Black Friday in Australia is a spending frenzy. With the rising cost of living, will this year be different? – ABC News

It’s the final countdown.

But as retail enthusiasts will tell you, we’re not talking about Christmas here. Rather the bargain hunting of the Black Friday sales.

November sales have been growing in recent years due to the increasingly popular Black Friday discounting by major retailers.

It’s the US event that infiltrated Australia’s retail scene. Here’s what you need to know.

When is Black Friday 2022?

Black Friday falls on November 25 this year.

Research from the Australian Retailers (ARA) in collaboration with Roy Morgan forecast sales to reach a record $6.2 billion over the four-day Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend.

That’s Friday 25, November, to Monday 28, November.

Isn’t Black Friday originally an American thing?

Yeah. Pretty much…

Black Friday began in the United States and marks the Friday following Thanksgiving, usually observed on the fourth Thursday of November.

Traditionally, this Friday was the beginning of the holiday and Christmas spending period.

More recently, Black Friday has evolved into a global shopping frenzy where retailers offer large discounts on a range of products from beauty, toys, home appliances, electronics to fashion, furniture and travel.

Sunset seen from a plane window.
Craving a holiday? Flights, hotels and cruises are the most common travel items to go on sale, reveals Finder.com.au. (Eva Darron: Unsplash)

Australian Retailers Association (ARA) CEO Paul Zahra says Black Friday sales are about offering the biggest pre-Christmas bargains.

“We’re expecting huge amounts of traffic in stores and online, with sales to reach $6.2 billion this year – an increase of $200 million on 2021,” Mr Zahra said.

Retailers will be offering deals before Black Friday hits and across the two days before Cyber Monday.

Tell me more about Cyber Monday you say…

When is Cyber Monday?

Monday 28 November. It follows Black Friday.

What exactly is Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday initially began as the “online” version of Black Friday back in the early 2000s when online shopping wasn’t yet quite a thing.

ANZ Senior Economist Adelaide Timbrell says Black Friday and other sales events including Cyber Monday are capturing an increasing share of the critical holiday retail trade.

Household spending has held up despite very low consumer confidence and record-high inflation expectations, Ms Timbrell says. 

ANZ key spending dates chart
ANZ analysis found Black Friday spending overtook Boxing Day for the first time in 2020.(Supplied: ANZ Research)

“One thing we need to remember is that in both 2020 and 2021, the critical holiday trading period came right after long lockdowns, so some of the spending in late 2020 and 2021 was due to pent up demand,” she says. 

“While there are encouraging signs for the holiday trading period this year, we don’t have the additional boost of people being let out of lockdowns right before the holiday season.”

ANZ expects to a slowdown in household spending through 2023, as the full impact of RBA rate hikes flow through.

“The strength or weakness on Black Friday will give us some clues as to how quickly households slow down their spending as a result of rate hikes.” 

How to make the most of your sales?

It saves to be organised.

Black friday sales clothing
Black Friday is known for its discounts reaching as high as 80-90 per cent. (Hans Isaacson: Unsplash)

When it comes to making the most of the sales, plan what you need (and want) in advance.

“With great deals already being launched by retailers, it’s a good time to snap up a bargain,” Mr Zahra says. 

You know what they say about failing to plan. So: 

  • Have your wish list ready to go
  • Follow retailers or brands on social media to be in the know when deals start 
  • Compare and collate which retailers are offering your desired products so when the sales begin you can quickly snap up the best deal
  • Many online retailers will provide a discount or promotional code to be entered when making a purchase and will run discounts for a certain time period
  • Stick to trusted websites

And be wary of potential scams

“Shopping online is always more convenient, however we encourage consumers to shop with confidence only from reputable retailers,” Mr Zahra says. 

The Australian and Consumer Competition Commission (ACCC) advise to research the seller and know who you are buying from.

The biggest tip-off that a retail website is a scam is the method of payment

When making online payments: 

  • Only pay for items using a secure payment service —look for a URL starting with ‘https’ and a closed padlock symbol
  • When paying, avoid arrangements asking for up-front payment via bank transfer, money order, wire transfer, international funds transfer, pre-loaded card or electronic currency, like Bitcoin
  • Use a secure payment service such as PayPal or credit card transaction 

But wait, there’s still more…

So, what does Gen Z want to gift you this Christmas? 

With Christmas a little more than a month away, gift cards and vouchers, along with clothing and toys top gift lists this year, according to Afterpay’s Festive Forecast.

Different generations have varying motivations for gift-giving.

Younger shoppers in particular are getting organised and making gift lists early. 

The Afterpay report found older shoppers, especially the post-war generation, appreciate the act of giving and also giving presents the recipient can find useful.

Whereas Gen Z want to gift something that’s “meaningful.”

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