How to backdate your Black Friday bargains 

Written by
Kara Gammell
Finances expert
27 October 2021
4 min read
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This year’s Black Friday may not be the bargain bonanza that you’ve been hoping for as supply shortages and increasing costs force stores to cut down on promotions. 

This holiday season, retailers won’t be competing on price – the real war will be about product availability. 

As you might expect, worried shoppers are buying early to avoid disappointment and this may explain why we’re seeing some tactical early bird promotions now. 

If you find that some of the products on your list are not yet on sale, you may be torn: do you bag that Harry Potter Lego set that your little one’s been hoping for now - and fork out for the full price? Or hold tight and hope that when prices fall, stock levels don’t drop, leaving you (and your little one) empty handed? 

Fortunately, there’s a way to get the best of both worlds and get the items on your Christmas list while still clawing back some of cash when the sales roll around with our handy shopping hack. 

Your savings can soon add up – I’ve been refunded £194.20 on just four purchases since 2019. Not bad going if you ask me

What’s the deal? 

Did you know that Black Friday bargains aren’t limited to the new products you bought on the biggest shopping weekend of the year - and some retailers will price match after you made your purchase? 

We didn’t think so. 

John Lewis, for instance, will refund you the difference up to 28 days after you made your purchase. 

So, if you were to buy something in the four weeks before Black Friday – or any big sale throughout the year – you can apply online for a retrospective price match and your cash could be refunded to you within hours. 

And your savings can soon add up: since I discovered this policy in 2019, I have been refunded £194.20 on just four purchases. 

Not bad going if you ask me. Curry’s, Halford’s and also offer a similar scheme, matching prices up to seven days after your purchase. 

What’s more, Black’s will even beat the price by 10%, if the price falls within seven days from purchase. 

So, here are my top tips for making the most of price match policies. 

Do your sums in advance 

When you are comparing prices online, don’t buy from the retailer simply on the off chance that you will be able to get a price match down the road. 

Only hand over your cash if the deal is the same – or better – than you can get elsewhere. There’s no point taking a gamble on a sale that may never appear. 

Set yourself a reminder 

Don’t assume that the price match will be automatic when the sales launch. 

Instead you’ll have to buy it as normal and then claim the difference back to your payment card, but you have a limited period (for example up to seven or up to 28 days) in which to do this, so make sure that you make a note in your diary to check during the period that applies to the retailer you purchased from. 

Also bear in mind that policies do not apply to items sold by stores that are online-only,, and, for instance. 

So read the small print carefully. 

Like most things with money, the squeaky wheel gets the grease 

Buy online and keep your receipts 

For me, I find it easier to shop online because the receipts will be emailed to me, meaning it’s even easier to find the information required when I make a claim. 

In my experience at price matching at John Lewis, that’s really helped. 

Here is where you can apply for a refund online at the retail giant. 

Don’t give up 

While most of the time your application is likely to be successful, occasionally you may find your claim is rejected - but it pays to persevere. 

You see, like most things with money, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, so it’s worth making a repeat application if you have been denied as each refund is decided by a different customer services person, and the next time you ask, you might get lucky. 

Know the rules 

Bear in mind that there are various rules for making a price match – retrospective or not – such as the retailer must have a physical shop, the item must be exactly the same and the website says that the product must be in stock in order to qualify for a rebate. 

However in my experience, it is not always the case and I have been issued a refund when the item was showing as sold out online. 

But it’s always worth checking the terms and conditions first so you don’t end up wasting your time. 

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Don’t forget that while you may think that this article is brilliant, it is intended for information purposes only and should not be mistaken for financial advice or recommendations.