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Black Friday - The Ultimate Survival Guide

26/11/2015 19:44 GMT | Updated 26/11/2016 10:12 GMT

Images of hordes of determined shoppers queuing to enter stores, with the inevitable rush when the doors open, customers stepping on those of who have tripped in the crush, snatching televisions out of each other's hands and angry exchanges have become the norm in the media coverage of Black Friday.

For those eager to bag themselves a bargain in tomorrow's sales, as long as you are armed with good Wi-Fi you do not need to run head first into the Black Friday scrum.

Make a list: Write a list of everything you actually need. Categorise it into 'essentials', 'Christmas presents' and 'nice to haves'. Remember to factor in decorations, the tree, greetings cards, gift wrap, even the turkey. It's worth looking to see if any of these are on sale too.

Budget: Set yourself a realistic budget; and stick to it. Be strict with yourself; only start to shop for your nice to haves if you have cash left once you've ordered your essentials and gifts.

Get organised: Have a quick look at the cheapest place to buy everything on your wish list online before Black Friday and book mark the sites. This makes it easy to check how much you save on the big day. If you can't find a cheaper deal in the Black Friday sales hold fire as retailers will be running sales throughout December when you could get it for less.

Plan of attack: Do your research before you buy to make sure you can't get your bargains cheaper elsewhere. Once you have the item in your basket, do a quick search to see if you can find a voucher code that gives you a further discount. Don't forget to factor in the cost of delivery when you compare prices; it might be worth opting for click and collect instead.

Get social: Stores will use their social media accounts to alert shoppers of flash sales, timed events and special buys. Follow every store on your bargain list to see what you can get extra

Time your purchases right: Start early whether you're shopping online or in store. Sales will be online from midnight if not before along with details of the flash sales that will let you know if something on your wish list is discounted at a certain time.

Stand your ground: Don't fall into the trap of buying something just because it's heavily discounted, the clock is ticking and the flash sale is about to end - this is what shops want you to do! It's easy to be tempted, but if something's not on your list, walk away. Don't be fooled into buying a different spec just because it's cheaper. In the long run you'll want to upgrade sooner.

Shop in twos: Whether you are braving the shops or surfing at home, have someone with you to reign you in, especially if you know you are a sucker for a bargain. They can talk you out of that half price porcelain gold pineapple you "need" for the living room (you'll thank them for it later)

Choose how to pay: If you're buying something that costs over £100 pay with a credit card if you can then clear the balance when you get your statement. This gives you extra protection from a rule called Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act which covers you if you don't receive your goods, the goods are faulty, fake or not as described.

As a bonus you could earn cashback on purchases and rewards points if your card has a scheme.

Know your rights: If you order online you get 14 days to change your mind and get your money back (less p&p). The same doesn't apply if you shop in store when a retailer could just say 'no'. If a purchase is faulty that changes things as you'll have 30 days to take it back and get a full refund wherever you've bought it.

Missing delivery: Go to the retailer, not the delivery company as it's their responsibility to get it to you in one piece and in a timely fashion.

Don't fret if you miss out on Black Friday: If you're working and don't have the time to shop you'll be pleased to know there are more events to keep your eyes peeled for. Cyber Monday is the next biggie: a sister of Black Friday, retailers are likely to be running flash sales then too. Bookshops have launched Civilised Saturday (the day after Black Friday) although you're more likely to find treats like Prosecco and mince pies rather than savings, and many small businesses will be running their own sales next Saturday (5th) too.