Friday, 23 November, is on like a 75% OFF SALE sign. It’s almost time to purchase that fancy rose gold watch you’ve been eyeing for months now. Don’t get too excited just yet though, all legendary shoppers strategize first. Planning ahead of the retail rush will get you in front of the line when it comes to getting the bargains you can boast about.


Here are 10 secret strategies for smart shoppers:


  1. Plot your plan


If you don’t plan, how would you know about Markham’s 50% sale and Sportscene’s Nike Blazer sneaker “giveaway”? Before clothes fly from hangers to wardrobes on Black Friday, you should know exactly where to shop and what to expect. Do your homework and decide which stores you would like to visit according to the best bargains.

Visit the following websites to guide you:


  1. Sign-up for emails


Once you’ve decided on which shops you’d like to buy from, sign-up for their email newsletters. It’s best to do this at least 2 weeks before Black Friday to avoid missing out on the best bargains. Plus, it takes time to get added to the email lists. Remember, the early buyer catches the bargain!


  1. Make a list and stick to it!


You don’t have to grab a notebook and pen for this. That’s sooo…2001! Use your mobile or tablet to make a list of the items you’d love to own. You can use apps like Todois or Evernote to compile your wish list. Keep the list relevant and updated. Make sure to add the amounts you are willing to pay for your Black Friday wants (and needs) to the lists. Make sure your phone stays charged during the consumerism chaos.

Remember, not every item you want will be on sale, so you need to take a moment to see if you can find it lower elsewhere.


  1. Scout for prices at stores


Don’t wait around for Black Friday to knock on your bank account. Take a trip to the mall and add the prices of your goodies to your list. Visit at least 2 different stores for every item to compare prices. If you don’t have the time for that, visit PriceCheck online to compare prices of various products. You might find that your Nike Airs are cheaper at an online store than at that fancy sport shop in your local mall.


  1. Use Apps to your advantage


You’ve got secret shopping tools in your pocket. Use them to maximize your Black Friday Bash!


The following apps are awesome for shopping:


  • Bidorbuy
  • Zando
  • SA’s #1 Online Mobile Shopping App
  • The food app
  • Banggood
  • Superbalist Fashion
  • Shopkick
  • Wantitall


All of the above apps will guide you to the best sale prices. You will be able to browse for products and compare prices thanks to these nifty tools.


  1. Timing is everything!


Late shoppers won’t find the perfect buy! If something is cheap, it won’t wait around for your purchase. If you don’t take it for that trip to the till in time, someone else will. The best time to shop online for Black Friday is just after midnight on Thursday 22 November. As for physical stores, you shouldn’t go too early. Move away from the average thinking behaviour. The best time to visit a store on Black Friday is after 9 in the morning. Make sure that you know what you want and use time to your advantage.


  1. Shop from your comfy couch


Stay in your pjs, grab a steamy cup of caffeine and shop from the comforts of your living room. You don’t need to sit in heavy traffic, walk marathons in the mall and stand in endless ques. Set-up your laptop and create bookmarks to the websites you would like to visit for a convenient shopping experience. Make sure that your internet’s connectivity is good and keep your laptop plugged in. Don’t open too many tabs at once though, that might cause confusion and crashes.

Find out which online store to visit here: Our Top 10 online shops for Black Friday


  1. Fuel your body and brain


If you think back to school, your teachers always told you to get plenty of sleep and to eat a hearty breakfast before a big test. While shopping for Black Friday isn’t a maths test, the same rules apply. If you don’t sleep at least 7-hours you won’t be able to think straight and to make logical decisions about what you need to purchase. You also risk the chance of running low on energy when you need your strength the most. Carrying bags can running around can drain you!

In addition, with enough shut-eye, you need to keep your body fuelled with a healthy breakfast and snacks. Eating balanced meals before the rush will give you the power you need to perform at your best.


  1. Get those finances on fleek


If you decide to visit stores instead of shopping online, draw the amount of money that you’re willing to spend and keep it in your wallet. Just be careful not to walk around with stacks of cash. If you plan on spending 5K, rather keep it safely in your bank account.

Make sure your finances are in order and that your daily spent limit isn’t too low.  Also make sure that you know how much money you have available in your account. A declining card is super embarrassing!

If your finances aren’t in order, you might miss out on all the specials. Since time is of the essence, make sure that your debit and credit card is fully functional. Call your bank or check online to see if your accounts are ready to support your wild shopping spree.


  1. Get that mindset right


Your mind is extremely powerful. If you think that Black Friday won’t bring you any good bargains and you don’t put in some effort, your thoughts will turn into reality. Share the experience with your best friends and just enjoy the day. It’s not a competition, no one’s winning anything (except extra earthly things).

At the end of the day, you should look at the bright side of Black Friday and ignore all negatives that sometimes get thrown around in the media. Data shows that in 2014, the average Black Friday discount came out to 40% off! That should feed your shopping appetite.