Black Friday may feel like the biggest sale of the year, especially after the very difficult period most of us have experienced financially this past year and a half. But for retailers, Black Friday means big business. While consumers spend huge amounts, retailers use this time of year to get rid of old stock and make space for new arrivals.
Most stores will double down their efforts to create the perception that consumers are scoring with unbeatable deals. And many have already started.
Although Black Friday is on 26 November, promotions are already underway for many brands. Starting early allows retailers to build hype around their promotions and get consumers excited before the big sale.
These Black Friday offers may often seem like ‘good deals’, and some certainly are. However, retailers work hard to create that illusion.
Learn more about how retailers manipulate consumers with Black Friday deals here.
The truth is Black Friday deals really aren’t that special. The stress that comes with hunting down the best deals and the holiday season coming up is a recipe for overspending.
In fact, you can usually pick up better deals throughout the year compared to most Black Friday deals. Retails inflate their prices beforehand to create the illusion of a great deal.
Now that you know the tricks retailers use to get you spending more during Black Friday, what can you do to make every cent count this Black Friday?
1. Focus on buying things you need
It’s easy to get hooked on all kinds of deals when shopping on Black Friday. Making it far too easy to buy unnecessary items just because the deal is just too ‘hot’ to pass on.
But since we’ve busted the myth that Black Friday deals are ‘great deals’, you can confidently and patiently wait until the hype has passed before making unnecessary purchases.
If you must engage in Black Friday sales there are a few tricks you can use to minimize overspending.
The most important thing that will help you stay within your budget on Black Friday is to create a shopping list.
Think about what you need for gifts or household items before looking at any deals. Doing this will help you stay focused and avoid impulsive buying.
2. Don’t go overboard
While you’re out and about trying to find the best gifts for your friends and family, it can, and will, be very tempting to buy extra goodies on sale. You might be thinking that buying an extra gift or two won’t hurt, but once you give in to that temptation, you may find it difficult to stop.
Buying something at a great price makes us feel good. And too much of a good thing can lead to disappointment.
For example, if you have 10 people on your list and you’re spending an extra R50 per person, you would be spending an extra R500. That might not sound like a lot at first. But if you decide to use your credit cards and store cards to purchase these items, the extra R500 will add to the interest rates you’ll be paying.
3. Pay off your credit card right away
While cash is king, you may choose to use your credit card or store card to purchase items on Black Friday. In this case, you’ll want to pay off the credit you’ve made as soon as possible. This might be challenging due to heavy spending throughout the holiday season.
Paying off your credit as soon as possible will help you keep your credit score in good standing and help you build up your credit report.
A lot of consumers are struggling to pay back their credit and store card debt. Studies have shown that most consumers are unaware of the interest rates charged on store cards. The same study found that consumers are more than 3 months in arrears since last year. South Africans are struggling to pay back their credit card debt.
If you are in a similar position you may want to stick with buying your Black Friday items in cash and avoid your credit card for the time being.
Be smart when shopping this Black Friday. We’ve been through a very difficult financial year. Some have lost their jobs, others have experienced a salary cut and the majority of us had to rely on debt and credit to help us through the past 2 years.
Your friends and family will understand if you can’t afford to buy them gifts this year or if you decide to keep the budget to a bare minimum.
Most importantly, keep in mind that Black Friday deals aren’t really that special or necessary. Try shopping before the hype or when the hype fades away.
Debt Rescue is the #1 debt counsellor in South Africa. We have helped thousands of consumers take control of their finances through the debt review process. Debt review will help you reduce your monthly debt repayments and help make monthly household expenses more affordable.
If you’re over-indebted, contact us today. We can help you.