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Black Friday shopping tips: everything you need to bag a bargain

Sharpen your elbows and grab your shopping lists now. When it comes to Black Friday, there's no such thing as 'too early'.

The retail bonanza that is Black Friday 2017 is upon us. And it's fair to say there aren't many better times to bag yourself a good deal on a smartphone, SIM-only deal or that bijou gadget you've been eyeing.

But it's not without its pitfalls. And we don't just mean the prospect of picking up bruises and a fat lip as you scrap for a new TV in your local supermarket.

For one thing, it's too easy to get swept up in the moment and end up with goods you didn't really want. Overspending and leaving yourself short of funds at Christmas is a real risk too.

With that in mind, we've compiled a tipsheet to help you sort the trash from the treasure and bag a bargain on the day.

Set a budget

Exercising fiscal discipline isn't easy. George Osborne will tell you that much. But it's also vital if you're going to avoid running up a Black Friday bill to rival the national debt. Being short of money with Christmas looming really isn't a recipe for good cheer.

So decide how much you can afford to spend on Black Friday bargains and stick to it.

Keep an eye out for double data SIM only deals and free vouchers

Guide - sim cards colours

If last year's Black Friday is anything to go by, SIM-only deals and contract phone deals that offer twice as much data (for example 20GB per month for the price of 10GB) are among the most in demand.

In 2016, there was also a range of SIM-only deals with a free voucher, one of which was worth up to £80.

If you don't fancy trawling through everything that's on offer, no matter. We'll be flagging our favourites on our Black Friday phone deals page.

Watch for money-off phone and contract offers too

Stack of phones - smartphones

It's not uncommon for networks to cut upfront charges, or even waive them altogether, for phone-and-contract deals on Black Friday. That goes for new, in-demand phones from the likes of Samsung and Apple, as well as older models.

Start early. Like Christmas, Black Friday gets earlier every year

Officially Black Friday happens on 24th November, at which point the starting pistol is fired on across-the-board reductions. Unofficially, however, Black Friday price cutting starts a lot earlier.

In turn, it makes sense to start your bargain-hunting early too. Head to Amazon now, for instance, and you'll find a pretty smart selection of smartphones from Samsung, Motorola, Nokia and Huawei that have been reduced for Black Friday. The best of which we've collated here.

Naturally, the best deals at big retailers come and go very quickly. So to give yourself the best chance of getting what you're after, it's smart to sign up for online accounts with your favoured stores right now.

That way you won't waste valuable moments entering your account details when you're trying to beat your shopping rivals to the punch.

Come armed with a plan

Strategy plan

In the heat of battle, you need a strategy. The Romans knew it. The Carthaginians knew it. And now you know it.

To ensure you're ready to pounce, it's smart to take a good look around now at the items you've earmarked for purchase and make a shortlist. Note down the standard retail prices too, so you know what a bargain really looks like.

Check your mobile, broadband and TV contracts

If you're still under contract with your broadband or mobile provider, you're tied up for now and a good proportion of Black Friday deals that involve a contract won't be available to you.

But if you're out of contract, you're footloose and free to grab yourself a bargain.

Stay alive. Stay alert

To ensure you know when items you're looking to buy are discounted, set up alerts with retailers. Once it's active, you'll be notified whenever the prices change.

Some retailers publicise their most attention-grabbing deals exclusively on social media sites. So you may also want to set up push notifications for updates from them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Category: Features
Tagged: smartphones

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