Ah…the shortening of the days, the new feeling of chilliness in the mornings, Halloween and Christmas decorations appearing on the shop shelves…this can only mean one thing – Black Friday is approaching!
What once started off as an American phenomenon has crossed the Atlantic and now UK shoppers find themselves being tempted into shopping centres during the last weekend in November to bag some serious bargains for themselves before Christmas hoves into view.
Black Friday started in the US in 1932 and although the term Black Friday was coined in the 1960s to refer to the heavy traffic after Thanksgiving Day, it has come to mean shops and stores making a healthy profit from an increased footfall.
It’s time to strike!
All kinds of retailers have a Black Friday sale – clothes shops, electricals, pet stores, make up – you name it, it’ll make serious discounts over this weekend. Many people head out for the more glamorous purchases – clothes, gadgets and even furniture, but it’s just as sensible to stock up on the more routine things in life. Remember, almost everyone has a Black Friday sale, so think about the things that you routinely spend money on and see if you can’t find a few deals somewhere!
One thing that’s particularly interesting (if not glamorous…) is office equipment and supplies. If you tend to buy your ink cartridges in two or three batches a year, take advantage of the many Black Friday deals that spring up, ready for the taking. Of course lots of people dislike shopping – the crowds, noise, heat and the prospect of a fist-fight over a sweater fill them with dread – so they look online for bargains. It’s a good job, then, that most shops and retailers offer online discounts as well as in-store reductions on their goods.
One of the most sensible Black Friday purchases is office supplies, because of the timing – the end of November. This is the time of year when people use their printers more. Think about it – if you send out a round robin letter, complete with family photo, to friends and relatives, then you’re going to use a lot of ink and paper, especially photographic paper. Similarly, if you hold a Christmas party or two, you’ll want to get your invitations out early before everyone gets booked up!
Then there are the photos – lots of photos. Of the parties, of your children opening that present from Granny and looking thrilled (even if you have to – ahem – encourage the delighted expression), of Dad looking merry in front of the Bond film… You have to print all of these snaps out (well, maybe just some of them) and so you’ll need a plentiful supply of ink in your tanks to get you through the festive season.
Check out a few online office supplies retailers, as many are already counting down to Black Friday. Most experienced BF shoppers make a note in their diaries or even set an alert on their phones so that they can make a shopping plan that guarantees them the best bargains possible.