close up of black empty sale tag for black friday

From Black Friday and Cyber Monday to flat broke Tuesday

The biggest shopping phenomenon is here, and you better know what you’re in for if you are considering to take part in the spending mania. Be aware that various retailers are after your and other consumers’ hard-earned money.

You are probably already seeing the RED sale signs, but in many cases, you might soon also get to see your bank statement reflecting in the RED / minus digits. Are you, perhaps, a bit ignorant and expecting no dire aftereffect of Black Friday (27 November) and Cyber Monday’s (30 November) marketing gimmicks leading to excessive or impulsive spending on your part? What can you gain, financially, by taking part in these events? It has already been a hard and financial challenging year due to the entire Covid-19 ordeal. Buying extra furniture, a nice watch or various gifts on Friday, or a few tech gadgets on Monday can only make things worse. Yep, you’ll, unfortunately, be FLAT BROKE by Tuesday.

Carla Oberholzer, DebtSafe’s spokesperson and debt adviser, highlights that you and other South African consumers should take caution when it comes to the upcoming shopping hype. “Spending beyond your means can have devastating consequences, and ultimately lead to severe debt,” says Oberholzer.

Here are, therefore, five warnings why you should rather avoid Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping sprees. And, why taking part in these events is a BIG no-no for your pocket:

  1. Retailers often tend to fix prices or offer ‘deep discounts’ on various products and items on either Black Friday or Cyber Monday. You and other consumers can be lured into yet another marketing gimmick – when shop retailers make ‘discounts’ seem bigger than they are. Be careful of those ‘SALE’ signs. Sometimes a ‘SALE’ is NOT really a discount. Plus, this month has been referred to as ‘Black November’ – an entire month of sales to choose from. Please take caution.
  2. Due to the ‘pack mentality’ reality you get confronted with (the excitement, the online in logging, or waiting in ‘social distance queues’), you can easily get tricked into following and doing what others do – wait/hold your position, click/run, grab, duck, dive and shop ‘till you drop. What on earth will you be doing to your poor pocket?
  3. Since it can be difficult to trust yourself in these shopping situations, why not stay away from certain events/promotions instead? It has been a tough year for you and the rest of the South African consumers. Various buyers that were part of the 2018 and 2019 hype have confessed that they had no strategy before they started scrolling online or walked into the shops. Their impulsive and unplanned shopping expeditions landed them in trouble as they bought trollies full of stuff they did not need. Are you also guilty of taking part in former impulsive buys?
  4. Don’t be conformed to debt-filled consumer culture. DebtSafe’s 2020 research shows that almost 75% of consumers indicated that the Corona pandemic and lockdown period caused severe harm to their financial situations already. If you can also identify and have had the same experience as these individuals’ financial reality, why would you want to partake in extended shopping events near the end of this horrific year just to add more debt to your pile?
  5. The South African retail sector is ‘out for RED’ this time of year and, this does not only affect you or consumers in the metro provinces – various areas/locations are also being targeted.

Since these shopping events are fast approaching and right before Christmas, you can be sure to experience some sort of pressure. Take caution when wanting to take part in last-minute ‘bargains’. Stand firm, rather dodge debt, save your hard-earned money and avoid buyer’s remorse.

One final food for thought before you decide to rush online, jump in the car or perhaps join a Black Friday ‘according to social distance regulations’ queue’: “If you don’t need to buy an item at full price, you don’t need to buy it on a ‘sale’,”highlights Oberholzer.