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Black Friday is here, but so are the scammers

carolvanzyl

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Black Friday has all of us in a shopping frenzy one way or the other, with the expectation that we will save loads of money on everything we purchase. But unfortunately, that is not the way the cookie crumbles

Each year there are newsfeeds and videos of people camping out in front of retailers counting down the hours and minutes for the doors to open so that they can be first in line for the best Black Friday deals. 

Black Friday is here, but so are the scammers

Ultimately I wonder if Black Friday is not just another marketing tactic that creates an illusion of huge savings where there are little to none. We must ask ourselves if the market is driven by consumer behavior or if there is another component driving a Black Friday day.

Scammers Love the Internet

Thanksgiving is a time of year that can make many of us vulnerable, and Black Friday is the day after. Although we want to believe the best of others during this time, some scammers abuse that vulnerability in us!

There are various ways scammers utilize Black Friday to take advantage, and you need to be suspicious of any signs from retailers you don’t know. It could save you time and money.

Common Types of Scams

  • Email scams: phishing emails
  • Money transfer scams
  • Courier fraud
  • Social media scams
Black Friday Day

Social Black Friday

Many social media networks have become part of our lives and seem the norm for almost anything from work to shopping. Therefore it makes sense why so many retailers partake in Black Friday campaigns on social platforms.  

Limited Sales/Countdowns

Instagram accounts are on a reel with countdown posts to excite followers about what is coming. Once we are all reeled up, they start with limited sales for one day, or some even offer an hour flash sale. Nothing sells faster than a product with a time limit!

Black Friday Giveaway

Facebook pages enjoy featuring giveaway posts, and let us be honest, who doesn’t love something FREE?! There is no better way for retailers to get rid of shelf stock that didn’t sell a season, especially when followers aren’t interested in it anymore.

Telegram Channels

Since the launch of smartphones, very few don’t have their phones with them 24/7. We use our phones for work and play. Telegram features many channels for shopping, and with push notifications, you are updated whenever there is a flash sale or a discount day. It makes it convenient for retailers to keep consumers up-to-date with Black Friday deals.

Subscription Incentives

Retailers don’t only embrace social media channels, but they turn to email marketing as well to promote Black Friday deals. Using previous social media marketing campaigns to motivate email subscriptions is a suitable lead magnet.

Black Friday Apps 

Getting caught up in the Black Friday hype can make us anxious and frustrated. We must be aware of so much, from scammers to impulsive shopping. It can be overwhelming for anyone (even experienced) shoppers. The times have changed, and so have the technology, and with that, many apps can be beneficial to look into, from browse extensions to price-checking apps.

Black Friday Day

The Economic Pinch

In reality, the COVID-19 pandemic had wiped out 113 straight months of job growth which had an enormous impact on household spending. The pandemic damaged the nation’s industrial production, which impacted consumer spending and left enterprises to start investing in digital technologies.

Even though the pandemic is not as big of a health threat as it was during 2020/21, we are still impacted by economic factors, which some big tech companies have proven. 

Tech Workforce Cuts

  • Meta 13%
  • Twitter 50%
  • Snap 20% (Snapchat parent company)
  • Intel 20%
  • Netflix 450
  • Amazon10K

Black Friday Reality Check

Yes, I am optimistic that no one on earth wants to miss out on the biggest and best deals that Black Friday discounts will offer us. But in reality, we need to be realistic about what we can afford to spend and whether it is a ‘want’ item or a ‘need’ item. 

The responsible thing to do is to sit down and make a shopping list with – Necessity and Nice to Have columns, basically like a pro and cons list, but the difference is this one will save you money and regret. Once you have completed your list keep ONLY the necessity list and work out a budget accordingly. Having a list and budget allows you to make price comparisons, simplifying your shopping even more!

We have all been impacted by the pandemic in some way or other, and Black Friday might offer us the best deals this Friday, but that doesn’t mean it has to leave us with debt over the holiday season.

Keep Your Eye On The Prize

There is no reason to get discouraged, get into bed, and hide from all Black Friday deals. Yes, some retailers might use it as another marketing ploy to get you to spend, whether it is an actual discounted price or not. And there is always a fraudster lurking only to find someone vulnerable to scam out of their hard-earned money. But in reality, that can happen any time of the year.

I am sure there are enough Black Friday articles to guide you through any concerns you might still have before the Big Day arrives. It will be beneficial to take it to heart and spend ‘ONLY’ what your budget allows and who knows, you might score all the way this Black Friday as long as you don’t get caught in the dark!

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