It’s a new year, but the rules of the game haven’t changed – early bird catches the worm! By now, everyone knows about Black Friday and many of us are waiting for specific deals to sink our teeth into – perhaps a new TV or a holiday to somewhere new? With that in mind, there is even tougher competition to get to the front of the line (or online queue) first, which is why being prepared matters now more than ever. Here are 13 tips to help you get that deal.

online shopping

Black Friday is on 27 November 2020.

1. Start planning early

Troll local news and blog sites for lists of retailers offering Black Friday deals. Bookmark those retailer’s websites, download their apps and follow them on social media for updates. Also note store opening times, stock availability, and in-store/online restrictions.

2. Create a shopping list

Prioritise your must-have items, but remember to add more in case some items are already sold out by the time you reach the front of the queue.

3. Set up a budget

Don’t shop on impulse – only buy what you can afford and remember to research payment options in advance. In 2019, IOL reported that average transactional value per basket was R1,409, and that the industry experienced as 35% year-on-year growth in sales. What will South Africans spend in 2020?

4. Shop with friends to find deals

When shopping in-store, split up your team to different stores and sections to cover more ground. You can also do this online by adding items to a friend’s wishlist or cart in advance (and vice versa).

5. Sign up for newsletters

Take advantage of sign-up promotions and stay in the loop with exclusive Black Friday deal alerts. If you’re into photography, sign up to the Outdoorphoto Newsletter special alerts on great camera and lens deals.

6. Look out for pre-sales

Retailers, and more specifically niche online shops, are launching Black Friday sales earlier and earlier each year, taking up most of the month, hence the adage Black November.

7. Plan your shopping trip

Plan your routes first by store and then by product of importance. Also, leave small children at home for safety reasons. IOL reported that in 2018, the most card swipes were between 4pm and 5pm, and the second highest at half past midnight.

8. Shop online

Ditch the traffic and stampedes and shop online. It’s just so much easier shopping from the comfort of your own home and you can visit multiple stores at once.

9. Have a backup plan

The store may be busy or what you wanted is sold out, so have backup stores and items in mind before you start shopping.

10. Start early & shop till late

The early bird catches the worm, but many retailers also extend their hours during Black Weekend, so be sure to take note when planning your route.

11. Price check before you buy

Research pre-BF pricing and use online price comparison tools as not everything is really the deal it pretends to be.

12. Know the return policy

Understand the return policies and fees, and make sure you get a receipt. Also look out for options to collect in-store after shopping online, if you prefer.

13. Stay safe & keep calm

Avoid unsafe situations and sketchy websites. Wear comfortable clothes, get a good night’s sleep, and replenish your energy with food and water.