It’s around the time of the year when online stores cash in on the annual Black November/ Black Friday sales deals. Home appliances, mobile phones, shoes and household items are sold at throw-away prices designed to hook Kenyan online users.
E-commerce websites in Kenya including Jumia, Kilimall, Afrikasokoni and Avechi are splashing up ads on social media with crazy deals on TVs, handwash and a variety of products.
Retail websites such as Odds n Ends have also joined in the foray. Corporate companies including AirKenya Express are giving up to 20 percent off their flight fares.
In anticipation for the annual sales event, Safaricom partnered with Jumia to further extend a five percent discount for shoppers paying above Sh1,000 using Mpesa. Diamond Trust Bank also partnered with Jumia to extend a Sh1,500 discount for shoppers who use their DTB visa card.
The event which kicked off last Friday is expected to run the whole of November. The e-commerce companies partner with the retailers on their websites to give massive discounts on products. Every so often, you will get a notification alerting you of an upcoming flash sale. Flash sales consist of a limited number of stocks sold at crazy discounts within a short period.
Last Friday, Jumia had a 11.59pm flash sale with all items going at Sh59. In previous years, the traffic on their website has resulted in their systems crashing at critical hours. However, the companies seem to have gotten control of the issues as none have been reported any issues so far. There is also a spin wheel which lands shoppers on exclusive products including food, alcohol and mobile phones.
Restaurants too have not been left behind in the sale. Popular food outlets including KFC and Burgerking have also been participating in the Back Friday deals
Specific products such as the Vivo Y20 mobile phones are also on sale during the period, both online and offline. Companies can also decide to sell their products at discounts during the period irrespective of the sales avenue.
Kilimall website has a number of products listed on their website such as Men’s shoes discounted from Sh7,699 to Sh1,189. The site also has handbags, cake mixers and hot water kettles at under Sh1,000. Their flash sale also comprises a 49” UHD Smart TV going for Sh29,999.
Athough the Black November deals create a social media frenzy, a number of people believe it is a scam. For instance, customers have complained of products discounted to their usual price, meaning their is no deal.
The event is also marketed as a crazy sales period where users can get massive discounts. However, most of the fastest moving products such as mobile phones are discounted for as little as 2 to 4 percent.
Food deals are also considered some of the biggest scams. Customers are sold the idea that some items off the usual menu are on offer only to get a sub-standard meal. A huge stacked burger with cheese and bacon could be substituted with burger buns, a beef patty and few leaves of lettuce in a Sh100 deal.
Customers have also shopped for massively discounted products on the websites only to be slapped with high delivery fees at checkout. Some products such as the life buoy handwash have been on sale at Sh1. However, a user complained that after shopping, they were asked for Sh400 delivery fee at checkout, making the deal worthless.
Many corporate companies push their products and drive all the hype around Black Friday to cash in. However, while some products may have some genuine deals, some simply stamp the phrase on their usual prices for gain.