Planning on picking up a bargain on Black Friday or Cyber Monday this year?

It is very important to prepare yourself to notice the difference between a good deal and a dodgy deal! To help you on your way, here are some tips and tricks on how to maximise your savings and get the best deals in Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales.

1. Research

It pays to do as much research as possible on what you’re looking to buy – there is no point grabbing what might initially appear to be a bargain if the product has bad reviews, it will not be delivered for when you want it or you are going to be hit with extra delivery charges or high taxes before you receive it.

2. Create a wishlist

Creating a wishlist before you go shopping in store or start browsing online will make it easier to see when prices on items actually go on genuine sale. It will also make it easier to focus on what you really want and you will not be tempted by things you don’t need or want. Planning ahead can help you save money and time. Make a list of the items you’re looking for or the people you’re shopping for and approximately how much you’re planning to spend on each so you don’t overspend and regret it after.

3. Make a budget – and stick to it

Review your wish list again and write down how much you expect each item to cost. Making up a simple budget like this will help you avoid overspending on unnecessary items that you don’t really need. Remember it’s definitely not saving you any money no matter how much of a bargain it is if it’s something that you don’t need!

4. Returns policy

Beware and don’t get caught out! It’s very important to check before making any purchase what the returns policy on an item is. Again, some items bought online might be expensive to return by post/courier so it’s better if you know what the potential cost of this is in advance. Or if a seller is only giving a 14 day return period and you are buying it now and planning on giving this item as a Christmas present this might not be such a good bargain after all if it’s unsuitable.

5. Compare prices

If you’re thinking about investing in expensive items and want to get the best deal available, a price comparison website will help you see what the market has to offer. You can do a quick price check online to get the cost of the item, what it has retailed for before the sale. You can then work out whether the ‘sale’ price is really good value and whether you want to go ahead with your purchase.

6. Check deals on multiple devices

Some retailers offer exclusive deals on certain devices or platforms so make sure you are savvy and check the price of items on both your mobile and your computer to get the best deal possible.

7. Check online for promotional codes
Before you complete any purchase search online for additional promotional codes or coupons. A simple Google search for these is well worth the time and effort as many retailers offer additional discounts that may not show up on their regular websites.

8. Shopping online – use reputable sites

Be wary of phishing emails and websites that may be trying to fool you and catch you off guard as you race to bag yourself a bargain. Sometimes if something is too good to be true – it probably is! Check the authenticity of the website you are buying from, do your research and check the reviews. The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission have some guides and tips on how to stay safe while shopping online.

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be great times to check off items on your Christmas shopping list, remember you still have plenty of time to get ready for Christmas on a budget that you can afford with a Christmas loan from Blackrock Credit Union.

You can borrow up to €1000 for one year at a rate of 6% (6.15%APR) for whatever you might need to celebrate Christmas in style this year, with loans up to €5,000 at 11.9% (12.6% APR)*. See our website for further details or pop in to the office to chat about a Christmas Loan.

Blackrock Credit Union Limited is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. Loans are subject to approval. * Terms and conditions apply. If you do not meet the repayments on your loan, your account will go into arrears. This may affect your credit rating which may limit your ability to access credit in the future.

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