#BlackFriday: Tips to make your experience easier

Image: 123RF/Dmitriy Shironosov

Black Friday is on November 23 this year and many of us are eager to take advantage of the discounts. For shoppers, this is a highly competitive time and bagging the best deals requires forethought and a military-style strategy – so to help them win at their Black Friday shopping, Mzansi’s top retailers gave us their top nine tips.

1. Come prepared

If you’re going to brave the malls, Menlyn Park shopping centre advises you to research the items you want, note how much they cost and learn which stores stock them. For a quick and easy Black Friday, get a copy of a mall map. Monitor bargains closely - retailers begin to release their Black Friday weekend specials from early November. Start your plotting and planning as early as possible and draw up a plan of action.

For online shoppers, most sales start as the clock strikes 12  - Takealot’s starts at 12.01. Ensure you get a good night’s rest and set a few alarms. Also make sure you have data and a good wi-fi connection.

Avid shopper and account manager Zuhaa Isaacs tells us setting an alarm will give you the edge.

“Set your alarm for 11.30pm the night before Black Friday, so that by 12, you’re the first on site for the best specials,” she says.

There’s no reason why you can’t shop in cyberspace and in the real world. Superbalist advises starting online first early and then heading out to the shops.

2. Dress appropriately

You will be walking and queuing more than usual at malls, so come in comfortable shoes and clothing.

3. Keep yourself well fuelled mentally and physically

Image: 123RF/Elizabeth Crego

No one knows the rush of black Friday better than Menlyn Mall which says it can feel like a marathon. Bring a water bottle and some snacks – such as nuts and dried fruit - to keep your energy levels up. Being patient will also help with fatigue. You are not the only one excited about Black Friday specials - stores will be packed and there will be long queues.

4. Make a wish list

If you are buying many items, make a list and order it in terms of what you need most.

According to Superbalist’s head of brand Klyne Maharaj, a wish list is your battle strategy for the big day.

 “Line up the pieces you like best and prepare to take them right to checkout when the time comes. Build your wish list now, so you're prepared on the day. It’s going to be carnage, so you don’t want to be browsing when half of SA is also online and trying to cart-jack you. Build that cart and move on!”

5. Leave the kids at home

According to Menlyn Mall children usually have fun at the mall but Black Friday means a lot of walking and queuing. Kids might get bored and tired, so leave them with a caregiver, if you can.

6. Teamwork makes the dream work          

Image: Maksym Yemelyanov/ 123RF

Experienced shopper Bukelwa Monqo says setting up groups and discussing potential purchases can be beneficial to those chasing the best deals.                

“I formed a WhatsApp group with my friends. Whoever gets online first already has a list of what everyone wants, so they buy for everyone. Then we just pay that person back,” she says.  

7. Do the necessary updates

You don’t want to be wasting time updating credit card and delivery details. Make sure they are correct before Black Friday. Take the time to download your favourite online retailers’ apps well in advance. This will help you track the discounts. Some retailers offer in-app-only deals.

8. Check in advance if you can return your purchases

Most outlets, both online and physical, will accept returns for Black Friday purchases but this is not a guarantee. It is worth checking the terms and conditions in advance to make sure anything you buy on the spur of the moment can be returned.

9. Set a budget

Decide ahead of time what you plan to spend on the Black Friday sales and stick to it. You could quickly find yourself shopping for Christmas 2018, 19 and 20 if you are not careful! Be responsible and remember the festive season is coming up and you’ll need a bit of money left over for this.

A few last Takealot tips:

  • Load gift vouchers ahead of time to enable you to check out quickly.
  • If you are buying a TV, you’ll need an up-to-date TV license account number on hand for the transaction to go through.
  • If you plan to buy a big-ticket item, such as a TV or fridge, and need credit to do this, apply for Mobi Cred ahead of time because there is a waiting period before approval.
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