Over the last few years, the UK has begun to adopt some of the US’s shopping habits in the build-up to Christmas.
Today, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become prominent shopping days in the UK’s calendar.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday originates from the US, where the shopping extravaganza marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. In the US, Black Friday sees retailers offer major discounts on a wide variety of products the Friday after Thanksgiving. Stores open their doors to hordes of shoppers as early as 5am. And if that sounds too early, customers have been known to wait in line for hours beforehand.
The hysteria here is nowhere near what it is in the US, where the sale has a reputation for turning some mild mannered shoppers into bargain hunting madmen - with many fights being reported over the years. And the shopping tradition has recently started to make its way across the pond, with this year’s Black Friday taking place on November 28th. Retailers including Argos, Currys PC World and John Lewis are all set to slash their prices on the day.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is Black Friday’s much calmer relative, with the day sharing the same principles as Black Friday but with the discounts only available online. The event immediately follows Black Friday, with this year’s Cyber Monday taking place on the 1st December. So if you don’t fancy fighting your way through the crowds to find a bargain, wait for Cyber Monday to browse the sales from the comfort of your own home. Amazon in particular is known to have massive reductions available on the day.
If you’re brave enough to tackle either the Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales this year, remember that paying with your credit card will give you extra protection when making purchases. This is all thanks to the very handy Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
Section 75 provides protection to UK consumers and states that your credit provider must take responsibility if anything goes wrong with a purchase that you make worth over £100. Section 75 was put in place to ensure that you’re never paying off debt for something that you didn’t receive or that was faulty. You are also protected if the retailer you’ve ordered from goes bust. If you shop with cash or a debit card, you can only rely on the vendor to give you a refund.
The minimum amount you have to spend on a ‘single item’ to be protected under Section 75 is £100, with this excluding any added fees or delivery charges. The definition of a ‘single item’ is not that straightforward but if you believe you have a claim against something that you have purchased, it’s always worth contacting your credit card provider.
Protection of laws like Section 75 is among the benefits of using a credit card to make purchases, but before you apply for a credit card make sure that you feel confident you’ll be able to repay what you have borrowed on time. Ideally, you should look to pay off your balance in full every month so that you avoid paying interest, so it’s worth only spending what you know you can afford.
Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.BACK TO BLOG HOME