Seven ways to shop smarter during the pre-Christmas sales

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Love it or hate it, Australian shoppers seem to be embracing pre-Christmas sales as the main retail event on the calendar, with Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday proving more popular with bargain hunters. business than traditional Boxing Day sales.

Around a third (32%) of Australians said they plan to partake in Black Friday sales which begin on November 25, according to a recent Finder survey, compared to 30% who said they will partake in Boxing Day sales . Meanwhile, 17% of respondents said they would participate in Cyber ​​Monday on November 28.

On average, Finder found that shoppers expected to spend $375 each during sales this year, with clothes, shoes, electronics and beauty products proving to be the most sought-after items.

With the high cost of living always in mind, many of those considering getting in on the sales action this year may be doing so with a strategic mindset.

Research from eBay Australia found that 60% of Black Friday shoppers plan to use the sales to buy at least half of their Christmas gifts, while many younger shoppers are likely to switch to Christmas items. used as cheaper and more durable options.

“We know that Christmas is an expensive time of year and, coupled with rising cost of living pressures, many Australians will feel the effects,” says Sophie Onikul of eBay Australia.

If you’ve got your wallet on hand and you’re ready to make the most of the sales, there are a few tips and tricks you might want to know before you fill your cart. Here are seven to remember.

1. Write a budget

Let’s be honest, it’s not hard to get caught up in the sea of ​​discounts and end up overspent and with more than expected packages showing up at your front door.

As Onikul notes, a lot of people will want to avoid that this year, so taking relatively simple steps like planning ahead and sticking to a preset budget will be crucial.

“Setting a budget, writing a list and sticking to it is more important than ever, but buying Christmas presents doesn’t have to break the bank. eBay research shows nearly a quarter of Australians should spend less this Christmas and 40% plan to buy gifts for fewer people.”

2. Check price history

How do you know the discount you’re getting on that pair of headphones or runners is actually good? Retailers are notorious for being tricky with their prices, including during Black Friday, says Finder shopping expert Chris Jager, so it can be worth doing some extra detective work to make sure you’re getting a good deal.

“What can happen is that brands advertise a sale based on the recommended retail price, which may have been from when this product launched five years ago,” he says.

“CamelCamelCamel is a good website for price tracking. It holds the all-time price record for anything sold on Amazon, which is obviously one of the biggest sellers around right now, especially during Black Friday. So , if an item is on sale at 30%, you can check to see how that price actually compares to previous prices at which it was sold.”

3. Earn extra cashback and rewards

While getting a bargain will be the name of the game during the Black Friday sales, shoppers will also be able to take advantage of any extra reward points or cashback offers they can get on top of their discounted purchases.

There are a number of cashback websites and rewards programs to choose from, but a few that may be useful for online shoppers include Cashrewards Cashback Browser Extension and Points-Prompter Browser Extension. from Qantas.

“Cashback can be a great way to get a double deal, buy a discounted item, and then receive cashback. But be prepared to wait for your cashback to reach your bank account, as many cashback services have a waiting period of 30 to 60 days,” says Mozo personal finance expert Claire Frawley.

4. Make the Most of Price Matching

Another way for bargain hunters to ensure they are getting the best possible price is to use the price guarantee schemes offered by various retailers in which they match or beat the price offered by a competitor for the same article.

Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi and even David Jones are among the biggest retailers offering price match deals, although various limits and restrictions tend to apply.

Online shoppers will be pleased to know that price matching isn’t just for in-store purchases, and can even be done online.

For example, Onikul says anyone wishing to match prices using eBay’s Price Guarantee can do so by phone or online chat with the eBay item ID and a link to the website with the competitor’s item.

5. Go for brands you know

With so many items on sale, it can be easy to get caught up in the frenzy, but like sticking to a budget, Jager recommends shoppers stick to big name brands and vendors they know for a while. sales, as not all items will prove value for money.

“A lot of the big brands actually tend to do really good deals during Black Friday, so I would recommend playing it safe and going with brands you know rather than brands you haven’t heard of. Third-party sellers on Amazon are a good example because even though they offer deep discounts, you usually get what you pay for.”

6. Consider exchange fees

Looking to take advantage of Black Friday deals abroad by shopping on an international site? Since many debit and credit cards come with exchange fees in the region of 2-3%, Frawley says this is a cost shoppers should remember to consider in the overall cost of the purchase.

“Before paying for your Black Friday purchases, check whether you are shopping on an Australian or international website. International transaction fees can be costly and could see your discount evaporate.”

7. Beware of scams

In the first ten months of 2022, Australians had already lost $475 million to scammers according to the ACCC’s Scamwatch. Unfortunately, scammers are also likely to be out in force during the sale period, says Jager, which is why shoppers need to be extremely vigilant with the promotions they receive.

“The big ones that I would completely avoid are text messages, emails and newsletters. For example, you might get an email saying it’s from Amazon, eBay or another retailer and That might sound completely legit, but there’s always a chance it won’t be.”

“So you better go straight to the retailers website or straight to the source if you know the URL because they’ll have all the best deals on the website itself anyway.”

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