Black Friday: A chance to save or a debt trap?

26 November 2020 | Opinion

Windhoek • Salom Haidula

According to the economic effects of price discounts, a price discount provides a monetary gain, an incentive to encourage consumers to purchase the product.
Consumers perceive a higher level of savings for a product when a higher price discount is provided. The pertinent question that we need to ask ourselves as consumers, is whether specials such as Black Friday offer us an opportunity to genuinely save or indebt us.
One may pose the question: How can one be indebted by “benefiting” from discount specials?
The answer is simple: A consumer may become indebted by purchasing items that are not a necessity, but driven to purchase them because they are on “special”.
Some consumers end up taking out loans and overdrafts which in the long-term entraps them in a vicious debt cycle.
If you have not budgeted for the upcoming Black Friday specials, refrain from splurging money simply because items are on special. Consumers should do a bit of homework to make sure that any deal you think you are getting is in fact a good deal. Do some basic comparison shopping and don’t be sucked in by a low price tag.
It is acknowledged that Black Friday for some can assist with savings in these troubling times. However, to truly realize a saving from specials such as Black Friday, it is in the consumer’s best interest to create a list of essential items required and to stick to the list.
Since Black Friday is an annual event for consumers to experience true benefits, start saving early for annual specials.
Remember that it is easy to get caught up in all of the shopping and forget that spending too much money will likely add to your debt balance, without adding to your overall happiness.
In conclusion, consumers and storeowners are urged to adhere to the Covid-19 protocols.
*Salom Haidula is the Deputy Director: Consumer & IMR at the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development.

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