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Consumers flash the plastic to snag ‘Buen Fin’ bargains

November 23, 2012

Like a tidal wave of capitalism, Mexico’s four-day Buen Fin weekend brought in sales of over 140 billion pesos (10.8 billion dollars) as shoppers took advantage of major discounts.

(Last year’s Black Friday weekend in the United States notched up record sales of 52.4 billion dollars).

Nationwide sales were 40 percent higher than during last year’s inaugural Buen Fin, the National Confederation of Chambers of Commerce (Concanaco) revealed. This year’s target of 140 billion pesos was exceeded, while Concanaco predicted sales in Guadalajara to have topped 560 million pesos.

When the dust settles, consumers may have to reassess their finances. Mexico’s financial watchdog Condusef recommends that no one takes on debts that exceed 30 percent of their monthly income.

Yet the Buen Fin specifically encouraged credit spending. With offers of six, 12 or 18 months of interest-free payments, shoppers in Guadalajara were enticed into making 65 to 70 percent of purchases via credit from November 16 to 19.

Nationwide, businesses sold on average 30 to 50 percent more than during a normal weekend, Concanaco said. Televisions, video game consoles and toys were among the most popular purchases, as parents sought to take advantage of Buen Fin promotions and get their Christmas shopping done early.

But not all shoppers were left satisfied with the Buen Fin. Some consumers complained that the discounts on offer were incomparable with those found in the United States on Black Friday, while Mexico’s Consumer Protection Agency (Profeco) revealed the most common complaints were of false advertising. Late buyers also found that many desired items had sold out by Monday, the last day of discounts.

The Buen Fin website had received 9.5 million hits by the end of the weekend, while the official smartphone app was downloaded over 267,000 times. The Buen Fin Facebook page totaled 394,000 “Likes” and its Twitter account racked up some 37,000 followers.

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