British shoppers are set for the biggest shopping day of the year today as Black Friday gets under way.

Almost all of the high street's biggest brands will be embracing the US import as they offer up deals with many offering extended opening hours.

Online spending is expected to reach £1 billion, up 16% on last year, while £961 million is predicted to be shelled out in shops.

A total of £5.8 billion is expected to be spent over the next four days, culminating in Cyber Monday.

But while Black Friday is famous for its discounts, how can you ensure you are getting a good deal?

Consumer group Which? is urging shoppers to "do their research" after finding that half of last year's deals were cheaper in the months before and after Black Friday.

A total of £5.8 billion is expected to be spent over the next four days. Credit: PA

Here's how to make sure you really are bagging a bargain on Black Friday:

  • Check the price of the product across multiple shops

  • Check the price history

  • Be aware of notes or signs explaining offers and read the small print

  • Look at the price, not the saving. Be wary of "was prices" or recommended retail price (RRP) comparisons, often these are exaggerated

  • Check the manufacturers own website to find out the true RRP

  • Read reviews of the product you want to buy - there is no point getting a good deal on a bad product

  • Some retailers will match Black Friday deals in other shops, but you may have to ask

  • Research prices online before hitting the shops

  • If you order online, often collecting your goods from the shop will save on the delivery fee

  • Check the returns policies of any Black Friday deals