Ah, the joys of Black Friday and all that comes with it. Once the announcement is made every year, the excitement kicks in and you just know, it’s officially the Festive Season.

Here are some top tips to help you have a peaceful and smart shopping experience on Black Friday.

1. Start planning early

Troll local news and blog sites for lists of retailers offering Black Friday deals. Bookmark those retailer’s websites, download their apps and follow them on social media for updates. Also note store opening times, stock availability, and in-store/online restrictions.

2. Create a shopping list

Prioritise your must-have items, but remember to add more in case some items are already sold out by the time you reach the front of the queue.

3. Sign up for newsletters

Take advantage of sign-up promotions and stay in the loop with exclusive Black Friday deal alerts.

4. Look out for pre-sales

Retailers, and more specifically niche online shops, are launching Black Friday sales earlier and earlier each year, taking up most of the month, hence the adage Black November.

5. Shop online

Ditch the traffic and stampedes and shop online. It’s just so much easier shopping from the comfort of your own home and you can visit multiple stores at once.

6. Secure Website

A secure website will have https:// in the URL. The “s” in https is what lets you know the site is secure. While sites that don’t have this can be safe, it offers an extra layer of protection to online shoppers. Websites that aren’t all that well put together or feature dubious design elements may pose multiple problems. If a website isn’t professionally designed, that might mean that the owner of the site isn’t a professional either.

7. Secure checkouts 

Vendors who have encrypted checkout processes usually have a stamp somewhere on their site verifying their encryption technology. Many sellers will give you the option to use a third-party payment company like PayFast. Purchases you make with these methods are generally eligible for buyer protection.

Best of luck with your shopping!