By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
There’ll be a lot of people trying to cash in on Black Friday 2020 as retailers try to make up for lost lockdown sales and consumers desperately seek to stretch constrained budgets.
Inevitably not all the deals will be as good as the marketing and people will get caught up in the hype and buy more than they can afford.
Shafeeqah Isaacs, head of financial education at financial services provider, DirectAxis, says while there’s no harm in a bit of bargain hunting to kick-start the festive season this shouldn’t be at the expense of your financial well-being.
Shafeeqah and her team shared their personal experience and financial expertise to come up with the following tips to benefit from and not be bankrupted by Black Friday.
- Don’t spend what you can’t afford: Work out how much you can afford to spend and stick to that budget. If you can’t get what you need for that price, then you can’t afford it now and will have to save until you can. Always protect your credit rating and avoid going into debt unnecessarily.
- Do your research beforehand: Avoid impulse buys. Prepare your shopping list beforehand and do an online search so you have some idea of what the items you’re looking for cost. This way you won’t end up with a lot of stuff that collects dust and you’ll be able to tell whether you’re getting a good deal on the things you do need.
- Stick to credible brands you know: Big brands are generally well prepared for Black Friday and have the stock, IT and back-office systems in place to make sure their customers aren’t disappointed. They will comply with the Consumer Protection Act and will have policies and procedures in place to deal with returns or damaged items. It’s important to remember that scammers and con-artists are also looking to cash in on the hype around Black Friday, which is another good reason to stick with recognised brands.
- Think, clearly and plan ahead: Remember that the festive season comes soon after Black Friday and it’s typically a time when people spend more than usual. If you max out your credit card at the end of November, you may have a pretty miserable holiday period. Also consider that many businesses pay their employees early in December. If you haven’t thought ahead, this can make for a very long January, especially if you have school-going children. Remember they only go back at the end of January and you may have to pay for new uniforms, books, schools fees and transport.
"A little planning and preparation will enable you to find good deals on Black Friday and avoid being taken in by the hype and making impulse buys which put your bank account in the red and give you the blues,"says Shafeeqah.