Spend Responsibly and Cash in on End-Of-Year Black Friday Fever

09 February 2017

Black Friday, traditionally the day after Thanksgiving in America, is now seen as the unofficial start to the holiday shopping season.  This year, the day is set to fall on Friday 25 November.  In America, the celebration of discounted goods can be tracked back as early as the late 19th century with shoppers enjoying a significant price reduction on goods.

The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday dates back to the 1930’s where it was applied to the day after Thanksgiving in the US – widely regarded as the beginning of the Christmas season. As the term became more widespread in the 1960’s, a popular explanation became that this day represents the point in the year when retailers began to turn a profit, thus going from being “in the red” to being “in the black”.

Globally it has become a shopping extravaganza of note, and the mass discounts that come with Black Friday deals make it hard to ignore.

Nowadays, the consumer shopping benefits that Black Friday brings is not just limited to American consumers, but is also enjoyed by consumers in countries around the globe. The annual discount frenzy sees consumers flocking to stores, sometimes even the night before to be first on line when they open in the morning. Or better yet, it has consumers patiently waiting until Cyber Monday (the Monday following Black Friday) when online consumers join in on the mass reduction of goods being sold online.

According to the Data Products team at Absa, card spend increased by 81% on Black Friday in 2015 when compared to sales on the average day throughout the year. Although online spend is still relatively low, retailers did see a 40% increase in e-commerce on Cyber Monday in 2015, compared to the average day throughout the year

And while the bank supports responsible spending, here are a few tips from Willie Van Zyl, Head of Card Issuing at Barclays Africa Group, to make sure that you are protected while cashing in on this year’s Black Friday offerings:

  • Make sure you are always aware of activity on your card. Sign up for Absa’s NotifyMe service; it is a great way of keeping track and staying on control of unauthorised transactions across your accounts.
  • Be sure to change your passwords and pin codes regularly – if you feel the security on your card has been tampered with, request a new card immediately. Do not use the same codes across cards.
  • Remain in control of your debt and the spending limits of your credit cards. Pay off your current debt. It is important to review your current debt obligations and work towards reducing these before making any major additional purchases.

For more information and a full list on our Rewards partners to get even further discounts on Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals please visit the Absa website.

Disclaimer: The advice contained on this blog is for general purposes only and does not take into account individual circumstances, objectives or financial needs. Accordingly, readers are advised to seek appropriate advice from licensed professionals prior to making any investment, or taking up a financial product or service.