The 5 biggest mistakes you can make on Black Friday

Black Friday 2019 could be the best yet, with fantastic deals to be had on everything from 4K TVs to smartphones; however, if you're not properly prepared, or you make the wrong decisions on the day, then at best you could miss out on some great discounts – and at worst, you could get ripped off. 

With the deals coming thick and fast from multiple retailers it can be tricky to know how to get the most out of Black Friday – and that's where we come in.

We’ve got plenty of advice on what you should do to can make the most of Black Friday, but we've also put together this list of all the things you shouldn’t do on November 23 – read on and you could have your best Black Friday and Cyber Monday ever. 

1. Being underprepared

It’s well worth having an idea of what you’re looking to buy ahead of Black Friday – items can sell out rapidly, so you don’t want to be browsing through hundreds of different products on the day. 

If you’re looking for a specific kind of product like a soundbar, research some of the different models and their specifications – that way, if the exact model you wanted sells out, you’ll have some backup options to choose from. 

To make this easier, we have dedicated articles on different products, brands, and retailers, complete with our predictions on what we think will be discounted this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Make sure you bookmark our main Black Friday page, where you can see all the deals going live in real time.

amazon prime day deals time running out

2. Waking up late

If you’re planning on doing you Black Friday shopping late in the evening of November 23 we have some bad news – you could well miss out on some of the best deals. Retailers typically start posting their discounts from the stroke of midnight, so you may want to stay up late, or set your alarm for early in the morning. 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are notorious for websites crashing under the huge amounts of traffic, so some retailers, including Argos, are advising that between 3am and 4am is the quietest time to shop and bag the best deals.

That being said, Black Friday is increasingly becoming a week-long or even month-long event for some of the big retailers like Amazon, so if you’re busy on November 23 you may still be able to get yourself a fantastic deal on everything from smart speakers to TVs. 

digital lock

3. Falling for scams

Unfortunately, Black Friday and Cyber Monday inevitably bring scammers and fraudsters out of the woodwork, so be sure to use your common sense when you’re doing your shopping. 

Always aim to buy from trusted retailers, and pay securely using a debit/credit card or PayPal, so you can get your money back should anything go wrong or if you have to return something. 

Also be wary of ‘too good to be true’ offers and links on social media, as well as unsolicited emails – if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always best to give suspicious links a wide berth. 

4. Unnecessary spending

It’s no secret that Black Friday is huge day for spending, and while that’s all well and good, there’s no need to break the bank this November. 

That’s not to put you off bagging some brilliant deals – chances are you can get a lot for your money over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period, especially if you follow our tips and tricks. 

Just bear in mind that Black Friday falls a few days before most of us receive our paychecks, so if you’re planning on spending a significant amount it’s probably a good idea to start setting aside some money now.

5. Being lured in by flashy deals

Occasionally retailers will artificially increase the prices of their products right before applying Black Friday discounts, making deals look better than they really are. 

Of course, that’s not to say that these deals aren’t good value in their own right, but it’s worth researching the current prices of the products you’re looking to buy ahead of time, so you aren’t fooled by sneaky price hikes. 

Stick with TechRadar to get the best deals

We'll be sifting through all the incoming deals in the run-up to Black Friday and on the day itself, giving you impartial advice on where to best spend your money.

If you want to keep an eye on the best deals, we'd heartily recommend following TRDeals on Twitter (opens in new tab), while you can also enter your email address below to join our mailing list, so you'll get all of the information ahead of the Black Friday deals later in the year.

Olivia Tambini

Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.