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Black Friday isn’t the end of the month, but since the start of November I’ve been inundated with emails pushing flash sales, coupons and short term discounts. Is this a chance to get a bargain early, or should you hold off until the daddy of deal days, Black Friday?

There’s so much hype surrounding Black Friday that to believe it would mean it’s the best day for shopping EVER. Well it’s not.

There are usually some very good deals available, but over the last couple of years I’ve only seen the odd offer which really stands out as something extra special.

More often than not you’ll find similar discounts to the other sales throughout the year, reduced old models as part of a stock clearance, or low priced tat you really don’t need (hello Asda TVs, I’m talking about you.)

It was all a bit of a logistical nightmare last year too. Many retailers struggled to cope with the demand and saw their websites crash or deliveries delayed. If you went in person, you might have found yourself in a situation akin to an episode of violent Zombie horror The Walking Dead, with hysterical hoards of shoppers literally stepping over fallen bodies.

>> From last year: Fast but not furious: How to get a bargain first without trampling over people

What’s happening Black Friday 2015?

Well some retailers (including Asda) have already said they’re scaling back their Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers this year, or not taking part at all (Primark). Others are launching promotions early, with the Argos website crashing this weekend as people tried to buy three for the price of two toys.

Despite this, most retailers will still want to be part of the Black Friday frenzy and the headline grabbing deals will be saved until then.

Amazon will start their Black Friday lightening deals on Monday 23rd November, while I’ll keep updating my Black Friday deals page as more shops announce their plans.

>> Check out the latest Black Friday deals

Should you wait until Black Friday 2015?

Black Friday is on 27th November this year. Some of the deals I’ve already been sent this month are pretty good. House of Fraser have had a 40% off brand event, while Debenhams offered up to 25% off everything. Vouchers and codes have appeared for 40% off at Gap and 20% off at Ted Baker to name just a couple.

My take on these promos is: If you see a decent deal, for something you want and need, at a price you are willing to pay, then go for it.

I’ll list the best of the non-Black Friday deals here on my shopping deals page.

If it’s suddenly cheaper on Black Friday, then you have a couple of options.

Take it back to the shop

If you’ve kept your receipt (you really always should), you can usually return your item.

Of course this means you can’t use or wear what you buy until you know you are keeping it. And do make sure you’ve checked their returns policy as some shops will only give you a credit voucher. If you buy online, you’ve 14 days to send it back and get a full refund.

Ask for a refund

It’s not unknown for places like John Lewis to refund the difference if a price drops in the weeks after you buy it. Though their customer service will be as busy as hell, it’s worth giving it a go.

>> Don’t forget to read my guide to surviving Black Friday from last year


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