10 hacks on shopping wisely this Black Friday

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Woman doing Black Friday shopping.
Woman doing Black Friday shopping.
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It’s the biggest shopping day of the year for many retailers and a chance to get good deals for consumers but if not planned for properly, Black Friday, which is on 26 November, can leave you with a lot of financial problems such as debt and falling victim to cyber-crimes.

Shafeeqah Isaacs, head of financial education at specialist loan provider, DirectAxis, says that while Black Friday may provide an opportunity to pick up some good deals ahead of the festive season, this shouldn’t be at the expense of your financial well-being.

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“There’s a great quote that’s attributed to various people including Hollywood stars, a comedian and financial planners: ‘We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like’ This Black Friday, don’t be that person,” Isaacs tells TRUELOVE.

Head of emerging solutions at TransUnion Africa, Davina Myburgh, warns that fraudsters and scammers are working extra hard this time of the year to steal identities or scam unsuspecting victims.

“Our research shows that online fraud and identity theft against both businesses and consumers are booming. Criminals are constantly looking for new ways to steal your identity, and we have to be more vigilant than ever to make sure we don’t fall victim to one of these scams,” says Myburgh.

Here are 10 expert tips to help you keep safe and spend wisely this Black Friday.

Stick to trusted sites for online shopping

Make sure that there’s an “https” in the web address and an icon of a locked padlock on the left side of the URL (‘s’ stands for secure and means the site can be trusted).

Plan your purchases

Assessing your needs and making a list of items for your Black November wish-list is an effective way to ensure that you are spending wisely and focusing on your needs.

 

Track the price

Game’s 2021 consumer research shows that 75% of consumers continue to track the price of items they have already purchased. This savvy spending habit will serve you well when comparing prices and deals from different retailers to ensure you are saving as much as possible on your wish-list items.

 

Don’t buy it if you can’t afford it

Work out how much you can afford to spend and stick to that budget. If you can’t get what you need within the budget, then you can’t afford it now and will have to save until you can. Always protect your credit rating and avoid going into debt unnecessarily.

“Your credit score tells everyone – from landlords to credit providers – how financially responsible you are. It’s worth thinking about the potential long-term consequences before going on a Black Friday binge,” says Isaacs.

Read More| The secret to financial freedom

 

Be cyber-aware

Crooks are equally excited about Black Friday. Shop on legitimate sites (look for a padlock icon preceding the website URL), read customer reviews, and always protect your personal financial information.

 

Be salary savvy

Instead of waiting for 26 November and solely using your November salary to pay for Black Friday purchases – shop smart with both your October and November salaries by taking advantage of the deals offered throughout the month of November.

 

Sign up for savings

Signing up for retailer newsletters is another way to ensure you remain up-to-date with all the Black November deals on offer – with some retailers, like Game, offering an exclusive sneak peak of the available deals to subscribers.

 

Buy the brands you know

Big brands are usually well prepared for Black Friday. They have the stock, IT and back-office systems in place to make sure their customers aren’t disappointed. They comply with the Consumer Protection Act and will have policies and procedures in place to deal with returns or damaged goods. Don’t forget that scammers and con-artists are also looking to cash in on the hype around Black Friday, which is another good reason to stick with recognised brands.

 

Avoid bad debt

Store and credit cards enable you to buy items that you could not afford with a single payment. Paying your instalments timeously shows you are a responsible borrower, which is good for your credit score. However, avoid being saddled with debt at high interest rates. Opt for interest-free plans wherever possible, and be sure to pay the full credit card amount, or store card instalment, every month.

Think beyond Black Friday

The festive season comes soon after Black Friday and it’s typically a time when people spend more than usual. If you max out your credit card at the end of November, you may have a miserable December holiday. Also consider that many businesses pay their employees early in December. If you haven’t planned ahead, this can make for a very long January, especially if you have school-going children. Remember that they only go back to school at the end of January, and you may have to pay for new uniforms, books, school fees and transport.

 

 

 

 

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