In this article, we highlight a few practical tips that can help you bag the best deals and have a better Black Friday shopping experience. Find out how to elevate your experience in the article below

Origin Of Black Friday

Black Friday, in its strictest sense, is the day after Thanksgiving, a U.S. holiday which is celebrated annually on the last Thursday in the month of November. Black Friday is usually regarded as the first day of the Christmas shopping season, and it is commonly associated with special discount offers made by retailers and wholesalers.

The earliest evidence of the phrase “Black Friday” originated in Philadelphia, U.S.A, dating back to 1961, where it was used by U.S police to describe the heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving. This is fitting, because Black Friday has been recorded as the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States since at least 2005.

For many decades, Black Friday was widely regarded as an “American thing”, but the culture has since spread to other countries. Nigeria caught up to the Black Friday phenomenon in the early 2010s, with companies like Jumia running week-long promos, and now people look forward to November of every year, in the hope that they can shop for much less, notwithstanding the wild rush associated with the season. In a bid to attract sales, many online stores invest a lot of money in promotional campaigns to generate more sales and drive traffic to their stores.

Tips On How To Get The Best Shopping Deals On Black Friday

In trying to get the most convenient prices, many consumers get caught up in the chaos that is shopping on Black Friday. Even with the advent of e-commerce, it’s still possible to get frustrated when the network gets jammed, and someone buys that item before you do. Here are a few tips you can try out, to ensure that you have a smoother shopping experience:

1.    Know What You Can Afford: Before you spend a dime on Black Friday, set a budget and stick to it. Make a list of everyone for whom you’ll be shopping, what you’ll buy them, and about how much you expect those items to cost. Put a limit on your budget.

2.    Study Prices Early Enough: Start watching the flow and fluctuation in prices weeks before Black Friday. In the weeks and months leading up to sales, set price alerts for similar products you plan to buy. There is a chance that you you’ll spot suspicious pre-holiday price spikes and avoid falling for gimmicks masquerading as deals.

3.    Use loyalty programs. Retailer loyalty programs often grant members early access to coupons, sales, and promotions, then let them earn rewards on what they buy. Sign up for Black Friday shopping alerts. In some cases, you can even find out whether the products you want are in stock or eligible to buy online and pick up at a store, which can save you money on delivery.

4.    Actively Follow Retailers On Social Media: The social media feeds of your favourite retailers are a great way to find out about exclusive deals and promotions. Retailers will often reward customers who like or follow them with special alerts to Black Friday discounts and incentives. In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, look out for flyers and one-off sale announcements. This tip pays dividends throughout the year, but it’s especially great during Black Friday sales when retailers ramp up promotional activity and offer last-minute deals in higher volumes.

5.    Plan Your Itinerary: Before you leave the house, draw up an efficient itinerary. If you’re looking to buy from chain retailers (like Hubmart, Spar or Jumia), try to hit the closest or most convenient locations. There’s no need to drive all the way across town when there’s a comparable shop near you. Budget more time than you think you need at each stop.

6.    Check all store policies in advance. It’s always good to know a store’s price-match and return policies. Always read the fine print. Check the return and exchange policies for Black Friday sales to avoid excessive charges, or worse still, no-refund bargains.

7.    Make a list of different retailers selling the same product: The rush in activity on Black Friday can cause websites to crash and retailers to run out of stock. If this happens while you’re trying to buy a product, having a pre-prepared list of stockists will mean you can try others, so you don’t miss out.

8.    Set up online accounts in advance: It’s common for websites to function slowly or even crash on Black Friday, so you’ll want to get in and out as swiftly as possible. Open online accounts with your favourite retailers, pre-enter your payment and shipping details, and save them to your account, so you can complete purchases quickly once deals are live. It’s also worth signing up to your favourite retailers’ newsletters and following them on social media, as this may give you early access to deals.

9.    Pair up with someone:  Black Friday shopping is faster, more manageable, and more fun with a friend or relative – ideally, someone shopping for the same recipient pool, like a spouse or sibling. Before you arrive at the store, plan to split and search. For instance, you shop for electronics while the person you are teaming up with shops for groceries and cosmetics. You’ll save time and avoid duplication of effort.

10. Relax: No matter what happens on Black Friday, remember to relax and try to enjoy yourself. Shopping for holiday gifts isn’t the highest-stakes thing you’ll do this year. No matter how chaotic things get, try not to lose composure.

Elevating Your Shopping Experience With Paga

You can elevate your Black Friday shopping experience by signing up with platforms like Paga, Nigeria’s leading payments solution. With a seamless operating mechanism, Paga helps for easy, convenient and safe shopping in the following ways:

1. Payment of Bills: Paga allows users to pay utility bills, purchase prepaid airtime, pay for subscription services as well as internet bundles, and make payments to retailers. You can sort out your cable TV, internet subscription and electricity bills with Paga’s smooth bill payment service. The platform currently caters to payments for DStv, GOtv, Smile, Spectranet. To avoid hiccups while shopping, you can split these bills with your friends.

2. Recurring Payments: A recurring payment is designed to take away the burden of initiating a regular payment while ensuring you do not miss the payment. It is simple to set up. To do this: 

  •  Log into your Paga account
  • Select “recurring payments” from the list of services
  •  Create a new recurring payment
  • Select the service you want to create a recurring payment for
  • Fill out the details of the recipient/beneficiary
  • Set up the schedule and fill all required fields
  • Review the details and confirm the transaction.

3.    Safety: Paga also acts as a mobile wallet where any user equipped with a mobile device can conduct financial transactions. It is easy to use, it is secure, and transactions are conducted speedily. Paga boasts of the safest e-wallet when it comes to e-payment solutions in Nigeria: the platform’s my242 feature keeps your money safe and is designed with state-of-the-art security features accessed through your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your PIN helps provide protection against fraud and unauthorised access to your Paga account.

Opening a Paga account is pretty easy. To get started, click here to download the Paga app on your device, then click on ‘Sign Up’, and follow the instructions from there. 

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