Black Friday is fast approaching but with the effects of a tough financial year still weighing heavily on many wallets – Budget Insurance encourages South Africans to be realistic about their financial situation, and not to let bargain blindness turn their bank balances red.
The statistics show that South Africans love a good Black Friday special, with Bankserv Africa finding that the total value of 2021 Black Friday transactions was a mammoth R3.3 billion – a 17% increase from 2020.
According to PayU, SA’s shopping volume was up 36.64% in the four days leading up to Black Friday in 2021, transaction values as well as online shopping volume on the day were up 30% from 2020 to 2021, with consumers spending a whopping R17 million in just an hour on Black Friday itself. Tough financial times and the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, saw online basket size down by 22% year-on-year.
“While South Africans are keen to take advantage of the numerous specials on offer, money is tight and every cent needs to work as hard as it can,” says Susan Steward, spokesperson for Budget Insurance,
“The good news is that by compiling prioritised lists, setting a budget, shopping around, comparing deals and taking advantage of the ‘Black November’ trend, a nose for a bargain combined with savvy spending can see you getting what you need and saving lots of cash without breaking the bank.”
- Focus on what you need first: Create a list of things that you need to get or replace soon and prioritise those. Things that you want – luxuries – need to be second in line.
- Set up a budget: Plan what you can afford to avoid being tempted into spending more than you have. The last thing you want is to go into December with debt and start off the new year on a poor financial footing.
- Shop online or on apps rather than in-store: If you can avoid going into stores, rather shop online or use apps, and grab the same discounts from the comfort (and safety) of your own home.
- Be first to know: Sign up for SMS notifications and e-mail newsletters with your favourite retailers and follow their social media pages so that you are alerted when new specials become available.
- Research, research, research: Don’t get taken in by the hype and don’t fall into the trap of believing that Black Friday itself is the only time to find a good deal. Do your research and compare where necessary to make sure you really are getting the best price. You can use sites such as pricecheck.co.za to do this.
- Set up online accounts in advance: Go to the sites of retailers you are likely to buy from and set up your online account in advance. This will include filling in your details, setting up your preferred delivery address and receiving a log-in and password. Doing this ahead of time means you will be able to buy quickly when deals go live.
- Be prepared to take a step back: Avoid getting swept up in grabbing every bargain you can get your hands on. If you’re feeling unsure about a purchase, take a moment to step away from the store or the computer screen to think about whether you are making a wise buying decision.
- Don’t buy a lemon: Some products may be older models or of inferior quality, added to the specials list to clear stock.
- Use those loyalty rewards: You may have some points, discounts or cash back offers due to you. Make sure to use these to your advantage.
- Check return policies: Understand the return policies and fees, and make sure you get a receipt.
“The key is to think about whether you can afford Black Friday shopping to begin with and making sure that you have all the essentials to start off the new year on a good foot first. That you’ve paid your bills, maybe even settled some debt and that you have a good reserve fund in place for unforeseen circumstances, before considering the ‘big spend’. Then it’s all about making every penny you have left work as hard and smartly as it can,” Steward maintains.