Bargain hunters reveal top tips for Black Friday sales
It may have been a Thanksgiving leftover from the US, but Australians have embraced Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales like never before. In fact, Aussies are set to drop $1.7bn during the long weekend shopping frenzy, which represents the last chance to nab a bargain before Christmas.
"It has become the second-biggest sales period of the year after the Boxing Day sales," Kate Browne of finder.com.au says. "But it doesn't matter how good the deal is if you are buying something you don't need, don't want or can't afford.
"Consumer psychologists report it is far easier to spend online or using contactless payment than it is to use cash.
"When you spend using cash it registers in your brain as pain, but when you shop online or using contactless payment or a payment plan option, it doesn't register as pain, which is an interesting psychological phenomenon."
Canna Campbell is a financial planner and author, and says bargain hunters can make the most of the Black Friday deals by being prepared.
"The sales period can be a great way to save if you are prepared and have done a little research," she says. "Have a list ready of the things you want or need and do your research to find out what items usually cost. And have a budget.
"It's when we are not prepared that we overspend and panic buy."
Campbell uses these sales not only to buy Christmas presents at reduced prices, but presents for the whole year ahead.
"If you are organised, you can use these sales to buy birthday presents for the whole year," she says.
"I have a gift cupboard and I buy things like the Crayola art kits, which are great for a wide age range and are gender neutral, as well as things like scented candles for adult presents.
"It sounds like a time-consuming endeavour now, but think of all the time you will save throughout the year popping out each time you have to buy a kid's birthday present or a little gift for a friend or family member."
Whether you're buying a year's worth of presents in one go, both Campbell and Browne say you are always best going into a sale - either online or in person - with a plan and a list.
Impulse buys and mindless shopping will always cost you in the end, they say.
Originally published as Bargain hunters reveal top tips for Black Friday sales