Black Friday Report Back

17 Dec

In the lead up to Black Friday in South Africa, shoppers who had been saving all year prepared to barge into their favourite stores and yank all their favourite products off the shelves before anyone else could. In addition to that, a whopping 43% of the South African population indicated that they planned to take advantage of Black Friday deals online – and they did. Black Friday specials abounded in SA, just like they do everywhere else in the world.

In 2018, the world spent $23 billion dollars on Black Friday sales. That’s the equivalent of R337 billion! The global Black Friday sales figures in 2018 increased by around 663% in 2019, but in South Africa, retail sales increased by 1952% compared to a regular shopping day.

The statistics and figures captured from FNB merchant machines in SA show an increase of 40% in sales from the previous year (the bank processed 7.4 million transactions which is a jump from the 5.6 million transactions it processed last year). Standard Bank merchant machines show similar jumps in sales as they report having processed 560 transactions per second across the country!

South Africans it would seem, did their homework and went into the Black Friday shopping extravaganza with a plan.

The Scams

We can tell you that Black Friday was a huge success for retail stores and online sites. It was also possibly a drag on the average consumer’s budget, but one question still begs to be answered: were there anyscams? One particular Black Friday faux pas that stands out is that of the Takealot price “problem”. You might have seen posts on social media along the lines of “Takealot’s Black Friday sale is a scam” or disgruntled shoppers complaining about the fact that the discounts offered weren’t actually discounts with the hashtag “#Takealotscam” attached

So what happened at Takealot?

According to shoppers, many of the items on sale on Black Friday on Takealot were advertised at a higher price than they had been days before the sale. And for the doubters; the screenshots that customers have of the price differences don’t lie.

There is much debate doing the rounds over whether or not Takealot was scamming its loyal customers or not.

For years, Takealot’s version of Black Friday (Blue Dot Sale), has created a considerable hype and been extremely well supported. This year, things were different. Unhappy shoppers reported the following:

  • Takealot prices were higher on Black Friday than on a regular day.
  • The prices changed on their website during the checkout process.
  • The payment processing page jammed.

The Takealot Rebuttal

Of course, with all the unhappy comments aimed at Takealot, the company had to intercede and have its say. Takealot made the following claims/announcements:

  • It is possible that two sellers were marketing the same product on Takealot at different prices.
  • Not all sellers on the site were/are part of the Blue Dot Sale.
  • If an item is sold out, the item will automatically revert to its previous non-sale price. This can even happen if a shopper is in the middle of the check-out process.

Black Friday 2020 Is Already on Its Way

Now that Black Friday 2019 is done and dusted, consumers are already stashing cash for the next one, 2020. Before then, some still need to stock up for the festive season. The best advice to online shoppers is to be careful with your cash. Do your research and ensure that you are making safe purchases.

Have you heard of any local Black Friday scams? Let us know – we would love to share them!

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