Tips for Smart Shopping on Black Friday

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Marwa Abady

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10 November, 2020

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4 mins read

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It's that time of year again and the shopping season is on its way! Yes, Black Friday 2020 is on November 27, and this means only one thing; it's time to shop till you drop!

Why is Black Friday called Black Friday?

The term "Black Friday" first appeared in 1869 due to a financial collapse when Jim Fisk and Jay Gould bought lots of gold to control the gold market, but the gold price crashed, and they were left bankrupt. 

Many years later, in 1950, the old Philadelphia Police Department's traffic squad associated the term with the post-Thanksgiving sales. They used to describe the terrible traffic jams on the Friday after Thanksgiving as "Black Friday" because the traffic jams were bad and they had to work overtime to control the crowds. 

In 1966, the term "Black Friday" was first used in magazines. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the term continued to refer to the shopping crowds and retailers adopted this term to advertise their sales. In 1990, the term was used across America, then around the world. 

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday

Conventionally, the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that Black Friday's best deals are on big-ticket items, such as home appliances, tech gadgets and electronic equipment. However, Cyber Monday discounts are in the fashion sector and beauty products. 

In addition, they used to also differ in how Black Friday's discounts were only in-store while Cyber Monday's are online. However, this has recently become confusing since most Black Friday deals are now online, too. The best part is that the offers vary and their duration extends from the night of Thanksgiving, through Black Friday, up to Cyber Monday, and with the current pandemic, there will be even more online offers to keep physical distance and avoid crowds. 

How to Shop Smart This Black Friday 2020?

If you're wondering about where to start when it comes to preparing for Black Friday, here is an unconventional guide on how to get the best Black Friday deals and, at the same time, keep the physical distancing.

1. Make a Wish List

Since you will shop online, don't panic about how to make the most of this big event! Make a list of the things you really need during your stay at your student accommodation. Having a pre-created list makes it easy for you to stay focused and not go astray! There are websites that enable you to create a list online, save it and return to it later, like Wishlistr and Wishtack.

2. Set and Follow a Budget

Besides making a pre-created list, it is important to set a budget before Black Friday and try to stick to it. As a student, it's important to calculate your savings/earnings and decide how much money you can spend on your Black Friday shopping. Then, identify the top priorities in your wish list taking into consideration your budget limit. Of course, Black Friday deals are tempting; however, buying everything you like because it's on sale and you don't want to miss the offers will put you in financial trouble. Remember that you still need money for the rest of the month. 

3. Save Money with Student Discounts and Vouchers

If you are shopping at high street retailers, bring your student card with you. Some big-name brands and independent shops offer student discounts! As a student, you can save a lot of money by getting an extra discount on already discounted items! 

For safer shopping, there are many websites and apps providing discount codes for students on various online shops; check out However, don't let student discounts force you to buy from certain places. You should still shop around! You can also look for vouchers while you are shopping online. They save you more money as they bring the prices of the items you bought online down further. 

4. Research Products and Their Prices' History Ahead of Black Friday

Not all the items you want to buy on Black Friday will be on sale. Make sure you take enough time before Black Friday to research these items and make a list of the retailers that usually offer discounts on these things. If it is the first time for you to try a certain retailer, read previous customers' reviews beforehand. Also, research the product's history of prices in order to determine whether the sale price represents good value and avoid misleading deals. Like any other shopping day, compare shops to get the product in the best quality and cheapest price. 

5. Start Your Black Friday Shopping Early

Are you shopping online? Or at high street shops? In both cases, consider shopping for Black Friday as early as you can. Many retailers start their discounts on Thanksgiving's night, the night before Black Friday. The best Black Friday deals may sell out quickly. So don't waste any time!

6. Consider Cybersecurity While Shopping Online

Don't enter your credit card number or any sensitive information while using public Wi-Fi. Make sure that the Wi-Fi in your student accommodation is private. Use secure and reliable websites when you enter personal information required while shopping.

7. Use Your Credit Card

Using your credit card is much safer when you pay for your purchases. This is because it doesn't deal with your money directly and you may debate transactions before they are deducted if your credit card number is stolen. Moreover, paying through your credit card can give you cashback offers that refund a certain amount on particular transactions and bonus points that you can exchange later for a variety of merchandise!

With these tips, you can guarantee to get the best out of this year's Black Friday despite the circumstances and have a safe, smart shopping spree!


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