How to make the most of your Black Friday shopping spree

Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

Illustration by Twylamae

Take note.

Chances are, if you’ve paid attention to the news or watched American TV (read: everyone), you’re probably aware of the madness that is a Black Friday sale. The 24-hour display of bargain hunting and shopping-induced bloodthirst is enough to incite both fear and envy in any international observer.

If your jealousy outweighs your survival instincts, the good news is that Black Friday is no longer something only Americans get to enjoy.

A study conducted by e-commerce specialists from Black-Friday.Global of 55 countries, including Australia, has found that global interest in the one-day mega sale has risen significantly in the last few years.

So, whether you’re a Black Friday veteran or getting involved for the first time, here are our tips for coming out on top this November 23.

Be prepared for competition 

On one hand, the more hype Black Friday gets, the more shops are likely to hold sales. But on the other hand, it means a lot more competition for those holy grail items you’re looking to snag. More than 80% of Aussies now know what Black Friday is, and 57% of them are planning on taking advantage of sales this year. That’s more than half the country who’ll be shopping, so you better bring your A-game.

Expect legitimate bargains

Sales happen all the time, right? But we promise, people don’t mess around when it comes to Black Friday. The average discount in Australian stores on November 23 is 53%, but sales are known to go as high as 90% off. That means that while the average Aussie is willing to spend a total of $260 throughout the day, they’re also expected to save over $290. If there’s ever a time to embrace a treat-yo-self mentality, this is it.

Think outside the store

There’s still nothing quite like shopping in a brick and mortar store. But while being able to try before you buy is a big plus, sale day crowds can be a daunting experience. You can’t go wrong with a diverse hunting ground. Trawl the racks where you can, but don’t forget to look online. The deals are just as good, but you’re a lot less likely to need medical attention afterwards.

Consider splurging on international shipping 

When shopping online, don’t forget to look at stores outside of Australia. America still has a lock on the best Black Friday deals, with average discounts of 68%. Stores in the UK are another good bet, with an average discount of 62%. When you’re paying that little for the items in your cart, the sting of international shipping is guaranteed to hurt less.

Go in with a battle plan

Sales on Black Friday cross just about every category, so it helps to think about what you want to buy and where you’re going to look for it. Unsurprisingly, the most purchased sale products each year are clothes, followed by electronics, shoes and cosmetics. While that means you’re more likely to find killer sales on your favourite fashion brands, it also means you’ll be fighting a lot of other shoppers. Less popular items like books and underwear (eighth and 10th in the ranking, respectively) might be worth looking into for some underrated gems.

Don’t forget Cyber Monday

While most of the hype is all about Friday itself, a lot of sales don’t end as soon as midnight hits. Cyber Monday is a complementary event started over a decade ago to encourage shoppers to look online for their November deals. If you’ve got any stamina (or funds) left after your Black Friday marathon, jump back online on the following Monday for round two.

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