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With Black Friday sales expected to rise by 30% this year, Capitec Bank is encouraging consumers to rethink ill-informed swipes and see Black Friday for what it is – an opportunity for retailers to drive sales. 

Don’t be fooled into parting with your hard-earned cash for ‘fillers’ – those sneaky, slightly-discounted items that tempt credit cards just because they’re on sale. Rather approach Black Friday with eyes wide open, some solid research and a well thought through plan.

Francois Viviers, Executive of Marketing and Communications at Capitec, elaborates, “Black Friday can easily lure you into buying things you don’t need and haven’t budgeted for. Many sale items are also not significantly discounted to justify the hype. Avoid being a victim of Black Friday by drawing up a plan and only buying items you’ve been saving towards or have needed for a while. Be sure to also compare the regular price of the item with the discounted one to check that you’re really getting a bargain. If you need to take out credit to make a purchase ask yourself if the item will truly help you to live better, such as a new computer to earn extra income, and if the value you get from the purchase will outlast the loan repayment period.”

3 Black Friday insights.

On Black Friday, retailers have so-called door busters – those are the big-discount deals being advertised to get you into the shop or on their website – but the discounts on the majority of the products are much smaller. 

If you think Black Friday was planned for your benefit, think again. It’s intended to get you to spend money. Retailers have not reduced prices to be kind to you. Rather, it’s a chance to drive sales and increase profit before year end.

This is not your last or best chance for shopping. Ask yourself, ‘Will this purchase help me to live better and realise my dreams?’ Electronics, clothing and flashy accessories quickly become old, but a new computer for your business or a vehicle to transport your kids to school can stand the test of time.

Avoid being a victim

If you’ll be partaking in Black Friday to purchase items you need be sure to create a plan to avoid becoming a victim of impulsive spending or special offers that are merely smoke and mirrors.

Your plan should be based upon what you can realistically afford. Calculate your disposable income (the amount of money you have after you’ve paid all your bills and basic needs such as food and fuel) and assign a responsible portion of it to Black Friday.  Then, and only then, make a list of items you need that could be on sale and allocate a percentage of your Black Friday budget accordingly. 

Now, it’s time to do your homework. Research the regular prices of the items on your list. This will allow you to make quick assessments on the day of whether the Black Friday deals you see really are good. Most stores also advertise their Black Friday deals online beforehand. 

Viviers adds, “Keep a copy of your plan on your phone and reference it before making purchases on Black Friday. If you’re using credit for a purchase keep in mind that not all credit is created equal. Shop around beforehand and ensure you compare the total cost of credit, which includes things like credit insurance and additional monthly fees. While it may feel convenient to make payment with a store card, be careful, the interest rates are usually very high.”

PERSONAL FINANCE