Don’t just walk in on Black Friday, consider all your options

Israel Makoe , gang

Those who consider themselves thrifty shoppers are probably looking forward to the nation-wide Black Friday sales which take place in November annually. This year Black Friday will fall on 27 November and despite economic challenges as a result of COVID-19, experts believe this year will be highly lucrative for retailers. According to news source Business Insider SA, some retailers have announced that they will be extending the sale period by weeks –dubbing this year’s sales period as Black November. However, shoppers are advised not to just walk into their favourite stores on the day, but rather plan in advance and make the most of the extended sale period.

Nedbank’s senior operations manager for consumer financial education, Charles Mpofu, warns against impulsive buying and says Black Friday needs to be budgeted for every year the same way  one should with other major purchases.

“Black Friday comes around every year and should be part of your annual budget if you want to participate. If you want to change your TV, buy a new washing machine or get a pair of sneakers, you should have planned in advance. Don’t take out a loan or use your credit card because you’ll pay interest, and that will not benefit you,” he says.

In 2019 BankservAfrica recorded a total number of 7 million transactions and a total spend of over R6 billion, a 106% increase on 2018’s R2.9 billion spend in South Africa. The most expensive transaction was recorded at over R10 million for a hospital purchase by an international company and the most uses by one card totalled 83.

Mpofu advises on making the most of the sales that take place the day before Black Friday and the days after, as well as shopping online.

“Online shopping is better. A lot of companies have moved their business online because of the lockdown. You can keep track of stock whereas in a store, an item can run out right in front of you. Moreover, you don’t have to queue which helps you maintain social distancing and protects you from contracting COVID-19,” he says.

As Black Friday draws nearer, Mpofu offers the following advice:

  1. Do your research by identifying your desired items in advance and finding out how much they cost at normal price: that way you know if you’re going to save money.
  2. Check to see if the same item is being sold elsewhere because you could get it at a better price.
  3. Don’t buy impulsively, rather spend within your budget on the items you budgeted for.
  4. Ask yourself if you really need the item or if it’s a want.
  5. Consider the entire scenario: if you’ll have to drive to the mall and stand in a queue just to get R20 off an item, you might find it’s not worth it.

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