Black Friday shopping may be just another day to you but for many consumers it’s a day to save money in their budget and a great way to buy gifts for the holidays.
I really don’t know why they call it Black Friday though when most retailers are starting sales on Thursday and some even going all week-long.
Black Friday is not a one day sale anymore which I discussed last year but it seems every year some retailers add an extra day or wow factor to the day. Even the 2015 Canadian Tire flyer states “Black Friday Starts with Red Thursday“.
Retailers may as well offer Black Friday shopping with a full month of savings for consumers in November and be done with it. Sooner or later it will be
- Maroon Monday
- Turquoise Tuesday
- White Wednesday
- Red Thursday
- Black Friday
- Sky Blue Saturday
- Sea Green Sunday
There, I’ve done the work for them. All joking aside you get the point.
My email inbox has been flooded with Black Friday promos this past week and once that’s done there will be another marketing extravaganza for the next big day of deals. Marketing at it’s finest but this is where the money is at for retailers across the country.
It does get to the point where some people believe they are missing out on something REALLY BIG with Black Friday shopping and other big sale days like it’s a surprise waiting to be unwrapped. Consumers do rely on these sale days to save money which is what they are intended for but also to get shoppers to spend more money. It’s important to have a plan and know what you are shopping for.
When is Black Friday in Canada?
This year Black Friday is Friday (no kidding) November 27, 2015 but don’t get stuck with the leftovers from those stores starting the Black Friday shopping early. Canada wants you to spend your money here and you can do just that on Black Friday without having to cross the border.
Black Friday Shopping Sales
The past couple of weeks the weight of our weekly flyers has gotten heavier which only means Christmas is around the corner. My wife and I have never gotten involved with Black Friday shopping before but we have shopped on Boxing Day and purchased our Panasonic Smart TV on Cyber Monday. Our motto back then was the best Black Friday deals were not shopping at all.
As we learned more about Black Friday shopping there was no rush to get to bed at night so we could line up early to get what many would consider “comparable deals” to Boxing Day. One day a year of crazy shopping was enough for us.
Personally, I like to spend money after the holidays because that’s when retailers REALLY want to get rid of stock. I hung a large wreath with lights that we picked up for 70% off on Boxing Day just yesterday over our garage with homeowner pride of savings.
I believe the Black Friday and Cyber Monday hoopla is just a ploy to get us to spend money now rather than later but they know many of us will come. That makes sense from a business standpoint I guess, whatever gets consumers thorough the door.
Parenting 101- Go where the deals are
Now that Christmas is upon us we try to stock up on Christmas gifts for less if we can, especially for the kids in the family. Only 3 years ago there were no kids in the family but now there are a few and they are out of the baby stage. They want toys and the parents want clothes for the kids which aren’t cheap.
The other night we thought we would take a family trip over to Walmart where we rarely go but we wanted to find a sleigh for our son as well some winter gloves. We made our way over to the sporting goods section but nowhere were there any sleighs, sleds or other winter type devices to purchase so we had a look at the toy section.
We wanted to scope out toy prices while we were in the store so we’d have an idea of how it may affect our Christmas budget even though we could easily do that online. Sometimes it’s nice to actually touch the product though before you purchase it. I have noticed though that we can find more online deals these days than we can in-store, toys being one of them.
For Christmas this year we are buying gifts for our nieces and nephews which means toys are 100% guaranteed to top the list. I was in awe at the prices of toys even at Walmart but they are no cheaper at Toys R Us, Mastermind, Costco, Sears and other fine retailers in Canada.
Many of the toys we have found for our son were gently used toys we picked up for free, from garage sales or second-hand shops for next to nothing. I suppose someone has to buy retail though for us to get such great used deals. Someone is always feeding someone in this industry and we’re part of the group like everyone else is.
Black Friday marketing is everywhere
Tonight while we were at the Goodwill store we heard a commercial on the radio that Old Navy Canada has Black Friday shopping starting today November 26 with the entire store at 50% off. I’m guessing there will be a huge line-up when they open in the morning. I don’t know what to expect as I’ve never taken part in Black Friday shopping before. I’m certainly not naive about the shopping stampede that could happen.
Typically we buy our sons’ clothing used from Kijiji where we have scored some great deals but for Christmas we like to buy the kids new clothes. We are not the parents who spend ridiculous amounts on name brand clothing either. If we can get quality clothing used, so be it but we aren’t paying hundreds of dollars to buy designer jeans for a 2-year-old.
Our son really likes to wear hats and Old Navy has some great hats for our little guy so my wife instantly turned to me with that “Get in the Car” look and said, “We’re going”.
Becoming parents at first seemed like a breeze even though it was overwhelming and we noticed an increase in our monthly budget. It does seem however as our son gets older the costs are going up which was expected but we really didn’t know what to expect. It’s not like we hung out in the kids section of department stores when we had no kids nor did we do our homework of how over-priced kids stuff really is.
So, what are the 2 reasons about why are we shopping on Black Friday now?
You guessed it, our son and the budget savings, but why are these so important?
Shop all year for sales
Kids can be just as expensive as everyone has coined them to be and then some. Prices are NOT going down in fact they seem to be going up. Our son was over the moon when he saw his first Big Wheel the other night but clearly my wife was not when she noticed the price tag.
All I heard from two aisles over was, “It costs $100 for a Big Wheel” you better go see your daddy. Those vintage type toys or what they consider iconic toys cost a fortune these days. Just have a look at the price of Lego and Tonka Trucks.
I was a fool and should have kept all of mine that my parents bought me instead of selling it for far less than what I should have. The Tonka Trucks have gone from being all-metal to 90% plastic junk with a bit of metal.
Have you seen the prices of these toys?
The cost for a large Tonka Truck will run you close to $70 with tax. That’s a bill payment, weekly grocery budget, clothing allowance and so on. You get the picture.
Some days I wish our son was content playing with empty egg cartons, pots, pans and plastic containers but we’ve already introduced him to the world of tools, trucks and building blocks so now we are doomed. All joking aside kids know what is out there, you can’t hide it from them.
Being a child is about learning and experimenting and we want our son to have the best experiences he can in life. That doesn’t mean you have to pay top dollar for these experiences either.
If we’re smart we’ll continue to shop the sales all year-long and not wait if we don’t have to. Some people don’t have this luxury though so days like Black Friday Shopping is essential.
Buy used for Christmas
Even though we are debt free and can spend the money to buy our child practically anything he wants in these stores we still have lots of budget expenses and are not rich. Most of his toys come from second-hand shops, free or they were gifts. Just recently a colleague of mine brought to work a truck that he picked up at the Goodwill and gave it to our son. He loves it!
We did discuss with the family about buying gently used toys in place of new toys to keep the costs down for Christmas. Kids don’t play with toys for long before they get bored with them. Our son is young and won’t know the difference if it’s new or not. Not everyone was in favour of this as they don’t shop in second-hand stores or buy online.
It’s not really a big deal to us but for some parents depending on financial situations may turn up a nose to wrapping used toys or their children receiving them. If you plan to buy used the one problem may be that you can’t always find what kids have on their Christmas list.
Most parents do their best to bring those magical lists to life for the kids just to see the happiness in their faces on Christmas morning. That means they will even go into debt if they have to but that’s not the smartest of ideas as it will only cost you more in the long run. It’s also a ploy to get them to be good all year, haha!
Shopping at second-hand shops though is getting a bit out of hand with the pricing and I know many of you will agree with me. Blink and you’ll miss the boutique section at Goodwill which is fairly new with prices that will blow your mind for used clothing they got free.
If you watch the sales you may be able to pay the same price for new items as you would for used items at the second-hand shop. I really don’t know how so many people are able to stay the course financially with the prices out there today without having a budget and a pricing radar when it comes to deals.
We’ve lived a simple frugal life and will continue to do so because saving money is a priority for us. Having fun is also a priority but finding ways to enjoy that fun while cutting costs is part of the lure to save more and spend less for us.
My wife and I now know that we may have underestimated our Christmas budget category where kiddos are concerned. A pair of jeans over at Sears can run you $30 for a toddler if you’re buying at regular price. We thought about giving gift cards but what kid likes to unwrap a gift card when they are young? None, because they don’t care about plastic cards.
Joining the crowd….
So, we can see why there is such a craze for Boxing Day, Cyber Monday and now Black Friday shopping especially if it’s kids that everyone is rushing out to buy for. Budgets are tight enough as it is and if parents can save money they will even if it means getting to bed early so they are wide-awake for the Black Friday shopping day craze.
We’ll see you all there!
What would make you go out for Black Friday shopping deals?
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Image Courtesy of: Iamnee/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net edited by Mr. CBB to add post title.