Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now a fixture in the shopping calendar but many are reluctant to embrace this US import. Those who do get caught up in the excitement will spend £275 on average, but financial experts say the money could be put to much better use.
One in three will shun Black Friday and Cyber Monday, research from brand specialist Ello suggests.
Those who will hit the shops will make beeline for established, trustworthy names such as Amazon, Argos, Tesco, Currys, Boots, John Lewis and M&S.
Ello managing director Michael Kalli said savvy Brits are wary of Black Friday as living costs rise. “Rather than annual price cuts, brands should give their customers loyalty incentives all year round.”
In contrast, scammers are raring to go on Black Friday, warned Jonny Sabinsky, head of communications at ThinkMoney.co.uk.
He said shoppers should beware emails that appear to come from big companies such as Amazon and PayPal, “especially if it looks like a confirmation email for a purchase you don’t remember making”.
If you get a suspicious email, check the domain, which appears after the @ sign. “PayPal will be @paypal.com, for example. If you see PayPal@12345service.com or similar, it is not the real company,” Sabinsky said.
Also watch out for basic spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. “It is highly unlikely you will find multiple spelling mistakes in genuine professional emails,” he added.
Scammers made £2.5 million last Black Friday and will be looking to make it a dark day for shoppers AGAIN, said James Walker, chief executive of personal data management company Rightly. “Block spam emails and numbers, never click on suspicious links, and mark and report emails and texts as spam.”
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Your money could be put to much better use if invested for the future instead of splurged today, said Simon Jones, chief executive of Investing Reviews.
“Shoppers are expected to spend an eye-watering £9billionthis weekend, mostly on junk and tech products they do not really need. Meanwhile the nation faces a pensions cliff-edge as the population ages and we are not saving enough.”
Investing £275 in a pension would be a wiser way to spend your money, Jones said. “Somebody who saved that amount every year between age 18 and 67 would have £120,000 on retirement.”
That is double the average pension pot of £61,897 and would buy income of £500 a month based on current annuity rates, Jones said. “That’s another good reason to boycott Black Friday, if you needed one.”