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6 Tips to Survive the Black Friday sales period and shop responsibly

6 Tips to Survive the Black Friday sales period and shop responsibly

Where has this year gone?!

With the calendar about to click over to November, I thought it might be a good time to talk about the crazy sales period that is now upon us.

But instead of talking about what we have to offer, I really just wanted to offer some tips to handle this hyper-consumerist period, particularly given it is such a tricky time with the cost of living impacting many of us.

There's a lot of businesses in the eco space that choose to not participate in Black Friday - and I totally get why. It's a really tough time in this retail recession. For us, it's a really good time to try and sell through some older stock and I also love being able to offer our most loyal customers first dibs on the best prices out there.

What I don't like about the Black Friday mayhem, is where a lot of useless stuff is sold to some people who don't really need it and who may already be suffering financial strain.

So I just wanted to share some top tips generally about what I've learned over the years from Black Friday sales.

6 Tips to Make the Most of Black Friday

  1. The number one - and most important - point I want to make is don't treat Black Friday/Cyber Monday as a matter of life or death. That might sound a little extreme when it is really only shopping but I know myself as a customer, I get bombarded with emails telling me about so many "once in a lifetime" sales, it's hard not to feel the panic. Now let me into a little secret as a retailer - particularly in this retail recession - there is never a "once in a lifetime deal". Australia's retail calendar these days means most businesses are having a sale generally every second month. So if you can't afford or don't need that thing right now - don't buy it - wait until the next sales period.

  2. Take a little time early November to think about what you actually need. And to do this, put down your phone and close your laptop and pick up a good old fashioned pen. Now spend a little time thinking and looking around your house and write a "top ten" list (or more or less) of the things you believe you need and maybe add an extra two things of what you'd like to pamper yourself with. (Let's face it, we all DESERVE a bit of pampering right now).

  3. Now open your online banking and really take in the numbers and start assigning a realistic budget to what you want to spend during Black Friday. As a business owner of ten years, I cannot convey enough how knowing your numbers is so important, particularly if you are buying things with your credit card - if you can't pay it back, then the interest will easily wipe any savings that you've made with the discount.

  4. Now that you have your list of things you want to buy and have allocated a budget - take some time on the internet to hunt out the brands you love and the products your are looking for and sign up to their email lists - a lot of brands have Early Bird access and further discounts for email subscribers. Generally brands these days will offer 25% site-wide discounts for Black Friday with further reductions on stock that they really want to move so you can already get a rough idea of what those items on your wish list are going to cost. If you really want to make sure, there's no harm in emailing the brand about what they will be offering for Black Friday. Most businesses should be upfront.

  5. While there check out their free shipping threshold and get a rough idea of what you will need to spend after the discount to ensure you still reach that free shipping threshold. No one wants to pay for shipping but it is a big cost for retailers and that free shipping threshold is the sweet spot where they can offer free shipping and still make money no matter what the discount you have been given. If you do this now, you won't be unnecessarily adding products not on your list to your cart during the sale to reach the free shipping threshold.

  6. Having done all the work on what you need - now is also a good time to spend sometime on thinking about all the things you don't need. It is the perfect time to make room for your new things by clearing out the old. That dress or kitchen utensil that you bought in the last sales that is now hardly used might get much more use by another person. There is usually a charity out there that will most gladly take it or you could even make some money by putting it on a marketplace, which you can then put towards the sales. And if that piece of clothing or thing isn't good enough to be sold or donated, then I'd encourage you take a moment to reassess its value. Was it really worth purchasing now that it's very likely going in the bin. Take that thought and go back to your list of what you want to buy and maybe buy the version that's a little bit better quality (you'll still be getting it at a bargain price) so it has a better chance of being used for longer and not ending up in landfill.

    Soapy hugs,
    Emma xx
    Emma pouring oil to make soap