Festivals and Events

Reflections on a Decade of Shopping El Buen Fin

Over a decade after Mexico introduced its version of the ‘Black Friday’ shopping event, Foreign Native reflects on its relevance amidst increasing online sales

El Buen Fin sign on a store

Mexico’s version of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping event —called El Buen Fin— has been running for over a decade now.

El Buen Fin in 2023

El Buen Fin runs from Friday November 17th to Monday November 20th in 2023 —in line with the long-weekend holiday— although in practice, the sales at retail stores begin early in November, typically soon after the Dia de Muertos holiday.

Each year since its inception in 2011, more retailers and service providers have joined in the event, which is coordinated by the federal government and various business associations.

The past decade has coincided with a rapid increase in the number of people in Mexico buying goods online, and surveys carried out by the Mexican online sales association (AMVO), show a steady increase in the popularity and volume of online shopping in Mexico.  This willingness to acquire goods through electronic means reflects increasing trust in online markets and the ever-improving network of delivery systems that get goods to customers more quickly and make returns straightforward, and convenient.

Most of Mexico’s large retail chains have online shopping options, although the efficiency of their delivery services varies considerably. The best way to find out is to ask a frequent online buyer, preferably a millennial, as they just know these things. They also have an additional advantage in that they will probably also look up and compare Black Friday offers on sites like Amazon and Mercado Libre.

As usual, the most popular articles for online shoppers —according to the same surveys— are likely to be clothing, electronic goods, home appliances and cell phones, followed by personal care items, booking travel, and toys.

El Buen Fin has been criticized in the past for the lack of giveaway prices like the ones that lead shoppers to line up overnight in the US and make a mad rush when the doors open. A typical complaint of people surveyed in Mexico is that the offers aren’t all that attractive, or that they’re often restricted to interest-free months of credit if they use certain banks’ credit cards for the purchase.

Nevertheless, people do find worthwhile discounts, and some people will delay the purchase of big-ticket items including domestic appliances and home improvement materials like tiles and blinds as well as bathrooms and kitchens to see what offers are presented during El Buen Fin.

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