Surviving Black Friday

Surviving Black Friday

If FOMO sees you partaking in the spend-fest, Wendy Knowler has some tips on how to get the most of out it

Lady shopping on Black Friday
Lady shopping on Black Friday/ iStock

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It’s become almost impossible to avoid Black Friday, given that the retail phenomenon, a US import, has now morphed into Black November.

Why hype people up to go on a spending spree for just one day when you can drive sales up for a whole month, right?

According to Black Friday Global, which tracks these things in many countries, last Black Friday, internet activity was at its peak in SA between 8am and 11am.

Of course there was a strong peak at midnight, but it was eclipsed by that 8am to 11am high point. So if you do want to join the online frenzy and you don’t fancy staying up till midnight, setting your alarm for 5am could see you avoid the major online congestion.

Black Friday Global also reveals that South Africans are more gaga about BF than the people of most other countries - the spike in sales was 1952% compared to an average shopping day last BF, compared to the global average increase of 663%. In Australia, for instance, last year’s BF spike was “only" 871%.- less than half that in SA. 

So, yes, we go big, very big on BF, despite the fact that almost half of all credit-active consumers are currently three months or more behind in their repayments. 

So here are my 5 Top Tips For Surviving Black Friday:

1.  Be strategic and stay focussed. Decide what you want to buy - a new TV, washing machine or specific Christmas presents. Track the prices so you know if the 60% discount is real or manipulated.

2. Ideally pay with money you already have, so you don’t have to go into debt. If you do go into credit, pay it off as fast as you can, or high interest costs will cancel out your savings.

3. As with gambling, set yourself a spend limit, and stick to it, no matter what. Do not let Black Friday lead to you being Blacklisted - a ruined credit record is no fun. It could even jeopardise your job prospects or insurance claim.

4. Only shop on established, trusted online sites, preferably local, so there are no VAT, or customs duty surprises. Look for the small image of a padlock in front of the URL. And please ignore those ads which pop up on Facebook. All sorts of danger lies behind that click.

5. Unlike when you buy something in a shop, when you buy online you have have seven days from the date of delivery to send it back for a refund, even if there’s nothing wrong with it - thanks to the Electronic Communication and Transactions Act. When you buy in a shop it has to be defective for you to have a legal right to a refund. So online buying is the definitely the way to go for those who regularly get buyer’s remorse.

Incidentally, SA’s biggest online retailer, Takealot, started its Black Friday price slashing on Sunday with what it called its “Early Access” deals. And its top sellers since are a mix of sensible essentials and spoils:

               • Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey

               • Montego Classic Adult dog food

               • Fujifilm Instax Mini Film camera

               • Calvin Klein perfume

               • DSTV Explora Decoder

               • White folding table (top seller in 2018 as well)

               • Croxley A4 Hard Cover Display File  - clever peeps doing Back to School 2020 shopping.

Remember - the biggest savings you make are the things you don’t buy - that’s a 100% saving!

Get in touch with Wendy via her website or her Facebook page. Please note that Wendy is not able to personally respond to every email she receives. If she is able to take up your case, she will contact you directly. Here are other avenues for you to consider.

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