Over the past few years, South Africans have well and truly adopted the American tradition of Black Friday as their own.
A recent My Broadband survey found that 81% of consumers are planning to taking advantage of Black Friday specials and discounts, with the majority of survey participants indicating that they plan to spend up to R5 000.
With “must-have” deals flying every which way you look, reining yourself and your spending in could very well be one of the hardest things you have to do, but it is entirely possible to get great deals without breaking the bank.
Here’s how you can become a smart shopper on Black Friday, 23 November.
- Figure out what you want
One way to eliminate impulse buying is being clear about what you’re looking for from the onset.
“Browse around your favourite stores and make a wish list,” advises Indie CEO Peter Gastleden. “Decide which items you can’t live without and keep the rest for another time.”
- Set a clear budget and stick to it
If you don’t set a budget for yourself, then know and accept now that you will spend more than you anticipate. But having said that, there’s also no point in drawing up a budget if you don’t actually stick to it. If you can’t afford a Black Friday special, it’s better to stay away from the shops and your computer on the day to avoid the temptation.
- Don’t believe the hype
Gastleden says it’s critical to approach Black Friday with a critical eye and a degree of scepticism because not all deals are what they appear to be. He says you should ask yourself: “Are the sales prices really that low? Is 10% off really a good enough reason to elbow an old lady out of the way so you can get to it? If not, don’t bother.”
- Look out for affordable gifts
“With the festive season right around the corner and “JanuWorry” fast approaching too, you can get a head start and save some money on gift and back-to-school shopping,” advises John Manyike, Head of Financial Education at Old Mutual. “Again, be smart about what you’re buying and know what you’re looking for.”
- Avoid using credit
The problem with buying on credit is that firstly, you’re likely to spend more than if you were paying in cash and, secondly, you’re going to wind up paying more in interest over time. This could potentially cancel out the saving you were after in the first place, Manyike says.
- Give it back if you’ve changed your mind
If you find yourself suffering from buyer’s remorse after you check your bank balance or credit cards, don’t let your ego get in the way.
“If you’ve got some regrets and you’re worried that you’ve overspent, just return it. Get your money back and do a happy dance,” Gastleden advises.
As a side note, don’t forget to be alert at all times when you’re shopping on Black Friday. Remember that it’s a day that fraudsters can and do take advantage, so make sure you are regularly checking your SMS notifications to detect fraudulent activity.