Black Friday deals that are a bargain: Forget fake discounts, we’ve got offers that are worth clicking on
- Black Friday refers to the first Friday following the Thanksgiving in the U.S.
- Sarah Vine says the relatively obscure tradition has become an obsession in UK
- FEMAIL reveals a selection of the best bargains you never knew you wanted
- Highlights include a floral dress from Ghost and Braun silk expert pro
Like all dubious American imports — Halloween hysteria, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts — Black Friday has gone from being a relatively obscure tradition to an all-out obsession.
In little more than a few years it has become a fixed point in our Christmas shopping calendar, almost bigger than the January sales. The term refers to the first Friday following Thanksgiving, their retail version of the Glorious 12th. But since we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in this country (although I did receive an email from my butcher the other day, informing me that Thanksgiving turkeys were now in stock, so I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time), it was never a thing until the internet came along, at which point everyone went nuts about it.
Cue endless pictures of people fighting over flat-screen TVs and punching each other in pursuit of the last discount cashmere jumper in Peter Jones. Nowadays, what with lockdown and the global dominance of online shopping, Black Friday mostly takes the form of about a million unsolicited emails, promising intergalactic savings on items you never knew you wanted.
FEMAIL revealed a selection of this year’s best Black Friday bargains. Pictured: Dress, was £495, now £346.50 and trainers, were £150, now £105,lkbennett.com
Many of these deals are, of course, a con. So much so that when I logged into my online banking the other day a lengthy message popped up warning me about dodgy deals.
It seems that when it comes to the prospect of a few per cent off the RRP, we lose all sanity, and part with our cash like willing toddlers. It’s as though the combination of ‘Black’ and ‘Friday’ had been somehow engineered (probably by some secret internet bot) to switch off all higher cognitive functions such as common sense and scepticism.
Still, there’s no doubt that it’s here to stay. And this year, with many shops closed and everyone still in lockdown, no doubt it will be bigger than ever.
This year’s discounts reflect the sad fact that retailers are now sitting on a mountain of unsold stock, some of which never even hit the shop floor at full price. The only way to emerge sane and smug is to go through your existing wardrobe, first with a pen and paper. Note down which items you wear most often. Pinpoint where your wardrobe gaps are — then make a ruthlessly targeted Mission Plan.
- Snap up failsafe classics such as cashmere and coats.
- Make one investment purchase at a serious discount, rather than buying cheaper items at 10 or 15 per cent off.
- Allow a set sum or fun margin to try out trends you’d never have bought full-price.
- Snaffle a few formal pieces for the return to the office. Blazers are most versatile.
- Have a look at the bargain dresses, there are lots to choose from as we had few summer weddings or parties. JESS WOOD
Green poloneck, Alice + Olivia
FOOTWEAR & BAGS
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- Don’t assume a ‘bargain’ is a bargain — cross-reference prices from different sites.
- See if you can get further discounts or freebies with special codes — sometimes these flash up on the brand’s website, but look at their social media accounts, too.
- This year, only buy make-up that’s mask-friendly, such as smudge-proof lipsticks or eyeshadow palettes.
- Stock up on cult cleansers and hand creams to combat maskne and cracked hands.
- Perfume is one of the areas in beauty where you get what you pay for and while most high-end fragrance brands don’t usually discount, if you buy via the department stores, you can save.
- Prep for any future lockdowns by stockpiling hair colour, and hair removal devices.
- Shop around for your favourite soap, shower gel and hand cream, so you can keep giving yourself daily treats.
- Assuage buyer’s guilt by splurging with brands that give back. For example Ren Skincare is giving 15 per cent of sales to an ocean charity. Claire Coleman