Black Friday – what is it?
Black Friday began as an American phenomenon – a monster sale that takes place the day after Thanksgiving. And even though Brits don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, we do like to shop, and retailers have fuelled the phenomenon by rolling out huge discounts to kick-start the Christmas shopping season.
And Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is another US-inspired shopping event dreamt up by retailers to promote online sales. It takes place three days after Black Friday, but in recent years the two events have begun to merge as competition between brands for online sales has intensified.
If you’re after a particular product from a particular brand, sign up to their social media feed to stay up-to-speed, and you might be rewarded with seasonal discount codes reserved for their loyal followers.
If you’re shopping online, consider using a secure payments provider like PayPal. These provide an extra layer of protection against cyber criminals and fraudsters, because once you’ve set up your account, you’ll never again have to share your debit or credit cards details over the web.
Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. And if you’re shopping online via smartphone, it’s a good idea to accept the operating system updates. Sure, it might delay your shopping spree, but it will keep your data safe from hackers.
Don’t get carried away by the size of the discounts available - because an 80% saving on something you don’t need is really just a 20% waste of money. So head into the day armed with a shopping list, and don’t be led astray by attractive discounts on non-essential items.
Never make a purchase or enter financial or personal information via an unsecure website. To check if a website is secure, look at the address bar in your browser. If the website url begins with “https” then any data you enter is protected by secure encryption (the “s” stands for secure). If it starts with “http” - without the “s” - it’s not secure.
Don’t expect to find big savings on the very latest tech. Sure, you might grab a bargain on a big TV, a shiny smartphone or a laptop. But technology brands are reluctant to discount their most recent releases – so if you’re after up-to-the-minute tech, you may have to fork out full price.