This article has been written by Barry Choi.
Black Friday is on November 27th this year which is less than a month away. Not only is Black Friday arguably the best time of the year to save money on purchases, but it also marks the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Black Friday, it’s a mega-sales event that started in the United States and has been adopted in Canada. Admittedly, the sales in Canada weren’t that impressive in the early years, but now the deals must compete with what you’ll find on Boxing day.
Fun fact, even though Black Friday has some of the lowest prices of the year, we are going to highlight 5 tips to help you save during this shopping bonanza.
1. Plan Now
Black Friday is serious business and just about every retailer participates. With so many options available, things can be overwhelming so it’s best to plan ahead. First off, understand that Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Travel Tuesday are all pretty much interchangeable these days. Most of the sales begin days, if not weeks, before Black Friday. Many stores make their deals available for preview, while others offer deals all month long. There’s no reason to wait to make your purchases.
One strategy is to focus on your priorities. For example, if you need a new TV, you should see what television deals are available before you focus on anything else.
Since many retailers put their Black Friday flyers online in advance, check out reebee to help you plan. You can quickly browse various retailers and search specific products to see what’s available, so you know where to shop as soon as the sale starts. Planning now is one of the most effective tips to save money during Black Friday.
2. Sign Up for Newsletters
Every retailer has a mailing list – join your favourite ones. Why? Because merchants always alert their loyal customers of any upcoming sales first. Since you’ll be on their mailing list, you’ll be one of the first to know about any deals.
Admittedly, your inbox can quickly fill up since retailers will want you to spend, but email providers do a good job at filtering things for you. In a worst-case scenario, you could just sign up now to see what goes on sale and then unsubscribe later on.
3. Price Compare
This likely won’t surprise you, but Black Friday deals can vary quite a bit from retailer to retailer. Even if it’s an identical item, one store may have it at a lower price – which is why you need to compare prices. Since you’re already planning ahead, you can easily browse what each store offers and plan accordingly. It’s also worth mentioning that some retailers will still honour price matching requests during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. That said, be sure to check the store’s policy before shopping.
In an ideal world, you’ll be comparing the same products, but that’s not always the case. If you have two similar items on sale, you need to compare the two to see what you’re getting. Don’t focus just on the price as the features included may be different.
4. Use Credit Cards Strategically
If you’re going to make purchases, you might as well use one of the best cash back credit cards in Canada. As the name implies, cash back credit cards give you cash back for every purchase you make. Right now there are a few promos where you can earn 10% cash back for the first three months up to $2,000 in spending. If you time things right, you could have that new card in hand before you do your shopping. That’s an easy way to put some money back in your pocket.
5. Do Your Shopping Online
After seeing videos online of massive crowds, many people are afraid to do any shopping in person on Black Friday. But here’s the thing, you don’t need to leave your home to take part – everything can be done online. In fact, doing all your shopping online will likely help you save even more. The digital flyer app, reebee, allows you to browse Black Friday deals and then view your favourite products online. From the retailer’s website, you can make your purchase – all from the comfort of your own home.
First off, many of the Black Friday deals actually start Thursday, or earlier, online. You can also shop from multiple retailers without leaving your chair. In addition, some of the tips for how to save on online shopping also apply to Black Friday deals such as using cash back sites and shopping from Canadian brands.
Despite the fact that there are many ways to save during Black Friday, you can also easily spend more than you anticipated. Make sure you have a plan in place and only buy things that you can afford to pay off right away. Remember, it’s not a deal if you need to pay interest on it.