‘Sorry our site is experiencing technical problems’ flashes before my eyes, so much so, when I close them the pervasive image seems to be branded onto my eyelids. That was the slogan of the well-known Black Friday. For bargain hunters it’s a highlight of the year; for others it’s the start of the holiday spirit (even though shops and radios have been hitting us hard with festive cheer since mid October). But is all this deal-scavenging worth it? Or are we being tricked into spending, yet again, on things we just don’t need?

Many shops start their sales early in the morning, sporting a select amount of deals for us. From discounted iPods, laptops and shoes, to cat litter, a ukulele and John Lennon glasses; all screaming how amazing they are. But truth hits you hard… What I realised is that they often trick you, especially online shops: they calculate their discounts from RRP which is way above the normal price. Now do you feel a bit fooled? Do you see how you are only receiving that £2 off after queuing for 2 hours?

Scramble! Who hasn’t seen the news highlights showing us people fighting over flat screen TVs and climbing over each other. Most people stated that they are there just to ‘look’ as they don’t know what they want, but the animal instincts soon take over as they jump on the most popular items. With no predisposition dozens of people each year end up in hospital, and those select lucky ones who purchase what they fought so hard for, often find the items slightly damaged. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people go in just to stir things up a bit, cause more noise for the fun of it.

Alternatively, why not indulge your friends in some meaningful gifts? Create a calendar, bake some personalised cookies, make a pillow. Often the best gifts are those which come from the heart, a value which seems to have been lost in recent years with people buying things because they’re cheap, instead of actually being wanted. I can guarantee you a child would much rather receive a wooden doll house than another plastic doll to shove in the pile.

So next time you go out bargain hunting, think: do I need this?

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