It's no secret that shopping on Black Friday can get overwhelming.
Most people go into Black Friday with an idea of what they need, but end up leaving with large bags full of unplanned items and an empty wallet. Failing to do your due diligence and falling for scams can actually end up costing you more money than you'll save on Black Friday.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes that will cost you money while you're shopping on Black Friday, on 23 November.
Arguably the most important thing you can do before Black Friday is doing research in order to make sure that the deal being offered is actually a deal.
First, don't get distracted by low prices and flashy coupons. Secondly, double check to see if the product is actually what you need and has the capabilities that you desire before running out to purchase the item. You'll definitely feel silly if you wake up in the wee hours of the morning to buy a certain product only to later find out that it was cheaper elsewhere all the time.
Unfortunately, Black Friday is the perfect opportunity for scammers to trick customers. Your email and WhatsApp may be flooded with coupons and deals from your favourite stores, but sometimes you may be lured into a trap from unknown retailers. Avoid links on social media from unreliable retailers and stay away from "too good to be true" deals.
It happens to someone almost every year: You rush out for that R2,000 dream television to learn it's already sold out. It's possible the retailer only had a handful to begin with, and then direct you to more expensive TVs that are lesser quality. This is known as the bait-and-switch. Don't fall for it! If they don't have the deal you came for, it's sometimes better to leave empty-handed.
Sometimes there's a reason why technology is being marked down so drastically. Typically, it's because the discounted price is on older models, and retailers are getting you to buy outdated tech.
Check to see if the product is actually worth the money. Also, don't forget to research if any upgrades are happening within the next few months. That deal on an iPhone may not make sense if a newer model comes out next month.
Instead of looking for the lowest prices, you should be looking for the greatest value. Remember, retailers are trying to distract you with numbers and flashy advertisements. Don't get tricked into buying something just because it's cheap. You'll be unnecessarily spending money on items you don't need, and in the end, you'll be spending even more.
Despite your planning and research, you may be confronted with a great deal that you weren't expecting. The best way to decide whether buying the product is worth it or not is by using a price comparison app. PriceCheck is a great option to compare prices and make sure you are getting the best deal. Google Shopping is another simple way to check prices.
Stick to the brands that you know and trust. Don't be persuaded to buy a knock-off item just because the deal is better. It will save you money in the long run.
You must be strategic when shopping on Black Friday. It is not the time to window shop and ponder what to get everyone in your family. Know exactly what you need and where you need to purchase it from. It helps if you map out which stores you need to go to and in what order. Making an itemised list and detailed schedule before you leave your house will save you a headache later.
Store employees are there to help, so use them to your advantage. Not only do they know the best deals, but they also know where every product is in the store. When the store is crowded with hundreds – if not thousands – of Black Friday shoppers, the employees can help you navigate.
Although sales last all day long on Black Friday, the best deals are early in the morning, as many are only as long as supplies last.
The earlier you wake up and get in line, the bigger your chances of snagging the best deals and saving hundreds of rands.
Remember that the deals don't end on Black Friday. Save money for Cyber Monday, where you can get bargains at big online retailers, especially electronics.
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