Black Friday – temptation comes knocking

With Black Friday now extended from one day of discounting to weeks of tempting retail offers and advertising build-up, are you struggling to resist the lure of a bargain? If so, you aren’t alone.

It’s extremely difficult to ignore the discounts and slick marketing hurled our way at this time of year. The temptation to overspend is intense. However, there are many reasons to think carefully before spending – from maintaining a healthy wallet to doing our bit for the environment.

Here are a few thoughts to make you pause before your finances take a Black Friday battering…

Do you really need it?

  • Waste is growing: Intrum’s latest consumer research surveyed 24,000 people across Europe and found more and more of us are uncomfortable with the waste generated by seasonal discounting – two in five say this is the case. Offers encourage us to buy more than we need and that’s not good for the planet.
  • Money is tight: with three in ten struggling to make ends meet and expecting to miss a utility bill payment in the next 12 months, for many of us now is not the time to be splashing the cash. In our survey, 67 per cent said they would like to buy more sustainable goods and services but the rising cost of living is making that challenging. If you’re struggling, then one option is to step back from unnecessary spending this year.
  • Repair and reuse: consumers tell us they are increasingly repairing and reusing old items instead of buying new – almost seven in 10 are doing so (67 per cent). This is great for the environment and your finances, so if you can: buy second hand, sell your unwanted items and see what can be fixed and given a new lease of life.

Still shopping?

Still tempted to take advantage of the offers? Perhaps you’ve saved some money for the sales and are keen to make it stretch as far as possible. Here are our tips for spending wisely…

  • Do you really need it? Try not to get carried away by the barrage of advertising. Stop and think if you really need the item and if you’d have bought it anyway. If so, then sale time can be a great time to make a significant purchase.
  • Draw up a list: Make a list of the items you’re looking for and stick to it. Then you won’t be driven off course by the bargains hitting your inbox and filling your television screen.
  • Check the deal: Just because a deal says it’s a Black Friday offer, doesn’t mean it’s automatically the cheapest. It’s still sensible to compare the cost against normal pricing and other retailers.
  • Keep your credit sound: Credit is inevitable. However, it’s important to be conscious of the purchases you make. Always make you are able to pay off your balance so that your sale splurge doesn’t turn into a New Year debt headache.
  • Watch for fraud: if a deal sounds too good to be true it probably is. Black Friday is a popular time for scams so take care that you’re buying from reputable retailers.

Ultimately, sustainability and the cost of living are two excellent reasons to cut back on sale shopping. Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of the people we surveyed said they are buying less than they used to before prices started rising, so if you’re cutting back you aren’t alone. Online and e-commerce bills are those we are most likely to default on when times get tough.

Q23 ECPR 2022
Source: Intrum's European Consumer Payment Report 2022

If you’ve already run into trouble, don’t ignore the problem. Talk to your creditors to find a solution. At Intrum, we’re always here to help.

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This article is based on the insights from Intrum's European Consumer Payment Report 2022. You can download the full report today.