Black Friday has come and gone, which means the last big discount day of the year is just over a week away. But preparing for Boxing Day can be difficult. Offers, markdowns, and clearance items are generally kept hush, hush, even to most store employees. Flyers may offer sneak peeks into door crashers and exclusive offers; however, many others will be revealed the day of. So, how can you be prepared and make the most out of this consumer holiday?
Planning, sticking to the budget, and being picky about your payment method, may be the key to optimizing your purchase power and not overspending.
Do Your Retail Research
Start by collecting the flyers that are available and cross-referencing online offers. Some stores offer different deals in-store and online year-round. While other retailers offer exclusive in-store offers to bring people into their shop for the holidays.
Many online retailers offer deals for “Boxing Week”. Some even offer a different deal every day, so it can be hard to know if you are really getting the best discount. This can cause impulse purchases, regret, and overall shopping anxiety. However, some stores offer a holiday guarantee. This can mean an extended return period, or they may guarantee low prices. You may be able to bring your receipt into the store during the promotional timeframe and receive a refund for the difference if there is a price drop.
The best way to get a head start is to signup for emails from your favourite stores and brands. Generally, stores send advanced notice of doorbusters and sales to their loyal customers. Some stores even offer exclusive after-hours shopping experiences.
Boxing Day Budget
Next, create a shopping list with a budget. Find the items you are looking for and avoid picking up items because they are 50% off or on clearance. If you go in without a plan, you could end up spending way too much money and coming home with things that will just add clutter to your home.
Don’t give in to temptation and stick to the list!
Be Picky About Your Payment Method
Now that you have your shopping list and your budget, you’ll want to choose how you’re going to pay. If you’re heading to the mall or shopping online, you may want to use your credit card to make the most out of your payment options.
From extended warranties, purchase assurance, cash back, and rewards, credit cards can not only protect your purchases but can reward you for your spending. With the right credit card, you can have peace of mind when shopping online and in-store.
Here are a few credit cards that can make you Boxing Day experience more rewarding:
- American Express CobaltTMCredit Card: Although this card features a $120 annual fee ($10 per month), points can be redeemed for travel, merchandise, or almost anything else. Added features include purchase protection and extended warranty, among a full suite of travel insurances.
- SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express: Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases for the first six months of cardmembership, up to $300 cash back. After the promotional period expires, collect 2% cash back. Enjoy extended warranty, purchase assurance, and a full suite of travel insurance benefits. This card has a $99 annual fee.
- SimplyCash™ Card from American Express: This no-fee cash back card offers 2.5% cash back for the first three months of cardmembership, up to $150 cash back. After the promotional period expires, earn 1.25% cash back on purchases. This card also features purchase assurance and extended warranty.
- Tangerine World Mastercard®: This card offers Money-Back for up to three categories including furniture, home improvement, and entertainment. Added features include extended warranty and purchase assurance.
- Triangle™Mastercard®: This card has great rewards and finance options if you regularly shop at Canadian Tire, Mark’s, Sport Chek, Atmosphere, and other participating stores.
At RateSupermarket.ca you can compare the best credit cards in Canada. A good place to start is the 2019 Best of Finance Award winners, where you can find the best credit card for your shopping habits.
More Ways to Master Boxing Day Shopping
Here are a few more tips to master Boxing Day shopping:
- Start early: It is important to get to your favourite shops early and beat the crowds. Nothing makes shopping more frustrating than wasting your time in long line ups or not being about to find a store employee through the chaos.
- Store hours: Online retailers may beat their in-store hours with virtual sales starting at midnight. Some retailers already have countdowns on their sites, so you know exactly when the prices will drop.
- Shipping: Be mindful of shipping costs, they can really add up. Somethings may not be as inexpensive as they first appear once you add the shipping fees.
- Web extensions: Many online stores have U.S. sites and Canadian sites. Make sure you are shopping from the correct country. American prices are generally more appealing on a regular day and can be deceiving. Shopping from the United States could also cost you extra duties and taxes.
- Clearance: There is a difference between “sale items” and “clearance items”. Many clearance items are final sale and can’t be returned. Ask the cashier about the return policy and if you are not fully committed to the purchase, it may be best to leave it behind.
- Hold off on big purchases for now: If you can wait until after Christmas, buying big purchases like televisions, appliances, furniture, and even flights, can save you loads of money on Boxing Day.
Good luck with your Boxing Day budgeting and your sale search!