By TKay Nthebe
Everyone loves a good sale, especially on items we’ve wanted for a while. It is extremely hard to ignore the energy and festivities as many stores prepare for Black Friday, from promotional materials, adverts and in-store activations. In fact, a few big stores have changed it to “Black November”, allowing consumers to buy selected items at lower prices throughout the month.
While it’s exciting to buying everything at a discount, it is important for us to have a solid strategy as we rush to our favourite stores this Black November, so we spend wisely. So, where do you start?
- Prepare mentally
Let’s start with preparing ourselves mentally. Many people LOVE a sale! Preparing ourselves mentally – “What do I need?” “What spending limits am I putting in place” “What controls or boundaries do I need not to overspend” is important. If you are not prepared, you run the risk of buying things you do not need, simply because they are on sale.
- Plan, have a shopping list and compare prices
With the right mindset checked off, the next step is to prepare a shopping list and do research before going shopping. Write down a list of all the items you want to buy, identify their original cost, and identify which stores have stock available.
Why is this important?
The truth is NOT everything will be on sale. By so doing, you will have a benchmark to determine which items are in fact on sale and how much the markdown/discount is on the selected it. As soon as you’ve done this, the next step will be to compare prices across different stores, so that you get the best deal.
- Shop online, avoid cues and avoid being scammed
The reality is that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic. Taking care of your safety should always be a priority, which includes avoiding crowded spaces and social distancing. Technology has made it convenient for you to do shopping from the comfort of your own home. A significant number of retail stores now allow consumers to shop online. So why not take advantage of this innovation, shop online, have the item delivered to you, while staying safe?
It is, however, very important for you to be vigilant while transacting online because fraudsters also take advantage of the hype around online shopping to scam people. Here are few tips to consider:
- Make sure the web page is secure.
- Never give out sensitive information online.
- Never click on unsecure links or open e-mails that look suspicious.
- Use digital payment platforms
Financial services providers (FSP), FinTech companies and mobile network operators (MNO) have launched digital financial services (DFS), allowing consumers to make payments using digital platforms such as internet banking, mobile banking, and mobile wallets. Save time and use these platforms to transact conveniently and minimise the use of cash where possible. Similarly, always be vigilant when transacting online.