Friday, the 25th of November 2022, is Black Friday in Zimbabwe. Despite South Africa being big on the Black Friday craze, Zimbabwe is still lagging behind with virtually no significant activity on Black Friday. Some Zimbabwean retailers have been offering Black Friday deals in the past couple of years. There are, of course, some prospects worth considering by retailers. I once did an article on how Zimbabweans businesses can take advantage of Black Friday. You can check it out to see how you can make money out of it. Today I want us to delve into a different subject, though. Let us discuss some shopping tips for you as a consumer on Black Friday.

Understand The Psychology Behind Black Friday Deals

All in all, understand that Black Friday deals are largely about profitability. Of course, there are Black Friday deals where the customer does benefit big. However, the lesser-appreciated truth is that most deals are not as beneficial. The reason why I am saying this is for you to be a critical thinker when shopping on Black Friday. So many psychological hacks are set in motion on Black Friday. Here is one of them: retailers can offer discounts on low-margin products. These might even be products you barely even need.

They can then offer tiny discounts on higher-margin products. You will then obviously be moved to purchase the low-margin products. In the process, though, you will be conditioned to end up purchasing the higher-margin products too. The end result is you will leave the outlet with stuff you might not even really need. Of which, they would have scored big on the retailer’s side. You must be wary of that. Black Friday deals are mostly designed to hack you so that you unnecessarily spend more psychologically. Put on your critical thinking cap and make smart choices.

The other interesting dynamic to consider is price versus the deal. Let us suppose the actual price of something is US$70. Then the display is inflated to US$100. Inflated prices are common in Zimbabwe; the price can even be inflated by more than 100 percent. Anyways, using the price of US$100, the outlet can offer a 30 percent discount as a Black Friday deal. They can say, “It was US$100, now reduced to US$70”. As a customer, you will think you are getting a discount; in reality, you are not. You are paying what you would have normally paid for it. You see, that is a psychological hack at play, and many can fall for it.

Do Not Neglect The Need To Stick To A Budget

Black Friday deals can be so alluring that you can spend more than necessary. I have seen this happening all too often – it is a trap. No matter how tempting it might become, you must diligently stick to your budget. This will save you from the pitfalls of impulse buying. If you do not have enough money as it is it would be wise not to set foot into business districts.

There is a certain pressure that will come from seeing specials and people shopping all over. Black Friday deals can last a day or a few days, and things get back to normal. The festive season will be upon you, and January 2023 will be fast approaching. Do not put yourself in a fix just because you stepped outside the boundaries of your budget. Spend frugally and only buy that which is objectively necessary.

I would even advise still doing rigorous comparisons before making any purchase. No doubt there might be Black Friday deals that will look so attractive. Regardless, you might find even better deals if you shop around enough. Consider negotiating or bargaining as well; some retailers might be open to that on Black Friday. The overall idea is to spend as little as possible so that you stick to your budget.

Cheap Is Not Always Worth It – Critically Analyse First

Understandably, we all seek to purchase the cheapest products. Especially in Zimbabwe, most people barely make ends meet. That is why there is always this desire to get the cheapest possible products. There usually are cheap deals on Black Friday that will draw you in. However, just because something is cheap does not always mean it is worth it. You need to understand that some retailers will use Black Friday to get rid of sub-standard products.

These can be products that have expired. It can be faulty products. Think of it this way; let us suppose some products or product was sourced many months back. Then the product(s) get expired along the way or may have been faulty. Given that prices have generally gone up over time, they would still be winning even if they offered discounts. This is because they would be placing a discount using current prices on something that was sourced for lesser. You would figure you are benefitting, but you will be getting something that really is not worth it. Watch out for these dynamics because they are usually at play on Black Friday.

Take these tips to heart as you step into the season of Black Friday deals. It is in your best interest that you be sober-minded and always think critically. The truth is most businesses are always out to profit, even if it is at your expense. That is not to say that all businesses are like that, no. This is just a way to prepare you for possible traps you might fall into during Black Friday if you put your guard down.