How to shop smartly on Black Friday

1-2 min read (or readying your inner Karate Kid so you can fight for that last pair of sneakers on the shelf)
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Black Friday on 25 November marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. Some retailers have been offering discounts for the whole of November already, but on the 25th it’s guaranteed to be ramped up a notch.

We know it’s payday but don’t freak out and spend more than you should! Here’s how to make the most of Black Friday without ending up in debt.

Ask yourself, ‘What do I actually need?’

A discount is great if you get it on something you were going to buy anyway. These should be the first items on your Black Friday shopping list – essentials like cupboard groceries, personal care items, health and beauty products or cleaning products; or a kitchen item like a new blender because yours broke three months ago.

Make a list of what you really need and check what you’d normally pay so that you ensure you get a good deal on Black Friday. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Max out your loyalty rewards

In addition to scoring with Black Friday discounts, check what other reward offerings you can use on the day. Discovery, for example, is running Miles Ð-Day on 25 November, where you can double your Discovery Miles. eBucks members will be getting extra discounts, too. Takealot accepts Discovery Miles and eBucks, so see if you can use your rewards on top of the Black Friday discounts.

Do you qualify for an extended warranty?

Depending on which credit card account you have, you might be able to extend the manufacturer’s warranty on certain goods like appliances. Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler discovered this recently and shared her findings on Cape Talk. Check with your bank if you qualify.

Are the discounts even real?

Sometimes a retailer will push up the ‘normal’ price of an item just before Black Friday to make the discounted price look more attractive. For example, an item sold for R100 might be hiked to R150 before Black Friday, then offered at a ‘crazy’ discount of 40% for R90, which is actually a true discount of only 10%.

Some sellers on Takealot are notorious for this. The clever people at Serval have created a website that tracks the prices of products sold on the platform. Find the thing you’re interested in buying, copy and paste the URL into Serval Tracker, and you’ll see a graph of the current price and listed price over a six-month period.

Stick to your budget

On Black Friday, marketing gurus flood our feeds with ‘once in a lifetime’ deals. Don’t buy into the hype. Stick to the budget you’ve earmarked for spending. Whether you go out and get that expensive gift for yourself or someone else, or if you stock up on cleaning supplies and nappies – stick to your budget. Don’t be tempted to max out your credit card or spend your year-end bonus before you’ve even received it.

Beware of no-return policies…

Before you buy anything, read the return policy and keep your receipts! The week after Black Friday is notorious for people returning goods that they bought on a whim.

Some items cannot be returned. In other cases, a penalty is imposed if the item was opened. And some stores won’t give you a cash refund, only a store credit.

If you know what you want, research the price, stick to your budget and read the fine print, you’ll do well this Black Friday. Good luck!