Thanksgiving may have already come and gone in Canada, but that isn’t stopping retailers from trying to cash in on a U.S. holiday tradition: Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For the past few years retailers have brought the shopping event north of the border with much success. In fact, it’s bigger than Boxing Day now! And Black Friday isn’t just an in store event – more Canadians are heading online to seek out their savings.
Canadians Plan to Spend More For Black Friday 2014
To say Black Friday and Cyber Monday have taken Canada by storm would be an understatement. Not only are a greater number of Canadians taking part, they’re spending more. A recent poll by shopping resource eBates uncovered some interesting information about how big Black Friday has become; 84 per cent of Canadians are shopping online and spending 17 per cent more on average in the past 12 months than in 2013.
With stagnant wage growth and a mediocre job market, you’d think many Canadians would be tightening their spending. Not only are Canadians spending more, they’re get heading to the malls earlier. Canadians plan to spend an average of $532 on holiday gifts this year and a quarter (25 per cent) will have their holiday shopping finished before the winter season even begins!
The Cyber Monday Boom
Online shoppers for the event have increased by nearly 10 per cent year over year – Canadians are choosing online over traditional brick-and-mortar because of better prices, convenience and a wider selection of items. In fact, many online retailers are offering free shipping and exclusive deals to entice shoppers to open their wallets.
Why Many Canadians are Choosing Black Friday over Boxing Day
Why wake up at the crack of dawn and wait in line in the freezing cold when you don’t have to? Black Friday offers many benefits over Boxing Day. Not only are there more deals to be had online, there’s typically a better selection. While Boxing Day usually offers leftovers from holidays, Black Friday offers a wide assortment of the best retailers have to offer at rock bottom prices.
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Black Friday Dos and Don’ts
With so many deals out there, it can seem overwhelming for customers. Just because a retailer claims something is a good deal, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Here are some Black Friday dos and don’ts to follow to stretch your dollar further.
Do Buy Big Ticket Items
Maximize your savings by trying to buy big ticket items like a big screen TV or smartphone. A lot of retailers offer their lowest prices of the year. While you may not get the door crasher special (there`s usually very limited quantities), there are still great deals to be had!
Do Your Research
Don’t head to the mall without doing your research first – it’s easy to get duped into believing you got a deal when you really didn’t. Take the time to research the usual price points of products from the comfort of home and ensure they really are a steal before opening your wallet.
Don’t Assume Brick-and-Mortar is Cheaper than Online
Heading to a store’s physical location can be infinitely more stressful – and lead to more impulse purchases – than when shopping from the comfort of your own home. Do you research ahead of time – sometimes there are better deals to be had online. Not only is the selection often just as good, many retailers offer free shipping.
Don’t Waste Gas and Time
Although the price at the pumps may be lower, you can still waste a lot of gas driving around town for deals. Here`s a better idea: phone ahead to see if a retailer has a sales item in stock. Many retailers even let you check if they have an item in stock online.
Sean Cooper is a pension analyst by day and financial journalist by night, living in Toronto, Ontario. He is a first-time homebuyer and landlord who aspires to be mortgage-free by age 31. Follow him on Twitter @SeanCooperWrite and read his blogs and request his writing services on his personal website: http://www.seancooperwriter.com/