Looking for a festive bargain? Check out our Black Friday deals and get some indispensable online shopping tips at the same time!

Got the urge to splurge? You’re not alone: we’re officially into the busiest time of the year when it comes to online shopping. But with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas present shopping seeing us all scouring the digital shelves of our favourite online stores in search of a bargain, how can you be sure you get your money’s worth?

The answer’s simple: read our no nonsense, three-part guide to finding the best bargains this holiday season…

1. Top tips from The Online Shopping Expert

First up, let’s get some advice from those in the know. To do just that, we caught up with Ruxandra Dughie from The Online Shopping Expert – a UK-based site that aims to help surface the web’s best retail offers.

“The Online Shopping Expert was born from the love of buying quality items in a smart, savvy way,” Ruxandra tells us, “like using discount codes, or being informed about offers and promotions. The website initially went live in 2017, and works really easily: we collate and promote the best offers and deals from big brands, as well as keeping people informed about all the latest trends and promos available online.”

And, as an expert in the field, Ruxandra’s got a few choice tips when it comes to saving cash and shopping smartly:

Be the first to know
“Christmas is the perfect time for shopping, but make sure you stay in the know by signing up to newsletters – either your favourite platforms for discounted offers, or from brands you really love.” That way, Ruxandra says, you’ll be first to know when prices drop. The majority of products go on sale a week before Christmas Day,” she adds, “just in time for gifts to be delivered.”

Make a list, check it twice
“Make a list of the things you want and keep to that list; don’t fall into the trap of buying more than you need just because something’s discounted. Buy what you love because you wanted it, not just for the sake of buying.”

Watch out for scams
“Make sure the website you’re buying from is secured [with ‘https’ at the front of its URL, and SSL encryption at checkout], and isn’t a store that appeared in the online space overnight.” If security’s a concern, you can get some great online shopping safety tips here.

Enjoy it!
Ruxandra believes that Christmas shopping needn’t be the stressful experience it’s often made out as. “Christmas is our favourite time of the year here at the Online Shopping Expert,” she says, adding that making a ritual out of the process is the key to enjoying it:

“We love listening to Christmas carols and preparing ourselves for a well-deserved holiday, and we do all our shopping from home. Just pick a cosy place, get yourself a coffee (preferably with cinnamon), put some music on, and get shopping!”

2. Must-have apps and tools

Looking for other ways to find the web’s best bargains? Stay ahead of the online shopping pack with these handy digital helpers…

Keepa | Chrome extension, Free
Sometimes those incredible online deals aren’t what they seem. Sometimes, prices will rise slightly in the run up to the holidays, only to fall to a phony ‘discount’ at peak times. Keepa is an ingenious extension for your desktop Chrome browser that adds a detailed price history to every Amazon listing, letting you see if today’s ‘discount’ is actually priced higher than product has been for the rest of the year. Absolutely indispensable.

HotUKDeals | iOS, Android, Free
HotUKDeals offers exactly what its name suggests, with oodles of discounts, voucher codes and special offers being submitted and ranked daily by an enormous community of avid online bargain hunters. That’s alongside a wealth of great shopping advice in the forums, and the ability to receive notifications when items you’re interested in are featured in relevant deals.

The DemoHOHOtivator by MoneySavingExpert
How many coffees do you buy a week? How many bags of crisps? All those little purchases probably add up to much more than the cost of your Christmas shopping, you know. But you needn’t just take our word for it; just use the DemoHOHOtivator. It’ll quickly add up the surprising savings you’d make – both over the year and between now and Christmas – if you gave up those small indulgences every now and then.

3. Get some great Vodafone UK deals this Black Friday!

It’s Black Friday weekend, so it should come as no surprise that we’ve got dozens of discounts on the go over at vodafone.co.uk. Here are just a few of our favourites:

Samsung Galaxy S9 – SAVE £528
WAS: £60 (£29 upfront cost) – including unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB of data
NOW: £38 PAYM (£29 upfront cost) – including unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB of data**
Samsung’s flagship packs in an incredible camera, great battery life, and a swathe of top-end features on top of its Android underpinnings.

iPhone X 64GB – SAVE £242
WAS: £60 (£79 upfront cost) – including unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB of data
NOW: £52 PAYM (£29 upfront cost) – including unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB of data
Apple’s first bezel-less phone will scream through any task you throw at it, while its dual rear camera setup makes taking amazing photos a breeze.

Huawei P20 Pro – SAVE £260
WAS: £46 (£29 upfront cost) – including unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 16GB of data
NOW: £36 PAYM (£9 upfront cost) – including unlimited minutes, unlimited texts and 100GB of data
Huawei’s P20 Pro is a serious device, made for road warriors who want their phone to be more than just a phone – and it’s got one of the best camera rigs on the market to boot.

V-Home by Vodafone Safety Starter Kit – SAVE £50
WAS: £14 PAYM (£99 upfront cost)
NOW: £8.99 PAYM (£49 upfront cost) – for the V-Home Services Plan subscription
Looking to protect your castle? Bring peace of mind to your home the easy way, with a bevy of V-Home products designed to keep an eye on the people and things you love most.

Home Broadband – unlimited Fibre for 18 months
Superfast 1 (35 Mbps average speed) – NOW £20 per month (no upfront router fee)
Superfast 2 (63 Mbps average speed) – NOW £26 per month (no upfront router fee)
Get more from your broadband and pay less at the same time! Switching to our Superfast fibre is easy as pie and quibble-free.

There are loads more offers besides going on this weekend at vodafone.co.uk – including a raft of deals still to be unveiled on Cyber Monday – so stay tuned. And remember: our awesome Winter Sale is still on too!

Become an instant expert… Looking to start a new digital skill or hobby? Check out our ‘Get Started With’ guides before you do anything else.

 

Terms and conditions
Home Broadband: 18 month agreement, subject to credit check, acceptance & availability in your area. 35 Mbps & 63 Mbps average speed claim: 73% of customers on Superfast 1 receive speeds above 35 Mbps and 61% of customer on Superfast 2 receive above 63 Mbps. We base our average on sync speed (the speed of your line from the street cabinet or telephone exchange to your router), for more info on sync speed, full terms, and to check the speed and availability in your area visit vodafone.co.uk/broadband.
V-Home: Offer ends 26/11/18. You must activate the V-Home Service subscription by 06/12/18 to be eligible for the £8.99pm Black Friday subscription offer. V by Vodafone products (except V-Auto) must be activated via the V by Vodafone app (available on Android and iOS devices only). V-Home: 24m agreement. Requires purchase and activation of V-Home Service subscription. Not a replacement for any home monitoring service. Notifications from Hub to the end user is subject to change and is dependent on network connectivity. Full terms and details at https://shop.v.vodafone.com
**Savings: Calculated over an 24-month period. RPI increase, minimum term agreement & credit check apply. Terms, exclusions & destinations at vodafone.co.uk/terms.