The biggest sales day on the South African calendar is fast-approaching, and many retailers and retail experts are on hand to offer their tips on how to get the most out of Black Friday 2018.
This year’s sale is expected to be bigger than ever, with PayPal predicting that South Africans’ online shopping spend will top R53 billion by the end of 2018, up from R37.1 billion in 2017.
Black Friday will hit on 23 November 2018, with dozens of retail stores – online and brick and mortar – expected to offer great discounts and tempting deals all weekend.
However, some have already started with deals, which means time is running out for shoppers to make the necessary preparations.
From all the tips and information that have been thrown around about Black Friday, a common thread is to shop smart, get an early start, and budget.
1. Have a plan
It’s important to know what you want, need and can afford before you get enticed by all the shiny offers in front of you. Set a budget and stick to it, and don’t ever get yourself into debt to make purchases you don’t need.
Remember: if you are buying something that you don’t need or didn’t plan for, you’re not making a saving at all.
2. Make sure your details are up to date
Go to the websites you plan to buy from before the sales start, and make sure you have an account, and that you have up-to-date payment information. On the day, websites get overloaded, and you may get frustrated by timeouts and server errors while trying to do this kind of admin.
It’s better to be able to get your deals and check out with as little interruption as possible.
3. Buy gift vouchers ahead of time
Some stores allow you to buy pre-paid gift-vouchers which you can use to pay for the items you want. If you use these on the day, you will be able to checkout with your chosen deals without having to go through payment gateways, which may be slow or run into load errors on the day.
4. Read the Tc and Cs
Take note of the delivery conditions and timeframes – will you get the purchase when you need it, and how much will delivery cost? Also look out for return policies, to make sure whether or not you can return something. Look out for hidden costs or additional purchases you might need to make.
5. Pay your TV Licence
Electronics and TVs in particular are some of the hottest items that go on sale on Black Friday – but if you want to take advantage of the big discounts, you will have to have a valid TV Licence that’s all paid up.
6. Team up
It may be a good idea to team up with a small group of close friends to cover different channels or stores. Products and stores can be discussed ahead of time, and each person can be tasked with getting specific items for everyone in the team (and paid back later).
You can also create WhatsApp groups to let your friends know about specials, deals or flash sales.
7. Hunt around for bargains
Black Friday isn’t only for retail goods – many businesses and other services also have specials going on the day. Flights may be cheaper;, you might be able to get your hair done at a discounted price – or you might even be able to get that tattoo you’ve always wanted and have some money to spare.
While the big brands and big retailers will spend money marketing their discounts to consumers, be sure to check with your favourite smaller brands and small businesses to see if they have anything exciting to offer on the day.
8. Keep safe
With great opportunity comes great risk, and scammers and criminal elements know that shoppers will be out en masse, and will be on the prowl. When shopping online, make sure you’re shopping on secure sites, and try to stick to known brands and trusted retailers.
Credit card payments that ask you for a supplementary one-time PIN such as Verified by Visa; Snapscan; and PayPal are all good options.
If you’re venturing out to the shops, keep an eye on your belongings, especially when in the crowds, and steer clear of any altercations or disputes. A good deal isn’t worth a fight or conflict.
9. Don’t stress if you miss out
Black Friday deals start happening well before the actual day, and continue over the entire weekend to Cyber Monday. If you miss out, don’t fret, because Christmas follows soon after, and many retailers will push out a whole new set of deals and specials to take advantage of that.
Black Friday ushers in the biggest sales period for a lot of retailers, and while it may be the biggest sales day, it is by no means the only sales day.