If traditional Black Friday media coverage is anything to go by, you may be opting to shop from the safety and comfort of your own home this year. Last year, shoppers did just that and spent a record £1.1bn with online retailers. This year the day is estimated to be even bigger, with more and more stores shifting their focus online.
That’s why we’re on hand with some useful life hacks that will be your surefire way to not only survive Black Friday, but arise successfully from the sales chaos.
Do your research
It pays to be prepared on Black Friday. Avoid impulse buying on the day by drafting a list of things you definitely need and a list of things that you want, in order to prioritise your purchases.
Don’t let a poor internet connection slow you down. There are a number of checks you can do ahead of the day to make sure your Wi-Fi is up to speed.
Don’t hide your router away behind the TV cabinet. For the best signal, have it out in the open, away from any walls and obstructions. Point the antennas upright and pick a nice high spot you can pop it onto.
When it comes to Wi-Fi speed, interference from other routers and appliances can slow your connection right down. Things like your cordless phone, your neighbour’s router, your microwave and even your washing machine can mess with your signal. A dual band router will massively help with this. If you don’t want to buy a new router, try moving your router away from any interfering electrical appliances.
Put a box set ban on for the day. If the kids are streaming videos or music in another room, it can cause your websites to load a lot slower than they would otherwise.
A fail proof hack is to use a Wi-Fi Powerline Extender which will give you full strength Wi-Fi, wherever you are in the house. Shop the range here.
If all else fails, go old school and plug your trusty Ethernet cable into your laptop. This will be your guaranteed way to get the strongest connection possible. Watch our handy video on how to speed up your Wi-Fi here.
Speed up your computer
Trying to snap up the best deal is a race against the millions of other users trying to do the same thing. You can’t have anything getting in your way or slowing you down. This is why it’s essential to do the right checks ahead of the day to make sure your computer has what it takes to handle the Black Friday rush.
Timing is key
Last year many well-known websites weren’t able to handle the high volume of visitors they were receiving at peak times, and a few of them crashed before customers had the chance to snap up a bargain! Time is truly of the essence when it comes to Black Friday. It’s better to swot up on timings and be ahead of the game. Online retailers reported that the highest level of traffic to their sites was between 8am and 10am on the morning of Black Friday 2016. This may be due to people shopping before the start of their shift. The same retailers reported that the quietest time to shop was at 3pm.
It may be better to wait and shop at a quieter time to avoid the site crashing or moving at a snail’s pace.
Divide and conquer
If you want to grab more than one deal on the day, meet up with a group of friends, swap shopping lists, and tackle a website or two each on your own individual laptops. It’ll be far easier to snatch scarce deals if you split up online. Plus, it’s far more fun shopping with your pals than it is dealing with the online chaos alone. You can take it in turns to be on tea duty and you can conquer the sales together.
The bonus: there will always be someone on hand to talk you out of that purchase you don’t actually need.
Check social media
Be aware that some websites will start their deals as early as the beginning of the week so keep your eyes peeled earlier on.
To avoid being disappointed and having your product snapped up, keep an eye on the store’s social media pages for updates on the release of sales. It may also pay to sign up to their email list to get first dibs on the sales.
If you’ve missed out on Black Friday, don’t fret. Wait for its sister sale, Cyber Monday. Cyber Monday takes place the Monday after Black Friday. It’s the online equivalent of Black Friday, minus the chaos. This year it falls on Monday 27th November, where online retailers are set to slash their prices for 24 hours only, some starting at midnight. Last year, UK shoppers spent £968m on Cyber Monday deals.
Brands usually keep their deals under wraps until the last minute and reveal them to their mail list or social media first, so keep on eye on those.