Be a savvy shopper this Black Friday

With Black Friday fast approaching on Friday 27th November, and many brands already advertising deals, it’s easy to get caught up in the buzz of buying a bargain. Before you get your credit card out we’ve put together these tips to keep you safe online.

Buster’s 7 top tips to shop safely this Black Friday

Check reviews

Be aware that reviews can be fake. Some reviewers may have been paid or given a free product to write a glowing review. Be mindful of the wording. Does it seem over the top? Does the language look suspicious? How relevant is the review to that product or generic? Is there an unusually high amount of good reviews? Approach with caution and be sure to read any bad reviews to get a good overall picture of the product.

Is it really a bargain?

The pandemic has made money tight for many households. Think twice before you buy and try not to get caught up in the hype. If you are buying something you don’t need then is it a bargain? Shop around and compare prices on other online shops to ensure you are getting the best deal.

Shop securely

Always shop on a webpage that has an SSL certificate (Secure Lockets Layer). The way to spot this is to check the URL bar at the top of the web browser. The URL should begin with a https:// and have the icon of a locked padlock as this indicates the legitimacy of a website. Any website that stores personal data must have an SSL certificate as this encrypts your data to stop hackers from accessing it. 

Use your credit card or PayPal to pay for goods

Paying by these methods means extra security and policies for shoppers should something go wrong. Credit card payments for goods £100 and over are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. PayPal also has buyer protection as part of its policy if an issue arises.

What is the returns policy?

Make sure you can return or exchange the item if you’re not happy. Check the returns policy on the company website to find out your rights relating to purchasing sale items and how to exchange or return.

Buy from a reputable website

Purchasing directly from the company’s website is always recommended. However, if you don’t then try to use a better-known online retailer or check that it’s a trusted shopping site. Not displaying the SSL certificate, spelling errors, lack of a physical address and bad reviews can be a red flag that the store is not legitimate. Sites such as TrustPilot have reviews of websites where you can see positive and negative feedback.

Don’t fall for a fake

Counterfeit products can be highly sophisticated. It’s wise to check where the product is manufactured. If shipping is lengthy or it’s coming from somewhere unusual this can indicate something isn’t right.  A super low price could mean the product may not be the real deal. Fake products can pose safety and health risk as they may have not been through rigorous testing. They also could contain harmful ingredients or components.  

There’s no denying Black Friday is a great opportunity to start your Christmas shopping and bag a bargain. If you’re shopping for tech then don’t forget Cyber Monday and remember to apply our 7 tips.

Shop safely this Black Friday and don’t forget to check our handy information to help you stay safe online.