Black Friday is a relatively new phenomenon in South Africa. In the lead-up to what is now SA’s largest shopping event, Moneyweb reporter Aarti Bhana asked me for tips to help shoppers make the most of the promotional event.
Online shopping is gaining real momentum in SA, with some projecting that it will overtake in-person shopping for certain categories. While that may be true, I am a firm believer that there is place for both in-store and online shopping experiences. Some items are best bought over the counter while others delivered to either your home or office.
As a seasoned American shopper, I provided the following suggestions to SA consumers ahead of black Friday:
- Curb you credit card enthusiasm – For last minute temptation buys, don’t simply reach for your credit card. Think about how you would want to start the New Year – with a clean financial slate or looking at debt management and debt consolidation options?
- Give your wish list a reality check – manage your kids’ expectations when it comes to their wish lists. A survey done by US asset company, T Rowe, showed that many parents dipped into their retirement or emergency funds after overspending on their kids’ gifts. At least 53% of respondents agreed that they would get everything on their kids’ list, no matter the cost.
- Opt for a gift card – A gift card is a quick and easy way of gifting someone. Most retailers, whether online or traditionally offer gift vouchers. A gift card offers more choice to the person, compared to buying them something like clothes or shoes. A survey done by shopping site Splender, showed that these were items most likely to be returned.
- Secret Santa can be super – adapting the Secret Santa tradition can drastically reduce your gifting budget. Each person chooses one member of the family to buy a gift for, instead of buying for each person. Everyone agrees to spend the same amount of money.
- An expensive month is around the corner – December is the most popular spending month. While January is an expensive month. It requires new spending, especially for parents who need to pay for school uniforms and school fees. Consider the coming months, and save accordingly.
- Be safe – Online shopping is a growing sector, if you are shopping online, ensure you are buying from a reputable retailer with a credible payment service. It is high-tide for phishing and financial fraud, be wary of your purchases.
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