The Black Friday sales weekend starts on 23 November and runs for up to five days for some retailers, offering off-the-charts savings across all retail categories. For shoppers, this is a highly competitive time – bagging the best deals requires forethought and a military-style strategy.
Julie-Anne Walsh, chief marketing officer at takealot.com says, “Takealot – an online megastore – and fast-fashion retailer superbalist.com will both be offering massive discounts. We want all our customers to have the best chance of getting their wishlist items and there are definitely some very clever strategies that they can employ to bag the best deals.”
Follow these tips from the Takealot group and veteran Black Friday shoppers to bag the best deals on Black Friday weekend:
If you are shopping online, set your alarm for 11:30pm on Thursday 22 November
Most sales start as the clock strikes 12. Takealot’s starts at 12.01am, so make sure you have data. Go to bed early and set a few alarms. By the time the rest of the world wakes up, you would have already done your shopping.
“I sound like a bit of a shopaholic, maybe a bit crazy too, but two years ago I was kicked out of a site and lost all my products, so I had to devise a plan. Set your alarm for 11:30pm (the night before Black Friday) so by 12, you’re the first on site for the best specials,” says Zuhaa, an account manager.
Teamwork is key
“I created a WhatsApp group with my friends (we all have a list of what everyone wants to buy), so whoever gets online first buys for everyone. Then we just pay that person back. You need to get creative and resourceful to get what you want on Black Friday – the competition is fierce and you want to win,” says Bukelwa, a mom of two with another baby on the way.
“Make sure you have a shopping buddy or two, or three. Each person should be dedicated to one site. Last year my mom was on Takealot.com and got everything we all needed, while I was on superbalist.com and my sister did spree.co.za,” says Zuhaa.
“When I was a student, my friends and I used to do Black Friday World of Warcraft multiplayer gamer-style. They’d come to my apartment with laptops and dongles. We’d all have a list of what everyone wanted. My roommate and I would move our mattresses into the living room to make one big bed and camp out until 12am, refreshing our browsers. That way, one of us was bound to make it onto the site first and buy the things we all needed,” says content producer, Bianca.
Create a wish list so you can check out ASAP on the day
The prices may change on goods for Black Friday, but the goods will already be there. Go online, create your wish list in advance and when the sale starts, quickly go to your list, see which items are marked down enough and press go to the checkout to beat your shopping competitors to the bargain.
Klyne Maharaj, head of brand at superbalist.com, says a wish list is your best 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.”
Do your homework
Get your hands on as many newsletters and flyers as you can and follow all the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of all your beloved retailers. Monitor their bargains closely. From early November, retailers will start to release their Black Friday weekend specials. Start your plotting and planning as early as possible and draw up a plan of action.
Have a plan of action on Black Friday
Some of your purchases may be in the real world and some in cyberspace. A good plan is to start with cyberspace early and then head off to the physical shops once you’ve done the calm and peaceful online shopping. Chances are, once you’ve been involved in a three-person scrum over the last Christmas turkey in the supermarket, you may only be capable of heading home and lying down.
Make sure your details are up-to-date
If you are shopping online, you won’t want to be wasting time updating your details while everyone around checks out with what should have been your items. It is worth logging into the sites you love before Black Friday and checking your delivery and payment details are 100% accurate.
Get the app
Download the app for your favourite online retailers early. This will allow you to browse much faster and they’ll also send you push notifications of the big discounts to look out for. Plus, some retailers offer app-only deals.
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 terms and conditions in advance to make sure that any purchases made on the spur of the moment can be returned.
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 that the expensive festive season is coming up, so you’ll need a bit left over for this!
“It is always good to draw up a list to make sure you get what you need so that you avoid over-spending,” says Bukelwa.
Have you heard of waitlist?
“Missed out on your size? Is the piece you’ve been eyeing in someone else’s cart? Hope’s not lost – this is just where the waitlist function comes in. Waitlist that baby and keep your eye on the prize: when that notification slides into your inbox to let you know that you’re first in line again, you’ve only got a few minutes to make it yours,” says Klyne.
A few last tips:
- Load gift vouchers ahead of time so you can 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 as there is a waiting period before approval.
Visit takealot.com and superbalist.com to start planning your Black Friday shopping and don’t forget to download their apps to get access to pre-Black Friday sales, app-only deals and lots of sneak previews.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.