We’re sure you, like us, have been prepping for Black Friday over the past few months. Saving up extra cash, planning your route if you’re braving a mall, and refreshing those online deals like there’s no tomorrow. We get it. We’re doing it too.
So is most of South Africa. In 2018, we spent a whopping R2.9 billion on Black Friday sales, according to BankservAfrica. Yep, that’s not a typo.
What is Black Friday? 🤔
Contrary to the name, it’s an exciting day of mass sales, promotions and price cuts! It’s an American holiday and is always the day after Thanksgiving. This year Black Friday falls on 27 November.
The most common story is that retailers would only start making a profit (taking them out the red and into the black) the day after Thanksgiving, as so many people went out to do their shopping. And so, the tradition was born. If you’d like the more historically accurate version, you can check out the History.com’s explanation of the shopping bonanza.
Tips for shopping Black Friday in South Africa 🛍️
Whether you’re a newcomer to the Black Friday rush, or you’re a veteran sale shopper, it’s crucial to plan your shopping to the very last detail. No matter how small you think it might be. Let’s get started:
Searching for sales
Brands will usually start hinting at their sales items at least a month before Black Friday. Keep an eye on retailers:
- Social media pages
- Email newsletters
- In-store advertisements
Some shops will ask you to opt-in to be notified early for their Black Friday specials. It’s usually a good idea to do this as most shops have limited stock of an item with a big discount.
Choosing where to shop
While keeping an eye out, it’s important to take other factors into account. You want to shop for discounts at a retailer who cares about their consumers. Whether it’s great customer service, a stress-free returns policy, or lots of stock – there’s a lot to think about.
A simple way to get an idea of a shops customer service (or lack thereof) is to hop on the internet and check out platforms such as Hellopeter, or social accounts. Reading unbiased, truthful reviews of a business can really help you when it comes to making a decision on where your hard-earned money should go.
If a company has a few negative reviews, but they’re responding and actively solving problems – it means they care about their customers, and therefore you. It’s always reassuring knowing someone is on the other side of a brand, waiting to help you out.
However, if a brand is getting a large amount of positive and negative reviews, and no one is responding, it’s difficult to gauge how their customer service is, and how they deal with mistakes and criticism. Especially around a day like Black Friday, you want to be 100% sure the business you’re going with is reliable and honest.
Online or offline
Now the big question is: will you be braving the mall, or shopping from the comfort of your own home? In the past, Black Friday has been quite chaotic in-store, with shoppers fighting over items, and queues going on forever.
A major positive of shopping online is that you’re able to wishlist items you know you’re going to buy beforehand. This way you’ll be able to easily put them all in your basket when it’s time to get shopping.
However, always be careful and make sure you’ve verified an online store is legit, and that they have a proper returns policy, and customer service. This can be done by looking up the company on social media, or on review sites like ours.
Your Black Friday plan of action 🏃
Now that you’ve got all your ducks in order, it’s time to put your running shoes on and get prepared.
If you’re heading into a shopping centre, make sure you’ve got the list of items you need, and which shop you’ll get each item from. Check that your bank account is ready, and keep a bottle of water and snacks in your bag (queues are real). Remember, you can always check out competing prices, and business reviews online while you’re in-store – so never settle.
If you’re choosing to shop out of the comfort of your home, remember to make sure the shops you’re looking at are legit, and have policies that protect you. Double-check you’ve wish-listed all the items you want, and that you’ve made an account with the company already, so all you need to do is press Purchase.
Pro-tip: make sure you’re on reliable WIFI for the whole day.
Whatever you do this Black Friday, make sure you make the right decision by researching each shop you’re interested in. Good luck, and happy shopping!