It’s that time of the year again when big sale signs go up, and your emails are inundated with special offers while retailers prepare for the shopping frenzy that Black Friday brings. This year, it falls on 25 November, with Cyber Monday’s online shopping bargains available on 28 November. But the truth is that times are tough, and we’re all holding onto our purse strings a little tighter, so it’s important not to get caught up in a buying spree to avoid being left in a financial black hole.
But that’s not to say that you should ignore the great deals and let a good bargain slip away.
According to Mutsa Chironga Managing Executive, Consumer Banking at Nedbank, the key to a successful Black Friday shopping is preparation. “If you’re looking forward to taking advantage of good deals, set a budget and keep track of it throughout the day,”
Mutsa further shares a few tips for getting the best bang for your buck this Black Friday
1. Plan ahead
Not all bargains are created equal. Making good money choices is knowing that a deal is only a deal when you can afford it or when you were planning to buy the item anyway. Think of back-to-school supplies, groceries and household products, emergency power supplies, and even Christmas gifts. To avoid impulse purchases, make a list of the items you have your eye on. The Wednesday before Black Friday is when you need to start pressing that ‘Add to Cart’ button. This will allow you to check out quickly when the sale prices come into effect. If the retailer doesn’t allow you to save your cart, you can add the items to your wish list so that they are easy to find and move to checkout.
2. Hunt for bargains on your list
Once you have compiled your list, prioritise the items and divide them up according to the outlets that stock them. At this point, you should also compare their regular price to the ‘discount’ prices on offer. Be wary, as some retailers have been flagged for upping the price of items before Black Friday, to make their discounts seem more significant.
3. Embrace online shopping
Since Black Friday takes place on a regular working day, spending hours pushing through crowds at the mall is not always an option. You might want to focus exclusively on Cyber Monday’s online deals, so that you can shop at multiple stores and miss the traffic – and the battle for a parking space.
It is however important to protect yourself online. “Don’t click on links to go to shopping sites. Rather type in the web address yourself. That way you know you haven’t been redirected to a fake site. Before you enter card or personal information on any site, look for the lock image in the toolbar and “https” (the ‘s’ stands for secure) in the web address. Also, make sure you have the latest, updated antivirus software on your device, and never do your online shopping or banking on a public or unsecured Wi-Fi network. They’re easy for fraudsters to hack into.
4. Make the most of rewards programmes
This is an opportune time to time to take advantage of reward programmes. With a Nedbank American Express card you earn double rewards in Greenbacks. These points can be turned into instant cash by withdrawing them at any ATM. You can also pay with points using your Greenbacks Shop Card at retailers, to pay for fuel and even shop online. In addition to Black Friday discounts, you could save even more. With the Nedbank American Express Card for example, every time you spend on your card, you earn 1% cashback every time you swipe your Nedbank American Express card at Pick n Pay, Checkers, Woolworths, and thousands of stores nationwide.