Why Consumer NZ is warning retail shoppers to beware of upcoming big sales bargains

Consumer NZ is warning shoppers to beware of the big sales bargains over the next six weeks.

Sales like Singles' Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday bombard shoppers with offers in the lead-up to Christmas. 

Retail bells are ringing, but are consumers listening?

"Everyone's going to go all-out to get people into stores," Retail NZ's CEO Carolyn Young said.

The holiday sales period kicked off this weekend with Singles' Day, which is a relatively new concept here in Aotearoa, originating in China as an anti-Valentine's Day holiday.

However a recent consumer survey by PriceSpy indicates it could be the next major sale event in our retail calendar.

"We're taking our own spin on what that looks like," Young said. "It's another opportunity to market, to get people out to the stores."

With Black Friday not far away, as well as annual Christmas sales, it's coming at a much-needed time for retailers.

"What we're seeing is cost of living, cost of inflation, living crisis and wage pressures," she explained.

"All of those are creating a difficult economic environment and it's making it difficult for retailers."

She said 61 percent of retailers in the last quarter didn't make their sales targets.

"We are hoping to see a boost in sales," Young said.

Newshub took to the streets to ask the public if they were on the lookout for bargains.

"Yeah definitely, buying gifts for family and stuff," one man said. "We will try and hunt out the bargains and get some cheaper stuff."

"There's lots of sales so I've started Xmas shopping early, but then I just start buying myself stuff," one woman said.

With the sales tempting some shoppers to dig into their wallets, Consumer NZ is warning bargain hunters to be wary.

"We are really concerned with these huge discounts, it can be really hard to know whether it is a good opportunity to save money," Consumer NZ spokesperson Jessica Walker said.

Walker is urging people to do their research.

"Don't see this great big discount and think 'I've got to have this' because you're falling victim to the pressure tactics," she warned.

While major outlets make the most of the sale season, it's not something smaller businesses can keep up with.

"We don't do those sales, we can't do those sales," The Garden Party owner Anna Lim said.

"We get our stock from small suppliers that hand-make lots of things, small New Zealand designers and creators, so they're just not making the same amount of stock."

However, she is still hoping people will be ready to splash the cash.

"We're expecting this Christmas to be really big," Lim said.

And she's judging that on what appears to be an early rush for Christmas presents.