Black Friday: What You Really Need To Know Before You Buy

A decade ago, Black Friday did not exist in the UK. As a result of consumerism, tighter budgets, globalisation and the rise of internet shopping, Black Friday and Cyber Week are now a calendar events for so many Brits and these events are expected to grow year on year. Reports show that the amount spent on UK e-commerce sales increased an incredible 15.9% in 2017. Alternate reports indicate that in 2018, consumers were expected to spend an astounding £7 over the bargain-binge weekend of Black Friday and Cyber Monday (or week) and a Deloitte study estimated that the average shopper planned to spend 20% more in 2018 than 2017. With these spending trends set to continue, here at Wizzcash, we are looking at what consumers need to know before they buy this November.

What To Expect On Black Friday 2019

Research shows that in the UK, consumers begin their Black Friday shopping at 5am, spending approximately £315 per person. Retailers, Heads of Sales, Marketing Execs and Economists are already predicting the products and goods that are going to be the most sought after in this year’s events. Economists suggest that Black Friday 2019 in the UK is full of uncertainty because we could be guarding our money tightly as a result of Brexit. However, it is also posed that the opposite effect could take place, wherein consumers feel they are in a good position to spend after having tight purse strings this summer. There is no arguing that in 2019, Black Friday is now a crucial date for retailers and the economy. We can expect the types of products being purchased to follow the same trends as previous years, including:

  • Mobile Phones – 40% of all Black Friday purchases were related to mobiles
  • Clothing – Flash sales offer, on average, between 35 – 40% off of clothing and accessories.
  • Office Supplies – Black Friday isn’t just for the personal consumer, but also corporations, businesses and SMEs able to take advantage of 50% off printers, ink and more.
  • Travel – Consumers are often cautious when spending money on an intangible item like an experience, flights or holiday because it feels like a big cost with nothing in return. However, Black Friday preys on consumer’s need to have it all, luring them in with up to 60% discounts.

With one of Black Friday’s most popular purchases being clothes and the garment industry, it’s no surprise that return rates are up to 30% for both online and in store purchases. Major online brand, Zalando claim their return rate is closer to 50% of all items. This equates to millions of dollars worth of loss from sales revenues and, as Cyber Monday becomes bigger and bigger, online shopping and subsequent returns are expected to rise.

The logistics of returns can cause environmental impacts as well as issues for retailers bottom line. If the cost of the return is down to the consumer, small delivery and returns charges can add up, particularly if you are impulse buying items and experience financial regret when the item arrives. In fact, returned clothing can rarely be resold for the value price because all items must be returned, assessed and potentially reshipped at a cost to the retailer. In these cases, it is often more cost-beneficial for the retailers to burn and shred their garments. Moreover, returns (and Black Friday and consumerist events as a whole) do spell trouble for the environment, also. The logistics of packaged items “generates tons of carbon emissions”.

The Psychology Of Shopping

One of the reasons Brits shop until we drop throughout the period is because they are encouraged to get Christmas purchases out of the way early and for a reduced price. A decade ago, in the UK, January sales ruled the retail calendar, but research by the Office For National Statistics highlighted that spending in November was greater than that in December in 2017, due to deals available before Christmas. Shopping this early on could suspend the feeling of Christmas and the general holiday cheer. It’s well established that we get overly frivolous with our finances at Christmas, with a typical household spending over £2000, which is £500 extra than any other month. This could lead to many people short on money at the most expensive time of year. This could lead many people applying for a payday loan or similar emergency financing solution.

This suggests that we could be trying to spread out the cost of Christmas, but there is a negative side to be cautious of. The festive season tends to make us very irresponsible with our money. Choosing to extend this period by starting your shopping in November could lead to a larger total spend as the indulgent spending of Christmas time goes on for longer. In serious cases, this could be a threat to your financial security, as 10% of UK households already say they will fund Christmas with credit. Reports also show that 12.6% planned to pay for Christmas with a This can be irresponsible financial behaviour and although the season is all about celebrating, it does not have to be expensive and should not lead to financial emergencies and the need for a cash-boost when something else crops up, like a same day loan.

We are lured into sales because they are available for a limited time only and this plays on our FOMO psychology (fear of missing out), in which we feel the need to take advantage of the deals. This attitude is what makes customers feel the need to spend in sales, when they don’t actually need anything, “sales are designed to make us feel like we’re getting free money” when really our bank bottom line will always be worse off. The typical consumer calendar now features, Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday (or week), January Sales as well as the standard end of season sales and discounts that occur intermittently throughout the year.

You Can Make Responsible And Ethical Black Friday Purchases

Shopping at this time of year does not have to be harmful, either to your pocked or the environment. It is important to be aware of consumerism’s impact on the environment as you make your Black Friday purchases, these suggestions could help you make responsible financial decisions as well as consumer choices that protect the environment:

  • Second Hand Deals – Apps and second hand stores that sell vintage items also participate in Black Friday deals. Many items listed on these marketplaces are brand new and are just unloved items. Snapping them up increases the lifetime of an item that demanded resources to make and unique, vintage items could make a thoughtful and individual gift.
  • Do Your Research – Although retail titans rule the deals on these days, the benefit of a Black Friday sale is that you know it’s coming. It provides you with plenty of opportunity to prepare and do your research around the best deals, that really are something you need. Moreover, you could use this time to ensure you are buying from ethical retailers; information about their packaging, what they are doing to offset their carbon emissions and work sustainably, should be available on their website. The outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia, for example, promote and advertise their social responsibility as much as their goods on their website.
  • Make Investments – The best deals during the Black Friday event are routinely big ticket items like tech. Shoppers could shop sustainably by making long-term purchases on household items like washing machines and home electricals, taking advantage of the deals and purchasing an item that is really needed, rather than tech that is just an ‘upgrade’ on an item that works perfectly, it just isn’t as ‘good’ or ‘new’ as those blasted in front of us in ads.

Although Black Friday is fast approaching and very appealing, it is important for consumers to take note of the financial and environmental impacts of their buying decisions this November. We hope our guide has helped you with the items where you could make the biggest savings, such as mobile phones, as long as you are making ethical purchases that you are sure you can afford. Many people that over-spend during these events are left needing a short term loan to help them through the colder, upcoming months. Wizzcash could help you in these situations, subject to a successful application because we are a payday loan direct lender.