Starting in November you start to see “El Buen Fin” or “Buen Fin” signs around Playa del Carmen and all of Mexico for that matter. This is part of local culture. The term “El Buen Fin” actually means “the good end” or refers to a “good weekend“. This event takes place over a four day period and includes a weekend.
How did Buen Fin get started?
The purpose of this four day event is to have pre holiday sale and promote a strong retail economy in the country. This annual event is based on the American version of Black Friday, the day of shopping that kicks off the holiday season after the American Thanksgiving. To the public it is presented as a time when there are sales and people are supposed to put off buying until this event.
This event was commercially planned in Mexico and started in 2011. It seems to get socially more accepted each year and people hold off buying until this time.
Stores are stocked to the rooftops and have lots of promotions including extra credit or longer terms of repayment. For people that shop in Mexico, you often know there is no such thing as sales and prices are often full retail prices. In Playa Del Carmen you see “Sale” signs on 5th Avenue but that is just for tourist to get you in the store. At “Buen Fin” it is a mixed bag of actual sales and just hype to get people to buy.
Most smaller stores generally have a sign up but offer little savings. Some large items like TV’s and appliances can be had at discounts. We compared prices in many stores and found Sears, some shoe stores and clothing stores to have good discounts and also some of the large big box discount stores.
When is Buen Fin?
The timing of this event is always around the 15th of the month. About 95% of Mexicans get paid twice a month, the 1st. and 15th. Also most people live paycheck to paycheck and that is why there are always lines at the bank to withdraw the automatic deposits from their workplace. “Buen Fin” falls right at this time and is the perfect opportunity for people to take out cash and start buying. Mexico is more of a cash society. Credit is either harder to get or very expensive so cash is used much more. So the timing of this event is well thought out.
At any rate this new holiday retail tradition is gradually taking hold in Mexico. If you are looking to purchase something then why not shop around during this four day event. You might actually get something on sale in Mexico.
For places to go shopping you can start with our Ultimate Shopping Guide for Playa Del Carmen. You should be able to find about everything here. The first half is for tourist and the second half of the guide is for locals.
Have you scored some good deals during Buen Fin? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.