With at least 18% of Canadians expected to cross the border to enjoy deals on Black Friday in the U.S., some might be wondering if it’s even possible to save money from within Canada?
I’ve been blogging about shopping deals and frugal living in Canada for a few years now, and I wanted to share some of my best tips to get the most out of your Black Friday shopping in Canada. That’s right, there are some great discounts to enjoy on our side of the border too!
Black Friday Deals in Canada
Since the Canadian dollar is now on par with the U.S., many Canadians have picked up the habit of crossing the border to shop the Black Friday sales. Now, Canadian stores aren’t blind, they have taken note, so that more and more Canadian retail stores are also offering comparable deals on Black Friday to keep paying customers on Canadian soil.
Shopping the Black Friday deals in Canada avoids the long waiting lines at customs and the crazy hordes in shopping centres while saving money on gas too. Some offers might not be as good as what’s on offer in the U.S. (it’s getting closer though). But you also need to take into consideration the amount of time you’ll save.
Spot the Deals Before Shopping
It is really important that before you go shopping on the high street, have a look at what the sales are going to be beforehand. To do that, there are many helpful tools such as a saving community blog, forums and of course flyers from the most popular stores.
This will allow you to spot which stores will run Black Friday deals in Canada and what kind of discounts you can expect and on what type of products (for example, expect electronic accessories to be heavily discounted). And with the number of stores participating increasing every year, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding offers for most of your favourite stores.
Make a List
Making a list before shopping for any kind of occasion should always be the first step to help us spend more wisely. It allows us to plan what we really need ahead of time, and if we manage it properly, it can also prevent us from buying items that are not on the list. Take a few minutes to do a list of what you really need to buy and put them in order of priority, starting with what’s most important.
Merchants normally advertise most of the upcoming deals in their flyers, newsletters and/or on their website, so customers can easily spot the offers they are interested in. This price comparison allows you to compare the current price of the items with the upcoming one and analyze how much of a good deal it is. But you probably already know what the average price for it is and if what on offer is a tremendous discount or not.
Or go one step further, simply find the best price for the product(s) you are interested in, then find a coupon (if applicable) to get further discounts.
Read the Store Price-Match and Returns Policy
Some stores change their returns policy during the Black Friday sale, so make sure to be aware of the appropriate policy if you need to return the product. You might also want to have a look at their price-match policy—in case you find it cheaper later.
Using a coupon (printable or on-line code) on top of a Black Friday deal is the best you can expect in terms of saving money. Make sure to read all the fine print on the coupon and all the terms and conditions of the store’s Black Friday sale to see if you can use it.
If you decide to shop on-line as the following section recommends, look for coupon codes to unlock better deals on select products. Canadian coupon sites, such as vouchercodes.ca, normally list all the latest codes and promotions available for top merchants, especially for events as big as Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Since most U.S. stores are now on-line and Canadian customers can shop them from within Canada, shopping on the web is a great option to enjoy the U.S. Black Friday sales from your own home. Expect to pay for handling and shipping fees, but if you saved on gas and you didn’t have to fight to grab an item(s), you might be more comfortable with this option.
It’s not only convenient, but it could also be cheaper in some cases, owing to lower overheads for stores, which in turn can lead to lower prices for the consumer.
Following Black Friday, Cyber Monday is another great event where products are highly discounted and deals are mostly available on-line Customers can expect to find the same kind of promotions as on Friday, but all on-line a must see for avid shoppers.
It doesn’t matter if you’re shopping on-line in store, in the U.S. or in Canada, getting to the store as early as you can, will maximize the chances of getting the item you need, as most of the products are only available in limited quantities. For the on-line part, make sure you find out at what time the sale is going to start to be among the first cyber-shoppers. Some stores start it on Sunday night so be aware.
Guest Post By: Erin is a Canadian savvy shopper and blogger at vouchercodes.ca, an on-line savings community. She is always looking for the best deals available in Canada and for the latest tips on how to be more frugal.
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