5 important things to remember for Black Friday shopping in Australia

close up on hands holding a phone and a credit card while online shopping during australia black friday sales online on a computer

Black Friday 2021 is finally upon us and this year more Aussies than ever are getting ready to spend more than ever on the big day.

Black Friday is the perfect time to grab incredible deals on essentials, as well as Christmas presents. But, before diving head-first into the sales frenzy, you should be aware that shopping from Australia can be more complicated than from other regions.

Here are five important things to keep in mind when Black Friday shopping online in Australia.

1. Remember pre-Black Friday sales: Get ready for a whole week of discounts

While this year’s Black Friday is officially on 26 November, many shops begin their sales before the big day. There are many discounts already available, so keep an eye out. If you have particular shops or brands that you’re planning to hit up on Black Friday, sign up for their promotional emails. Often retailers will send you warnings of an upcoming sale, so you can be on the ball if they launch their Black Friday deals early.

2. Remember currency exchanges: Be cautious of fees when going global

If you're buying from an overseas retailer, there are a few things to consider. Double check that the prices you’re seeing are in Aussie dollars, not US. If not, you’ll get a shock when you check your statement and realise you’ve spent 1.4 times more than you thought you had. Many sites offer the ability to see their prices in most major currencies.

In addition to knowing the currency, it’s also important to watch out for foreign transaction fees when buying from an international store on a credit card. Overseas transaction fees are sometimes charged when shopping online from an international retailer. This means that with each international transaction (in person or online), you are charged a percentage additionally on top. Although the percentage is small, the charges can stack up while shopping. Most credit cards on the Mozo database have some foreign exchange fee, ranging between 1.50% to 3.65%, although some have no fee at all.

Check out our picks for the top credit cards for Black Friday shopping.

3. Remember the time difference: Australia is a day ahead on Black Friday

Most big Black Friday online sales start at midnight. So, if you’re looking to nab a particularly hot item from a popular brand, your chances of succeeding are much higher if you get in at the beginning. Of course, what time the sales begin varies depending on the retailers’ locations.

Logging on to browse Aussie sales on Friday afternoon will most likely leave you disappointed with all the good stuff sold out. So, grab yourself a coffee and get ready for some late-night bargain shopping.

But, if you’re looking to shop at your favourite international brands, make sure you account for the time difference. A lot of stores in the US and UK will not launch their Black Friday sales until between Friday and Saturday afternoon Aussie time.

4. Remember international shipping: It can be difficult getting items to Australia

Although it might seem obvious, be careful not to cancel out your savings by paying high shipping fees from international sellers. When bringing items Down Under, it can be worth it to meet the spending minimum for free shipping. If you don’t have enough items in your basket, consider bundling your Black Friday purchases with friends’ and family’s to qualify.

It’s also important to keep in mind that COVID has had a serious and lasting impact on international shipping, especially if you’re shopping for Christmas. Global freight movement has still not returned to pre-pandemic rates, and people can experience weeks-long post delays. If you’re buying Christmas presents, be ready to pay for expedited shipping and make sure your package is trackable.

5. Remember your rights: You’re protected by Australian Consumer Law

When shopping in-store or online, you are protected by many consumer laws. Retailers that sell to Australia, including international ones, must respect Australian Consumer Law. It’s important to know what you are covered for; it can save you time and money.

For example, if there’s a major fault with the item you purchased, retailers must offer you a refund or replacement. This is true even if you bought the product on Black Friday, with a huge discount, and the store advertised ‘no returns’.

A reputable shop should have lots of information readily available on their site on their terms and conditions of use, returns and dispute resolution. If you can’t find the info you’re looking for, ​​then shoot an email to the general info email address usually listed in the ‘Help’, ‘FAQs’ or ‘Contact Us’ sections. If you don’t get a response within a day or two, that can speak volumes. You don’t want to be spending money at sites that don’t put time into their customer service. It’s never worth losing money at a dodgy retailer when there are so many quality stores out there.

To keep up to date the all the hottest Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, check out Mozo's online shopping hub.