5 Top Tips for All Your No-Fuss Black Friday Shopping

It’s already November, and the ads for the annual Black Friday 2019 specials are displayed everywhere! This day in the annual calendar marks spending of epic proportions and usually kicks off the holiday shopping season even in South Africa.  Never one for shopping in malls or overcrowded shops, I’ve always favoured online shopping with delivery. It’s convenient, I’m not frustrated by long queues or afraid that my toddler might get lost, abducted or throw a tantrum for some toy or chocolate that is displayed right by the checkout line. I don’t have to drive so there’s no fight for parking close to the mall entrance or the constant buckling up of children when they must get in and out of their safety seats. Any mom would second me here that it’s a skill and a task best left to days when you are on vacation, relaxed and have absolutely no schedule or deadlines to keep in mind.

Shopping Online is an Acquired Skill

Despite all the benefits online shopping offers South Africans still prefer malls for their biggest shopping spends. I believe it’s because they are still a bit scared of being defrauded when shopping online. A type of fear of the ‘virtual unknown’. So, I decided to shed some light on this topic so that my virtual assistant colleagues who are planning to fill up on their technology during Black Friday can navigate any possible pitfalls successfully. Not to mention my clients shopping for their year-end gifts!

My Top 5 Check Points for Making Sure You Get the Best Deals:

Plan Your Purchases

I probably don’t need to say any more… or do I? You will be surprised how easy it is to overspend when the 60% discount banner is flashing in front of every website and online shop you open. That’s why it’s essential to determine upfront what you are looking for and how much you are willing to spend on the day’s purchases. Especially if your thinking of purchasing expensive items like electronics.

Shop Online

The most important piece of advice when it comes to online shopping? Makes sure to buy only from reputable shops. Ask for recommendations from friends and family and choose well-known brands until you can identify new reputable online retailers for yourself. Avoid the stampedes by registering a profile on your online shop of choice. Try to do this at least a week before the actual day. The reason is that you still need time to search and compare similar products. Not all retailers offer the same discount and it makes no sense to buy the first discounted product you see just to realize afterwards you could have saved an extra R1,000 on that same product.

Make a Wish List

Use the retailer’s online option to put certain items in your checkout basket or if they offer the functionality, create a wish list to store your favourite items in during your week of research. Now remember many retailers only display their discounted merchandise at 12 am when the online shops open so you may not know which of your favourite products are on sale. What I did last year when I wanted to buy some of my favourite expensive sandals was to choose which ones I liked beforehand and I stored them in my checkout basket.

Set the Clock for Eleven Thirty pm

At this point it would be noteworthy to tell you that my husband just raised his eyebrows at me when I told him I would be getting up at 11h30 that night to finalize my purchases. Well needless to say, never has a man under-estimated the powerful attraction of shoes on sale more than at that moment. When my alarm went off, I ran to the kitchen for a strong cup of coffee and by the time the online shops went live at midnight I simply opened my basket to see which of my favourites were on special and which weren’t. The shoes that were still full price were deleted within seconds and my checkout and payment completed within the next 5 min.

Use Comparison Tools

At this point I want to impose a few words of wisdom on those of you not yet comfortable with online shopping.  Just because someone flashes an ‘ON SALE’ or ‘MASSIVE DISCOUNT’ sign at you doesn’t mean the item is really a great deal. You need to shop around, know your prices – the normal prices and compare these with the ‘promotional’ price. So, if you’re not a seasoned online shopper, compare prices first. If it’s not a great deal – then don’t buy it! The numbers never lie, and you can eliminate any emotional spending before it rears its head.

Bringing it Together

There are really some amazing deals to be had every year, but the secret is to be a smart shopper. You can use Black Friday deals to purchase your family’s Christmas gifts, your holiday reading list or technology and electronics for your business. What you buy is up to you, but hopefully the ‘how to do it effectively’ is less daunting after reading today’s blog. Happy shopping everyone!