Is Black Friday Still Exciting Online?

Find the best deals. Be vigilant for scammers.

Find the best deals. Be vigilant for scammers.

Here in the UK we used to marvel at our TV news screens when the annual Black Friday riots ensued across the pond. But like so many tempting inventions to come across from America, we are now in the grip of that post-Thanksgiving sale day phenomenon ourselves (even though we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving). However, charging in to your favourite department store, all guns blazing, to snap up the best deals brings a risk of all sorts of unladylike behaviour (ever elbowed a woman out of the way in pursuit of cut-price cashmere?) so unsurprisingly more of us are doing our sales shopping online. But what are the risks?

The fact is, you are more likely to be targeted by scammers on Black Friday, as they know we all have our budget goggles on and aren’t as vigilant as we might be at other times.


So keep these top tips in mind before you hit “pay now” tomorrow:

  • Only use trusted retailers: You know you can trust John Lewis, PC World et al so don’t be tempted to try a completely unheard of online shop with a dodgy website (think bad graphics and no reviews) just because they are promising great reductions. If you do decide to go with a less well-known retailer, check that the payment page has a URL starting “https” rather than “http” – this means it’s properly secure.

  • Be price-savvy: If they offer you a “was” or “before” price, it should be the amount the item was most recently sold for, not one from ages ago. So do your research - website camelcamelcamel is a good price tracker for Amazon.

  • What’s the returns policy? Especially with tech purchases, the returns window could be smaller than you think. And some shops won’t give refunds on sales goods.

  • Credit where credit’s due: Wise shoppers always pay by credit card, to benefit from the support of your bank if you do need to dispute a missing order or dodgy deal.

Photo by Heidi Sandstrom. on Unsplash