to times when they need to shift stock. When a business has more stock (supply) than the rate at which it's selling (demand), it won’t hesitate to slash prices. That’s how January sales were born! Like most things to do with money, it all comes back to supply and demand. 

5 brands to keep an eye on during Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Now, despite my criticism towards Black Friday, I'm by no means a hater. 

In fact, I do use it as time to get a lot of my Christmas shopping done (mainly because I like to do this a month in advance, so I'm free to rack up the mulled wines in December).

But I do think we should all proceed with caution. Using high-interest credit cards or Buy Now, Pay Later products  you can't afford to subsidise shopping isn't a good idea, especially given the rise in interest rates.

Martin Lewis' mantra is a good one to follow:

Martin Lewis
Pink ornament
If you were going to buy it anyway and it’s half price, you’ve saved 50%.

If you weren’t going to buy it, but you do because it’s half price, you’ve wasted 100%.

Martin Lewis

So, wearing our savvy shoppers hat, we've carefully picked 5 brands that are running campaigns throughout the week so you don't feel the intense FOMO effect.

  • adidas - 'up to 50% off'

  • Amazon - best savings appear to be on Amazon products. Fire sticks, Kindles, Echos!

  • Boots - 'up to 50% off'

  • Currys - 'up to 40% off', but using topcashback you can get a further 27% off (yep, last year I combined topcashback with Black Friday and treated myself to a new laptop. I'd like to see one of Santa's elves top that)

  • M&S - 'up to 40% off homeware'

So, those are our top Black Friday tips and our top picks! Make sure to check out how Black Friday affects the stock market.

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Meet the authors

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James Ashoo

Senior Content Writer

James has been investing for over five years. His aim is to explain the hard stuff, easily! When he's not chewing your ear off about stocks and crypto, he'll most likely be telling bad jokes.

Harjas Singh

Harjas Singh

Chief Product Officer & Co-Founder

With a wealth of experience in fintech, Harjas is the man in the know when it comes to all things product. Investing features, chatting capabilities and thriving communities – he oversees all development on the Shares app!

Harry Harrison

Harry Harrison

Finance Writer

Harry is an experienced business writer, with a love for all things tech. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing sport and winning at chess. He also loves posting inside the Shares app!