10 Tips to spend wisely and safely this Black Friday
Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year for hundreds of retailers and a chance for thousands of consumers to pick up some great deals. However, if not planned properly, it can leave you with financial problems such as debt and also the chance of falling victim to online fraud2.
While the adoption of a broad range of digital payment methods is accelerating in South Africa1, online fraud, and identity theft against both businesses and consumers are booming. Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to make a buck or two from unsuspecting customers who make use of the opportunities Black Friday presents.
Here are 10 tips to help you spend wisely and keep safe for the upcoming Black Friday on 25 November 2022.
- Plan your purchases
Make a list of your wants and needs. Asses and making a list of items for your Black Friday wish list is an effective way that ensures that you are spending wisely and focusing on the items you really need, and not want.
- Don’t buy it if you can’t afford it
Look at your financial situation and work out how much you can afford to spend and stick to that budget. If you aren't able to get what you need within your set budget, then you can’t afford it now and you will have to save until you can make that purchase. If you're making use of credit, always keep in mind your credit score and avoid having to go into unnecessary debt.
- Avoid bad debt
Credit and store cards enable you to buy items that you couldn't necessarily afford with a single payment. Paying the instalments timeously in a short space of time shows that you are a responsible borrower, which results in a good credit score. However, avoid being caught in the web of debt with high interest rates. Rather opt for interest-free plans wherever possible, and be sure to pay the full credit card amount, or store card instalment, every month until it’s paid up in full.
- Track the price
South Africa has a long-held ranking as one of the most price-sensitive nations in the world. Tracking the price is a savvy spending habit that will serve you well when comparing prices and deals from different retailers to ensure you are saving as much as possible on your wish-list items. A NielsenIQ study shows that more than half of consumers tend to choose the best-priced product3. With half of South Africans buying whatever brand is on promotion, 44% have gone as far as not buying certain products to reduce the cost of their shopping basket.
- Be salary savvy
Instead of waiting for your November salary to pay for Black Friday purchases – shop smart with both your October and November salaries by taking advantage of the deals offered in the build-up to Black Friday.
- Sign up for savings from retailers
Another way to stay up to date with Black Friday promotions is to sign up for retailer’s newsletters. Many retailers offer a sneak peek into exclusive Black Friday deals to their subscribers.
- Buy from brands you know
The majority of big brands are usually well-prepared for Black Friday. They have ensured that they have sufficient stock and that their IT and back-office systems are in place to make sure their customers aren’t disappointed. These popular brands comply with the Consumer Protection Act and will have the necessary policies and procedures in place to deal with returns or damaged goods. Keep in mind that scammers are also looking to cash in on the hype around Black Friday which is another good reason to stick with recognised brands.
- Plan beyond Black Friday
Soon after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the festive season kicks in and is typically a time when people spend more than usual. If you overspend or max out your credit card at the end of November, you may not be able to enjoy the festive season. Many businesses tend to pay their employees early in December and if you haven’t planned ahead, this can make for a very long "Janu-worry", especially if you have school-going children who need new uniforms, books, school fees, and transport.
- Legitimate Retailers
Research retailers online to make sure they’re legitimate. There are thousands of shopping websites on the internet, many with thousands more independent sellers. The majority of these are perfectly legitimate, but spotting the fraudulent ones takes a bit of research. If you’re using a website you haven’t used before, search for them online to see if they have any negative feedback.
- Be cyber-aware
Fraudsters are just as excited about Black Friday as consumers are. Shop on legitimate sites, read customer reviews, and always protect your personal financial information. Make sure that there’s an “https” in the web address and an icon of a locked padlock on the left side of the URL (‘s’ stands for secure and means the site can be trusted).