Lizzi Richardson with her Guess handbag and boots sitting at a cafe

We can all get carried away when the sales start! Here are my Black Friday sales tips for now and for anytime you are shopping the sales.

I’m sticking my hand up high, as a woman who has gone completely crazy mad buying in the sales to only regret some purchases afterwards. Is your hand up too?

It’s not hard to get carried away, brands spend an absolute fortune in fine-tweaking their marketing to make us spend our money with them.

The Black Friday sales can be an absolute blessing on much needed items for ourselves and our homes, but it can also be the devil too when it’s enticing us in to items, we don’t actually need!

If you want really good bargains for items you need, then it’s all in the planning. It may result in walking away if the price is not right, but trust me, if it’s not right then you either a) don’t need it or b) you just need to wait a little longer to get the price at the sweet spot you need! Knock, knock –  ‘the January sales‘.

My Black Friday sales tips – here are the questions or the steps you need to take to make sale shopping the affordable experience you need it to be.

What do you need to buy?

Get a cuppa, sit down and have some time to yourself.

  • What exactly do you need to buy? Is it for you, for your family or for your home. Make a list by for each category.
  • Once you have your various lists – what’s your priority? Is it someone’s birthday present, the start of your Christmas shopping or is it something you personally need right now for yourself.
  • What can wait? We all have items we would love to have but could wait for. So take each category and break them down into two new lists – ‘Priority’ and ‘Would love to have’

How much are you prepared to spend?

  • Let’s look at this in the context of buying a television, would you be happy to buy it for £250, £450 or are you prepared to go up to say £1,000. We all have our own level of disposable income, what brands we are attracted to and what items on our list would we value more aesthetically or just happy to have a basic practical version. This will all be a personal choice, so there is no point asking anyone what they would spend, we are all different with different budgets!
  • So now let’s take a set of PJs – would you be happy to spend £20, £35, £75 or over £100? The price you are prepared to spend on the actual item will help you narrow down where you will be able to purchase it from.
  • Go through every single item on both lists, Priority and Would love to have… and start to write the values.
  • Add up all your figures on Priority and do the same on Would love to have. You may have to re-evaluate your priority list and either consider moving items over to your Would love to own or rethink how much you would be able to spend.

Black Friday Sales Questions you need to ask yourself before buying


  • Start with your preferred brands, consider those you would love to support be them local or national. What brands do you desire to buy from if their normal price would be reduced?
  • Go through your list again now you know how much you wish to spend and start to think about where you could possibly buy them from. Put your usual brand of choice and also list that next level up brand that you would love to buy from.
  • Let’s look at this in the context of a t-shirt – may be you always buy from Marks and Spencer but if the price was right you would love to treat yourself to a t-shirt from Whistles , that to you, is your next level up.

Right, we are now in a good place, you know what you wish to buy, the price you wish to buy at and the brands you are happy to invest in.

Start your online research?

You’ve now got to evaluate if what you want, is what you can have…

  • One of the best ways to collate your research is using your phone notes; here you can have a note by item, add the prices plus you can paste in the links to easily refer back to.
  • If you are spreadsheet fan, then the world is your oyster here: columns for said item, the priority, the brand, the price, the link etc!
  • How I typically do it – on the brand’s website, I either save to the wishlist function or by adding to the shopping cart but I just don’t actually buy – every time I revisit the site, the price will update. If it goes into the sale then I can purchase or wait to see if it drops again, be prepared though that the item may sell out.
  • Once you have gathered the facts and all the links, you are ready for Black Friday – between now and then you can decide if the items remains on your priority list or you remove it off for now

Are you ready to buy?

A couple of pointers for you, if you have the time before the sales start:

  • Have you gone to store to try it on? If you do, that’s when you should be making a decision if it’s stays on your list to buy or potentially find an alternative brand.
  • Once you’ve tried it on, it fits and you 100% love it – why not request to speak to the store manager and ask them if they can do any offers; explain that you plan to wait to the Black Friday sale, but if they could do a deal there and then, you would make the purchase.  You’ll be surprised just how often a manager can shift the price!
  • Read the returns policy – BORING I KNOW – but I’ve been caught out in the past. How many days after purchasing can you return? Do you get refund or store vouchers – this is one probably most to watch out from with local boutiques and small businesses. Sales returns are not as straightforward as full price items, so check the small print!

The January Sales are just around the corner – can you wait?

  • Here’s the thing, Black Friday is not always the best price you will get, often I have got a much better price in the January sales, partly because by that point, the items are end of season so the retailers definitely want it gone!
  • I’ve had much more success on premium brand purchases in the January sale – it’s a gamble I know, but the waiting game is half the fun and getting that desirable item at a much lower price, is the buzz I love!
  • If you wait for January, you may be in a slightly better place to spend; you’ll have a couple more pay cheques in the bank plus you might get some Christmas vouchers which can add a whole new angle to your list, the price you are prepared to spend or even the opportunity to level up to that next desirable brand.

A final thought…

The best shoppers are not the ones with the most purchases at the most spend – THE BEST shoppers are the ones that bought what they need at the price they wanted it for.

Happy sales shopping…


Photos by Sarah Rider


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