Black Friday is back once again and Jess Kelly is here to make sure you don’t get scammed while browsing for the best deals.
Black Friday started in America, with businesses offering customers large discounts to get them out of the house after Thanksgiving.
The idea has exploded in the years since, and Newstalk Tech Correspondent Jess Kelly said the day has now become more of a week-long “festival”.
“The second Halloween is over, the shops are putting up the black tags left, right and centre,” she told Newstalk Breakfast.
“They are telling everybody that they have the best possible value in the world and it is exciting and enticing when you walk in and see that there’s 100 or 200 quid off something.
“But the advice that I always give - and I am Captain Buzzkill as we know - is that not everything that purports to be an offer is actually an offer.”
With so many things for sale at a discount, Jess advises people to carry out their research before they go shopping.
“Verify the device that you’re buying is going to do what you need and want it to do,” she said.
“As I say, don’t get suckered by the bells and whistles or the black tag - make sure that it is fit for purpose.”
— NewstalkFM (@NewstalkFM) November 20, 2023
Trust and online shopping
She also said people need to be especially careful when shopping online, as not every website can be trusted with your data.
“Don’t buy from a website that you’ve never heard of before,” she said.
“Trustpilot is always a great way to go; put in a website that you’re looking to buy from and you will see instantly if it is legitimate or not.
“There’s a ranking system there.”
For those who want to be extra cautious, Jess suggested using the app Revolut to pay for items bought online.
“If you have a Revolut account, you can use a single-use digital card - it’s a virtual card,” she said.
“It will give you a card number that only works for that one transaction, then if scammers somehow infiltrate that system, your entire debit or credit card information is not compromised.”
'Don't take the risk'
“If it doesn’t look or feel right, just back away,” Jess said.
“Please don’t take the risk because it’s simply not worth it.”
According to AIB, Irish consumers spent €95 million last year on Black Friday - or €66,000 every minute.
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Main image: A shopper walks past a Black Friday sign on Jervis Street, Dublin.