What is Black Friday?
The Black Friday sale in Canada is a bargain shopper’s delight! It marks the official date for retailers to launch some of their best sales of the holiday season. If you’ve recently arrived in Canada, you may be curious about all the hype surrounding Black Friday. You can expect to find great deals with discounts that range from 20 – 60% off the original price. This shopping event is called Black Friday because it used to mark the day when retailers started to make a profit and move their books from red (losses) to black (profit).
Black Friday also used to be a one-day sale event. But in recent years it has turned into a lengthier period that is book-ended by Cyber Monday. During the Cyber Monday shopping event, you can expect to get the best online sales and discounts.
The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for retailers in Canada. Black Friday sales are usually when people begin their holiday shopping.
During the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and emotion of the season. The sounds of holiday music, the pretty store windows, and the allure of flashy red sale signs can encourage all of us to overspend. So, it’s important to follow money-saving tips to avoid cutting into your essential spending needs. And when you carefully manage your spending, you’ll avoid the blues that hit when your credit card bills arrive in January.
When are Black Friday Sales and Cyber Monday Sales in Canada?
In 2023, Black Friday sales occur on Friday, November 24. However, many retailers start launching early sales. So, you may want to watch out for these sales to avoid stock issues.
Cyber Monday takes place on Monday, November 27, 2023. For this event, online retailers promote one-day deals to get people excited. However, as you can see Black Friday sales start before the event, Cyber Monday sales can extend for the rest of the week.
7 Tips to Stay on Budget When Shopping Black Friday Sales in Canada
To get the best of the Black Friday sales in Canada, you have to be wise about your shopping approach. These tips can help you get the best deals and manage your spending. And, with inflationary pressures facing many Canadians, it’s important to avoid overspending.
Tip 1: Create a Budget and Track Your Spending
It’s a great feeling to show your family and friends that you love them with thoughtful gifts. But, creating a holiday budget and tracking your spending is important to help you save money. When you budget, it’s easier to keep your spending under control. While giving gifts during the holiday season feels good, it’s important to remember how much you need to spend on other essentials such as rent and utility bills.
To avoid overspending and impulse buying, decide how much you can reasonably spend without racking up your credit. When you set an upper limit on how much you can spend, it will be easier to avoid caving in and impulse buying. You’ll appreciate this discipline in January when your credit card bill arrives!
Tip 2: Understand What’s Behind “Doorbuster” Promotions
Retailers often attract shoppers with loss leaders. This is a pricing strategy where retailers sell popular items at a loss to attract customers. While shopping, customers are likely to buy other items and increase sales of other items that are more profitable for the retailer. So, be prepared to show spending discipline. That discounted TV is only a great deal if you avoid spending hundreds of dollars on extra purchases that you may not need.
When buying big-ticket items, retailers may pressure you to buy an extended warranty. Find out what the warranty period is on the product, and whether or not your credit card company provides purchase protection. Extended warranties will increase your costs.
Don’t forget to track your spending. Without tracking, you’ll quickly overspend your budget. To track your spending, consider using online budgeting tools, or create a simple spreadsheet. Your shopping budget will help you avoid overspending on Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales events.
Tip 3: Be Wary of Store Credit Cards Promotions
While you’re shopping at your favourite store you may be enticed to sign up for a retail credit card. Because in many cases, the retailer will offer you an additional discount just for signing up. However, retail credit cards usually come with higher interest rates. For example, a typical credit card can have an interest rate of 19.99%. However, a retail credit card interest rate can be as high as 30%. And with inflation remaining at an all-time high in Canada, credit card purchases can get very costly.
So unless you pay off your store credit card in full each month, you will pay more in credit card interest than your savings on those Black Friday sale purchases.
If you’re a newcomer, it’s important to build a good credit history, especially if you want to make a major purchase such as buying a home or a car in the future. However, according to CreditCardsCanada.ca, store credit cards carry less weight than standard credit cards on your credit score.
Tip 4: Shop Around to Find the Lowest Price
Do some comparison shopping before you hit the stores and pull out your wallet. Ask yourself if you can buy the same product at a lower price elsewhere. Not only will buying at a lower price save you money, but many retailers also offer the lowest price match.
Most Canadian retailers have price-matching policies. For example, if you find a lower price for the same product, retailers may:
- Match the competitor’s price
- Match the lower price and beat it by 10 – 15%
- Honour a price match for anywhere between 30 days and up to one year after your purchase.
Make sure to keep your receipts to take advantage of price-matching offers after your purchase. It’s worth the effort to shop around for the lowest price. However, retailers often have rules attached to their price match policy. For example, the product:
- Must be the same model and be in stock
- May be excluded from price matching offers for Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.
Also, a price match may not apply to limited-time or quantity promotions. So be sure to ask the store about their price-match policy, or read the fine print on their store receipt.
Tip 5: Use Websites and Apps to Track Black Friday Sales
Another way to stretch your budget and save money is to use websites and apps to track prices leading up to Black Friday sales in Canada. That way you can see if the sale price is as great as it seems. Websites such as Google Shopping, PriceBat.ca (electronics), and Shopbot.ca allow you to compare retail prices all in one place.
Many retailers also have their shopping apps that allow you to shop online for deals.
Tip 6: Use Your Loyalty Programs for Additional Black Friday Savings in Canada
Credit card reward and store loyalty programs are very popular in Canada. So, if you have rewards from your credit card provider or favourite store, the holidays may be a great time to use them. And if you’re a member of a store loyalty program you may even get Black Friday shopping alerts with access to coupons or other promotions such as free shipping. Some loyalty programs may offer extra deals on Black Friday.
Tip 7: Know You Will Find the Best Deals on Black Friday in Canada
While you can find Black Friday sales in Canada before November 24th, retailers announce their biggest deals usually around 12:01 am on Black Friday morning. Many brick-and-mortar stores will seal boxes and keep inventory in back rooms until November 24th to avoid disappointing shoppers if they are low on stock. This same approach applies to announcements for online deals on November 24th.
When you follow these Black Friday sales tips, you’ll stay on budget, and most importantly, reduce the stress that comes with holiday spending.
For more information about your financial first steps in Canada, visit our banking in Canada resource page. Get the essential information you need to manage your finances in Canada!
Corinna Frattini is the content marketing strategist at Prepare for Canada and contributes articles related to working in Canada. With a background in human resources and leadership development, her articles focus on what Canadian employers seek and how newcomers can continue their careers in Canada.