• 10 November 2017

The festive season is upon us and with it comes the Christmas specials and the ever-anticipated Black Friday! Around the world, many savvy shoppers are on the edge of their seats. After all, Black Friday offers you amazing deals.

Here’s a quick rundown on this important date on the retail calendar. We take a look at the history of Black Friday, and how you can shop safely and smartly. First, let’s deal with the obvious FAQs:

When is Black Friday?

Black Friday falls on the Friday in November following Thanksgiving in America. As such, what day Black Friday is depends on the date of Thanksgiving. In the United States, this is always the fourth Thursday in November.

In 2017, it will fall on November 24th. In 2018, on November 23rd. In 2019, on November 29th.

Shopping malls fill up during Black Friday

How does Black Friday work?

It is a day on which many retailers run exclusive offers on their products and services. This time of year is seen as the beginning of the festive season rush.

It’s a win-win for stores and shoppers. Shoppers save some money and businesses get feet through the door. What’s on offer will differ from one store to the next.

Is Black Friday a holiday?

In some American states, it has been named a national holiday. This includes Arkansas, Florida, Texas and Wisconsin. However, many American citizens take a day of leave to make a long weekend of Thanksgiving. It also happens to be a great opportunity to shop for Black Friday holiday deals! You may not get the day off from work, but you can plan a great getaway on the cheap…

Why is it called Black Friday?

Black Friday history is quite interesting. There are lots of myths about where the term originated. Many of these get people quite riled up. Happily, myth-debunking site Snopes have found the harmless origin.

It turns out the term was coined by the old Philadelphia Police Department’s traffic squad. The officers never looked forward to the traffic jam on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This is when everyone would hit the stores to stock up for Christmas. More holidaymakers would also arrive from out of town on the day. Imagine the chaos on the roads! Grid-lock traffic everywhere. That is why the cops started referring to it as Black Friday. The retail sector picked up on it and ran with it.

Black Friday VS Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is the Monday following Thanksgiving. In 2017, it will fall on 27 November. In 2018, it will be on 26 November. Come 2019, it will fall on 2 December.

It was named ‘Cyber Monday’ by retail marketing departments who encourage shoppers to cash in on online deals after Black Friday. Cyber Monday travel deals for 2017 are looking particularly exciting at the moment! Now’s the time to score an affordable holiday to one of your bucket list destinations.

How long do Black Friday sales last?

Normally no longer than 24 hours. That’s the big drawing card. You can enjoy crazy savings, but you only have one day to cash in. The good news is that you normally have some breathing room when it comes to the use of your purchase. E.g. if you buy an overseas coach tour or a massage, you won’t have to use it on the spot. You will however have to buy it on Black Friday to get the deal.

There’s your quick rundown on the ABCs of Black Friday.

Now onto the most important question – what to buy on Black Friday. Around the world, we are being bombarded by Black Friday ads from all sorts of retailers. But how do you know if it’s a safe Black Friday sale or if you are being scammed?

Here are a few tips to keep your hard-earned cash safe when shopping online this festive season:

  • Be wary of fake websites. Spelling mistakes and pixelated images? Steer clear. Also look out for .org or .net domains operating as e-commerce sites. This is rarely the case.
  • Pay by credit card or Paypal. This provides protection in the event of a dodgy deal. Be wary of sites that ask for direct bank transfers only.
  • No https – no sale. Make sure the sites you use are safe.
  • Don’t shop online on free public Wifi. There are too many ways that your details can be scammed. Rather use your 3/4G, or wait until you can connect to your own, secure Wifi.
Black Friday deals can give you that travel opportunity you’ve been waiting for!

These are just a few of the ways to stay safe online during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The most important thing is to listen to your gut.

RELATED: We have our very own Black Friday campaign! This is exciting news for globe-trotters on a budget. Cash in on Expat Explore travel deals like never before. Keep an eye on our home page and social platform for more info!

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