Tips for consumers ahead of Black Friday rush

As prices drop, consumers will stock up ahead of the festive season, but have been advised to spend wisely.

As prices drop, consumers will stock up ahead of the festive season, but have been advised to spend wisely.

Published Nov 23, 2023


Durban — Thousands of consumers will be swarming to stores nationwide to try to obtain bargains ahead of Black Friday.

As prices drop, consumers will stock up ahead of the festive season, but have been advised to spend wisely.

The National Consumer Commission (NCC) said, “While the Consumer Protection Act protects the rights of consumers, we encourage them to practice caution when transacting with suppliers, to always do their research and, most importantly, to understand their consumer rights.”

The NCC said no matter how internet or business-savvy one was, there were key aspects to consider when transacting online or in-store:

• Price: You need to know prices. Some suppliers can claim that an item is offered at a discounted price, but when you do your calculations, you realise you are actually paying more.

• Sell-by date: It is important to always look for this detail, as some suppliers are trying to get rid of old stock.

• Counterfeit goods: Know your brands. Scammers are wising up; they can claim to be selling the original brand.

• The site itself: Some websites look professional at first glance, but scammers are not always so careful about the “About us” or “FAQ” page. Check these sections and make sure you look at the delivery details and note where the company is based – does it match up with the company’s details? Also, look at the delivery options – less reputable sites will not bother with this.

• Return and Privacy Policies: These should be clear if it is a reputable site. A bona fide seller should provide an option of how to cancel orders and where to return goods. Scammers will not usually invest the time to craft a clear, strong privacy policy, so if there is not one on the website, be warned.

• Check the web address: Impersonation of a brand’s website and what is referred to as “cybersquatting” are on the rise.

• Online marketplaces: Even if the marketplace itself is a brand you know, check reviews of the seller.

• Terms and conditions: Some suppliers say items on special cannot be returned. You need to know such conditions beforehand.

• Proof of transaction: Make sure that you keep your proof of transactions/receipts in case you need to return the goods purchased.

• Payment gateway: Verifying the payment gateway before transacting will ensure that you understand their terms and conditions and refund policies.

“If it is too good to be true, it is too good to be true,” they said.

Dawie Roodt, chief economist at Efficient Group, said it was important for consumers to budget.

“During this time of year there are real bargains to be had because businesses usually follow one of two strategies – high turnover with small margins and the other is low turnover with high margins. Most businesses will follow the first strategy.

“As individuals, we need to decide what is needed. There is no problem spoiling yourself, but make sure you have budgeted for it. Make sure you can afford it,” he said.

Roodt also noted that there are some businesses that do try to catch people out.

National spokesperson of the Spar Group, Mpudi Maubane, spoke on what the retailer expects this Black Friday.

She said, “The Spar Group can confirm that we are ready and well-prepared to deliver a fulfilling shopping experience for our customers over the Black Friday and Christmas shopping period.

“Last year, Black Friday sales exceeded our projections and even surpassed the numbers from the previous year. We anticipate further growth this year as we focus our special offers on everyday grocery essentials.”

Maubane added that the Spar Group remains committed to offering the very best deals to shoppers and encouraged consumers to watch the press and social media channels for all the details on deals as they become available.

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