It’s the second most wonderful time of the year for our friends south of the border, and the hype is slowly trickling into our Canadian waters. In recent years, Black Friday has gained steam in Canada, with large retailers like Amazon and Best Buy offering significant discounts on big-ticket items. Factoring in the exchange rate, gas cost and general effort of braving the crowds in the US, many Canadians are opting to do their shopping at home – sometimes literally, with many of the same (or better!) discounts offered online.
It can be overwhelming to cut through the noise, so we’re here to help you plan your shopping trip and find the best deals with a few simple steps.
Also read: Get cyber-savvy and safe for Cyber Monday
Step 1: Create a Game Plan
Going Black Friday shopping without a plan is akin to going to the grocery store really hungry without a list – it’s bound to be a disaster to your wallet. If you haven’t already done so, review what you absolutely need and create a list. In the days leading up to the main event, do your research and figure out which retailers have the best deals on the things you want. Setting up email alerts at your favourite retailers is a great way to stay on top of the best deals.
Step 2: Consider Your Payment Options
When it comes to planning, don’t forget to maximize your purchase by choosing the best payment option. One way to stretch your dollar is to seek out discount gift cards. Be sure to look for discounted gift cards at retailers like Loblaws and Costco. Kijiji is also a good place to look for savings, with plenty of consumers looking to get rid of cards they no longer need. The savvy shopper can save up to 20 per cent by using this tactic.
If you’re set on using your plastic, make sure to choose the credit card that will get you the best return on your loyalty points. For instance, if you’re purchasing appliances at the Bay, now might be the time to dust off your HBC credit card. Or if you’re planning that big Christmas dinner, the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard can help you earn points towards free groceries.
Also read: The best credit cards to use on Black Friday
Step 3: Ready, Set … Shop!
Now that you’ve planned your purchases and you know how you’ll pay, it’s time to shop. If you’re heading to the mall, be sure to check their hours and arrive early to beat the crowds. Many online sales start at midnight, so keep an eye out for those as well.
Here’s our list of Black Friday picks and the most in-demand items this year:
Best Buy is having their early Black Friday sale, and the most notable deal is a whopping $1400 off a Samsung package of dishwasher, oven and refrigerator.
Walmart is always a good place to look for deals, and this year they’re offering the Samsung 50” Smart TV on special for $598 ($200 off!).
Amazon.ca has become synonymous with great deals. Visit the site daily to find a new ‘Deal of the Day’ leading up to Black Friday.
Hot items to look for include the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and Hatchimals, the latest craze in toys (although many stores are sold out). Apple products are always a big seller and the new iPhone 7 is sure to top shopping lists this year. Many retails are already listing Pre-Black Friday deals, so get a leg up by starting your search now.
Can You Wait?
Finally, it’s important to note that Black Friday shouldn’t be used as an excuse to buy everything in sight. Create a budget to help curb your impulse shopping. If there are things you want but don’t need right now, it might be a good idea to hold off and wait until Boxing Day. But if there are holiday gifts you need to buy, however, now might be the time to find the best deals.
Looking to add a brand new credit card to your wallet for the big shopping trip? Check out some of our nominees for the 2016 Best of Finance Awards! Winners will be announced on Black Friday.