Amazon Black Friday - for their official summary of what it is, click there.
My unofficial summary – for a number of days (usually a week) Amazon has various items on super-special offer for an hour, different things every hour. The offer runs out either when the hour runs out or when the specified number of things has been sold.
There are previews leading up to each hour slot where Amazon shows you what items are coming up, but not what price they will be at.
People go crazy for it. This year it starts on Monday 19th November.
Here’s how to get the most out of it without going crazy
- Decide what you want – do you want “a present for grandad” or “to get as many CDs as you can” or just “to see if there is anything good”? Note that the last one is dangerous!
- Make sure you have your payment set up and your delivery address is correct – items added to your basket will disappear after 15 minutes if you haven’t paid.
- If you add yourself to the “wait list” for something (in the hopes that someone will fail to check out within 15 minutes) do stay by your computer – don’t wander off to make a cup of tea and miss the very short window that you are given to say “yes, I want it!” (sad voice of experience).
- Pay with a credit card* – that way if you do go a bit crazy and buy too many things and have to send some back, the refund for the thing you should have bought will be back on the card before you have to pay with real money.
- When you see an item that you want coming up, decide how much you would pay for it. If it’s under £30 you’ll buy it, if it’s over £30 you won’t. This will save you vital seconds in the fast-clicking stakes and make it less likely that you’ll spend more than you meant to on something that you don’t really want.
- Learn that F5 is the key to press to refresh a webpage.
- Learn how to use tabs on your browser (if you don’t already).
- Remember that the discount shown is compared to the RRP, and Amazon rarely sells things at the RRP. If that item says £30, RRP £90, bear in mind that it might normally be available for £60, so you are saving 50%, not 66%.
- Try to ignore the “discounts” entirely and just think “is that item worth £30 to me or not?” Would you get £30 worth of happiness out of it?
- If you miss out on an item, don’t panic. The same item sometimes comes up more than once during the Black Friday week.
- If you have definitely missed out on an item, keep on not panicing. Right after the hour-long sale the price might be high – it’s all about the psychology, Amazon want you to feel bad that you have missed out on a bargain so that the next time something comes up that you might want, you click quickly without thinking too hard. Wait a bit and the price might come down. (I got some lovely boots last year this way)
That’s all I can think of for now. So good luck, and try not to buy the things that I want, OK?
*Some people are very anti credit cards. Only you know if you can be trusted with one or not. I have a Tesco Clubcard credit card, buy nearly everything on it, get points (which I then swap for vouchers for Strada or similar) and then pay it off at the end of every month, so I don’t have to pay any interest.