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Beware Black Friday debt trap, warns counselling firm

While some will be hunting for bargains, many will be plunging themselves into debt by needlessly splurging.

FILE: South Africans take advantage of Black Friday deals. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN – This is the season to be jolly but it's also the season to fall into a debt trap. Festive season spending fever will go into overdrive with Black Friday this week.

While some will be hunting for bargains, many will be plunging themselves into debt by needlessly splurging.

One of South Africa's largest debt counselling companies Debt Rescue says that often deals seem so good that consumers will spend their entire festive season budget in just a few days.

The company's CEO Neil Roets says: “We’re not saying that you can’t participate in Black Friday at all but go and look at your finances beforehand.

“Go and identify what you actually need and go to the shops and buy that, but then you’ve to manage yourself not to pay more than that.”

But economist Dawie Roodt has a different view on such mass bargain offers more spending is good for the economy.

“There are certainly benefits for consumers and certainly for retailers as well. More people that participate in this Black Friday, the more goods are sold and the more the economics of scale will benefit everybody. And this will certainly benefit the South African economy as well.”

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