Make Black Friday work for you, not against you

Black FridayOn Friday 24 November, retailers will be offering discounts in a major sale ahead of the festive season. This “Black Friday” concept has been taken from the United States where the discounts are so enormous people queue overnight to be the first in-store to grab the discounts. With the growth in online shopping, online retailers boost their bandwidth to accommodate the massive increase in online traffic.

Personally, I never find the South African equivalent quite as compelling, with half-hearted attempts at 20% to 30% discounts whereas in the US you can see discounts of up to 90%.

Nevertheless, the hype around Black Friday, and the occasionally good deal, has consumers all excited and ready to spend. Remember the marketing strategy is to make you buy stuff you weren’t really planning on, so you need to go in with your own strategy to make sure Black Friday works for you and not the retailer or your credit card provider.

Tips to avoid overspending

  • Write down a list of things you need and what you are prepared to pay for them. Make sure you don’t go down the rabbit hole and end up buying stuff that is not on that list.
  • This is a good opportunity to buy Christmas gifts, but again – have a list. Write down the people you want to buy gifts for as well as how much you want to spend on each person, and stick to it.
  • If you go shopping and are worried about discipline, don’t take your credit card or store cards with you, as the temptation to overspend may be too great. Ideally draw the cash you plan on spending so that when its finished, its finished.
  • Be circumspect about the deals on offer. Some retailers offer you vouchers for spending, which means you have to come back and spend more to get the discount. Avoid those offers, because you’re not really saving anything.

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