Black Friday wasn’t always a big deal in Nigeria, but since online shopping really took off here, stores have taken to slashing prices every November with interesting results. Last year, e-commerce leader Jumia reported that it had 14 million website visits and sold over 86,000 smartphones during its Black Friday Festival.
This year’s sales will not be less frenzied, with millions of shoppers set to cash in on discounts online and offline. Don’t get lost in the rush, follow our exhaustive guide to Black Friday and you’ll find your way to the best deals.
What’s Black Friday (About) Anyway?
Sales, discounts or deals, whatever ‘they’ call it, Black Friday (November 23 and the days around it) refers to the most extreme price slashes of the year.
For historical relevance, it’s the day after the American holiday of Thanksgiving, supposedly the unofficial start of Christmas shopping. It became the busiest shopping day of the year in the early 2000s and has since retained the title.
In Nigeria. Black Friday became a thing thanks to Jumia’s first Black Friday Festival in 2013. The event was an online stunt featuring dramatic sales on covetable gadgets like video games and smartphones. It had some quirks — the Jumia website crashed a number of times and certain items on sale were unavailable to shoppers — but was successful enough to provoke a response from rival online store, Konga, which launched Yakata Sales, its own Black Friday event.
Where Are These Discounts You Speak Of?
They’re everywhere, online and offline.
Online, many notable international stores are offering considerable Black Friday discounts this year but there’s a limited number that ship to Nigeria. Amazon, Nordstrom, AliExpress and ASOS are some of the more popular ones that will deliver to your Nigerian address.
If you don’t find what you want on those, head to Borderfree for over fifty more stores, including designer staples such as DVF and Neiman Marcus, that ship worldwide.
At home, the online stores aren’t far behind with discounts. The usual suspects, Jumia and Konga, have been revving their sales engines for a while, with Jumia in particular offering discounts throughout November as well as special reductions exclusively on its shopping app.
You should also consider smartphone warehouse SLOT’s “up to 90% off” Black Friday sales beginning on November 23 and SPAR’s “up to 70%” version kicking off one day earlier.
Offline, it really depends on what you’re looking for, but several physical stores including Shoprite, Konga outlets, SPAR and GAME offer considerable discounts around Black Friday. Hunt around and see what you find.
Can I Trust These Stores?
Trust is a personal thing that we may not be able to help you with, but here are a few Black Friday red flags you must look out for:
Heavily discounted food items.
They may be a lot closer to expiring than the stores want you to know or could have expired. If you must buy, check the expiry date first.
Brands you don’t know.
Black Friday is the perfect time for stores to get rid of things that haven’t been moving off their shelves all year long, and inferior brands are usually the first to get the slash (along with expiring food). Don’t buy just anything just because it’s cheap.
These things are unfair, really, and are usually a waste of time. So instead of following puzzling clues and clicking around a website trying to find one iPhone that may not even be there, find a store that’s offering a straightforward discount.
‘Amazing’ offers from unfamiliar stores.
Not every Black Friday advert that shows up on your screen should be clicked, and you definitely shouldn’t pay with your debit or virtual cards on random websites or those without ‘https’ and a padlock sign showing beside the website address. It’s not safe and you could end up spending far more than you were trying to save.
I’m Ready To Shop Now, Right?
Not quite. Do these things before you jump in:
1. Make a shopping list. This way, you’ll reduce the likelihood of buying stuff you don’t need. Remember, impulse buying is a killer.
2. Compare your shopping list with your budget. Hello, everything on discount still costs money, and these purchases add up. Be careful.
3. Create a stash on the ALAT app and add the exact amount you can afford to spend on Black Friday shopping. This can help you hold on to the money before the day itself.
Now, you’re ready.
Pro tip: You can use your ALAT Virtual Dollar Card as a utility card for all your online shopping this Black Friday. Tap ‘Cards’ on the app, look for ‘Dollar Card’ and move some money to it. This is another way to control your spending.
Here’s hoping you find the best deals!