Durban - On Friday, hundreds of people are expected to head to their local shopping centres to cash in on Black Friday 'deals'. For some, they have been marking supermarket catalogues while others have already marked out space in their lounges for the new 55" TVs.
Stockpiling queen and social justice activist, Ncumisa Ndelu, has warned shoppers to consider the good, the bad, the ugly and the nasty before spending thousands of their hard-earned Rands.
Ndelu founded the 1 Family 1 Stockpile Facebook group, which has more than 397 000 members and shares insightful money-saving tips and financial advice for women.
"It’s literally the eve of the shopping phenomenon that has become a part of our lives. We are a few hours away from Black Friday when we tend to lose our minds to chase bargains. Before we completely lose it, let’s look at the good, the bad, the ugly and the nasty of the shopping frenzy, so we can better prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally," Ndelu says.
“Without a doubt, there are good bargains on Black Friday. Some prices do go to their lowest levels compared to the rest of the year. One can score some good deals on household items and gifts for friends and family if you do your research ahead of time and have a proper plan before leaving the house,” she says.
Ndelu says this includes going through adverts online, drawing shopping lists, determining routes and allocating the necessary budget.
She adds that the other benefit of Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend is providing temporary jobs and a little extra income for retail employees, who need to provide for their families.
“Not all deals are real!! Prices may go further down closer to Christmas, so be mindful of that. There’s also the question of quality! Some items may be cheaper, but please consider quality as the price may be determined by the quality being poorer than the normal item you purchase during the year,” Ndelu warns.
She says Black Friday is literally four weeks from Christmas, and retailers may be looking to clear their shelves and make space for Christmas stock.
According to Ndelu, the frenzy surrounding Black Friday triggers all kinds of emotions. She says this poses a serious danger to your bank balance as it may lead to overspending.
“Emotional shopping can make you forget your best-laid plans, lists and budgets, so please make sure you are mentally prepared before leaving home!! Consider bringing cash and avoid swiping because spending money you can’t see is so much easier,” she says.
As for the nasty, Ndelu says Black Friday tends to draw crowds and leads to long queues as people vie for the same items.
“Remember, Covid-19 is still with us. Avoid crowds or protect yourself and others if you must go out. The last thing you want is leaving your home to shop and come back with Covid-19,” she says.
“And finally, remember retailers want your money so bad that Black Friday is no longer a weekend. It starts an entire week before the actual day and ends well into December, so there’s really no need to rush anywhere! Shopping online is an option, as long as you remain disciplined and stick to your plan and budget,” she advises.