How to shop smart at this year’s Black Friday sales

3 min read
22 November, 2023

Many of us are in feeling the effects of a cost of living crisis, but over half of New Zealanders are planning to buy something at this year’s Black Friday sales. Find out how to shop smarter and make a conscious decision before accepting debt.

What is Black Friday? 

Black Friday originated in the United States, and traditionally it marked the beginning of the Christmas sales. From a one-day-a-year sale it’s now morphed into a global week – sometimes even month – of promotions. We’re not quite at that level in New Zealand, but you’d be living under a rock not to notice all the hype. 

We know that the cost of living has gone up and Kiwis are feeling the pinch. Despite this, PriceSpy’s 2023 Black Friday Report revealed that 52% of us are planning to spend during Black Friday day or week, and intend to spend 10%+ more than last year. 

Are Black Friday sales legit? 

PriceSpy’s analysis of the 2022 Black Friday sales in NZ noted that the average discount was 21%. 

They also researched the most popular products purchased at the Black Friday sales and found that only 10% of these were at their lowest price at that time. The remaining 90% could actually be purchased for cheaper in the six months before or after the event! 

In other words, there will definitely be bargains on offer, but they will not necessarily apply to everything and not necessarily to the items you’re looking for. 

So it pays to be savvy - that’s where the next part comes in.

How to make sure you actually get a deal on Black Friday

If you are planning to stock up on Christmas presents for the whānau or the odd gift to treat yourself, here are some top tips: 

Have a plan

If you jump online or head to the shopping mall without any idea of what you’re planning to buy, you’re more likely to be swept up by the marketing hype. Know the sorts of products you’re looking for - maybe make a list on your phone - and try to stick to it.

Do your research

You may walk into a store that’s advertising the best deal ever on a certain product, but don’t take this at face value. Search online for the product and all the stores you can buy it from to find the best deal. Sure, it might take you a few more minutes, but it could save you more than a few dollars.

Ditch the credit card and buy now pay later platforms

Try to pay using money you already have, using a debit card if possible, to avoid racking up expensive bills that you may have trouble paying back. 

What’s the risk with buy now pay later?

Buy now pay later (BNPL) schemes have taken off in NZ thanks to their ability to let you split larger purchases into smaller amounts and pay them off over time. 

Platforms like Afterpay, LayBuy, Klarna and ZipPay are especially popular among younger Kiwis. Our research report Young people and the cost of living crisis showed that Gen Z and millennials are more likely to experience issues with BNPL. 

BNPL can become out of control when it comes to events like Black Friday and Christmas shopping, because it means you're starting the new year with debt.

If you make your payments on time, you’ll be fine, but if you miss one, those default fees could leave you reeling.

Even if you do make your payments on time, this can still affect your wellbeing with constant repayments you need to consider, and how harder it becomes to save.

Everyone loves a bargain, but no one loves being in debt. So to reduce the pressure on your future self, it's best to have a plan, do your research and use money you already have to make those Black Friday purchases, and you’ll come away smiling. 



This ‘NZ Black Friday savvy shopping guide’ blog is general information only. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the FSC. It is not intended to constitute legal or financial advice and does not take your individual circumstances and financial situation into account. We encourage you to seek assistance from a trusted financial adviser, legal or other professional advice.

The names of any third parties are additional resources that you access at your own risk and the FSC takes no responsibility for any third party content. 

The FSC and its employees make no express or implied representations or give any warranties regarding this blog, and we accept no responsibility for any loss, damage, cost or expense (whether direct or indirect) incurred by you as a result of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this blog.  

November 2023. 



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