What is Black Friday?
It’s funny how some American traditions make their way to New Zealand and some don’t. Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here but Trick or Treating for kids on Halloween gets bigger and bigger each year, and is becoming part of Kiwi life. Black Friday is firmly an American institution yet is getting more attention in NZ as the years roll by. But what is Black Friday?
To understand Black Friday, you need to know about Thanksgiving. This is a countrywide American holiday where traditionally families get together, eat turkey, and offer gratitude for all the blessings in their life, and is celebrated on a Thursday at the end of November. As it falls on a Thursday, many people take the next day off to have a longer holiday, and to start their Christmas shopping. This is where Black Friday comes in: it is the name given to the Friday that falls after Thanksgiving, and in 2019 Black Friday is on Friday 29th November.
In America, shops were quick to catch on to the trend of kick-starting the Christmas season, and to get people through the doors started advertising massive Black Friday Sales. Looking to copy this extra sales bonanza, New Zealand stores have followed suit. In the next few weeks you will be bombarded with TV, internet and radio ads telling you to come on down and grab a bargain. But is it a good idea to start spending?
Black Friday bargains
Can you ignore a bargain? Even extra big bargains for a limited time only? Be honest, how often have you bought something because it is on sale then regretted it later? Don’t feel bad -this isn’t about being lousy with money. This is about clever sales techniques that get all of us at some time or another. The human brain is actually hard-wired to respond to promotions and limited time offers.
Add to this that as savvy shoppers here in NZ, we are used to buying everyday things like groceries on special or on sale. Not all bargain hunting is bad news. Looking for deals is sensible and can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Check out https://pricespy.co.nz/theme/black-friday which can help you compare stores to get the best possible price. Black Friday deals tend to be the big box items like electronics, TVs, laptops, kitchen appliances and clothing. Smaller local retailers can find it hard to compete with the kind of offers the massive nationwide stores can promote. But there are always things to be mindful of when you are bargain hunting, even on Black Friday.
Black Friday tips
- Don’t believe the hype! All shops want to entice you in to spend your money. How many times have you seen an advert for a big box store that tells you it has the ‘best bargains’, ‘lowest sale price EVER’ or the ‘best deals available now!’? Try and resist the urge to shop unless you actually need to. Remember a lot of the hype is just a sales technique to get you hooked and that a bargain isn’t a bargain unless it something you will actually use. Black Friday definitely encourages over-spending by acting like a holiday when really it is just another shopping day.
- Make a list. Black Friday does come very handily in the run up to Christmas. It could be that you are on the lookout for something particular for the family for the holidays anyway. Perhaps you need a new washing machine as the old one has finally given up. In this situation making of list of what you need and had already planned to purchase comes in handy. Use a site like https://pricespy.co.nz/ to help you discover what really is a good price, for the things you already knew you needed. This way you don’t get stuck with that amazingly cheap donut maker.
- Check the fine print. This is good advice for most situations and definitely when it comes to Black Friday deals. One retailer trick is to heavily advertise a stand-out amazing deal, like a big flat screen TV for a super cheap price. This encourages heaps of people to flock to the store. Sometimes the shops even need security guards to control the crowds. The catch? The stores only have a very limited amount of stock of that cheap TV. You and everyone else who wasn’t the first in line is then surrounded by other stuff at bargain prices you don’t need but are being tempted to buy.
- Hold out for Cyber Monday. Black Friday might be new to you but there are plenty of other opportunities to spend your hard-earned money- like Singles Day, Small Business Saturday, Green Monday and Giving Tuesday coming here from America and China. Keeping track of all these days is pretty confusing; but Cyber Monday is actually worth taking note of. It is the Monday after Black Friday, and is an online version so you don’t need to leave the house. This makes it much easier to resist temptation or search for the best price.
- Do something outside with the family instead. This might seem like an odd tip for Black Friday but making memories with loved ones feels better than owning things. Doing something for free together with your family beats buying the newest phone or TV. Even American brands are re-thinking the mad rush to encourage people to spend spend spend! One store closes each Black Friday and wants its staff and customers to go out and help the environment.
Whatever you end up doing this Black Friday- ignoring it, getting a great price on a needed item or best of all spending time with your family, just remember to have fun!