Rhianne’s First Post

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Black Friday is now one of the UK’s busiest shopping days.

Retailers offer up a dizzying array of special offers and big discounts, with more deals added online on Cyber Monday.

But how can you spot a genuine bargain?

1 Check the size of the discount

Before you buy, it is always worth checking if the same product is cheaper somewhere else, experts say.

Some specialist sites can tell you if the product has been discounted more heavily before.

For example, Camelcamelcamel.com shows the price history of Amazon products – allowing shoppers to see if they have been offered more cheaply in the past.

When consumer group Which? looked back on retailers’ offers last year, it found only 90 out of 178 deals were cheapest on Black Friday.

Danny Munday, general manager of HotUKDeals, a deal-sharing website, said retailers sometimes increase the price of an item before a sales event to make the discount look deeper.

Members in online forums will share their knowledge of sale prices and recommended retail prices, he added.

2 Look for price match

With competition fierce, retailers are starting to match the deals being offered by their rivals.

John Lewis is one of the main companies that does this, but Currys and Amazon also have in the past, said Gary Caffell, deal editor at MoneySavingExpert.

“When people are price matching each other, look at other factors like warranty and delivery fees,” he said.

Electrical goods purchased from John Lewis often have longer warranties, compared with the standard one year.

That includes five years on televisions, three years on many own-brand electrical goods and two years on other electrical items.

Mr Caffell adds what all the experts agreed with: “Don’t get sucked in by the hype and buy something you don’t need or can’t afford.”