The holiday season is fast approaching. Very soon, you will start to see people camping outside of stores to get the best deals.
Before you join the queues, take a look at this guide to find out how and where to get the best deals this coming Black Friday.
Despite the day being one of the most popular shopping days of the year, most people do not know where Black Friday came from. The first Black Friday was not as happy or as exciting as the Black Fridays we now know. Instead, it was a dark day for the gold market in the US. It would go on to be one of the most brutal market crashes at the time.
On September 24, 1869, two of Wall Street’s greediest financiers sought to crash the gold market for their personal gain. They bought up a large portion of the gold market, aiming to trigger a scarcity so they could end up selling back the gold at a higher price. It was nothing more than a get-rich-quick scheme.
However, their actions left everyone bankrupt. Farmers, investors, no one was left out. It was really a Black Friday in the United States.
Black Friday would become a retail term later in the 1980s. Most people believe that the term was originally used to describe how retail stores moved from red to black. However, the first use of the term Black Friday in the retail context was much different. The term was used to describe the days the police in Philadelphia would need more hands-on-deck during an annual football match between the Navy and the Army.
Black Friday gradually became what it is in the 2000s and only gained popularity in Canada in 2008. This popularity came as a result of the Canadian dollar gaining parity against the US dollar, which made sales more exciting and enticing.
Black Friday In Canada
Originally, Canadians had to go down south across the border to save on Black Friday deals. However, Canadian retailers soon took notice and began to participate in the event too. Now, Canadians can easily participate in both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which takes place the following Monday.
While Black Friday is still some ways away, the first deals usually pop up in October. This first set of deals are usually not as extravagant as Black Friday deals, but you can still save some money if you take advantage of them.
Nonetheless, Black Friday is the real deal. It’s one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get your hands on products that would be otherwise expensive. While Cyber Monday usually offers the best deals on tech products, you can still get the best of Black Friday by focusing on home appliances, clothing, toys, and so much more.
You can expect top retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, and Best Buy to lead the way. Nonetheless, even the small retail shop in your neighborhood would likely be having Black Friday sales too.
And worry not, while the previous trend was for customers to queue up in vast numbers outside of stores, you can now easily do your shopping online. Although there’s still a chance of someone beating you to the punch online, the chances of getting injured in a fight over product are greatly reduced.
When Is The Black Friday In 2021?
The slated date for Black Friday this year is November 26. While the actual date may change over the years, the weekday it falls on remains ever constant; Black Friday is always the Friday following Thanksgiving.
In 2020, most retail outlets kicked off the sales earlier. This early kickoff was intended to create a safer environment for workers and customers during the Coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, it helped the retailers curb shipping delays that would have occurred thanks to the pandemic.
While it is impossible to say when exactly the sales might kick off this year, you can still expect to see deals by the end of October. With the deals expected to start appearing before the official date, you should prepare yourself to get the best out of it.
You can easily save on gadgets long before November 26; all you need to do is keep checking your favorite retailers’ websites. While the online version of Black Friday was not originally as popular, the pandemic shot it into the limelight. Since it is safer and much more convenient, you can easily shop from the comfort of your home while still in your PJs.
Reports show that about 85% of Canadians will shop online during Black Friday. It is also expected that Canadians would be spending about $540 on average while shopping during the event. On the other hand, only about 34% of Canadians go shopping on Boxing Day. These figures only further reinforce that Black Friday has officially stolen the crown from Boxing Day as the busiest and rowdiest shopping day of the year.
Where can you get the best deals on Black Friday?
As you already know, almost all online retailers take part in Black Friday. However, sorting through the list of thousands of Black Friday deals can be pretty cumbersome. What you need are the best deals and nothing else.
You will usually find the best deals from the big retail outlets. Previous years’ most popular choices amongst Black Friday shoppers were Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target.
Amazon is one of the top favorites for Black Friday deals. The retail giant offers what could be called record-low prices and discounts on almost all categories of products. Visiting Amazon’s website can help you get discounts on gadgets like AirPods, laptops, or even TVs. You can also find discounted products under clothing, toys, home appliances, kitchen utensils, and so on. Amazon will most likely offer a discount on any product you are after.
You can also visit other retail sites like Lowe’s, Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us, Home Depot, Dell, Overstock, and Walmart. The number of promotional offers you will see might be overwhelming. Despite this, you can be sure to find a discount on anything you need on any of these websites.
Asides from the retail giants mentioned above, you can also visit other online stores to find deals on specific products. The following sites provide lists of the best deals you can find on Black Friday.
Red Flag Deals
If you do not want to wait till the official day, you can head to any of these websites to check out their current deals on products. You will most likely find something for yourself.
Saving While Shopping during Black Friday
The most attractive thing about Black Friday is the massive price discounts that you can get on most goods during the event. However, it is crucial that you don’t end up running into debt just because you are getting great deals.
You need to know how to save while shopping during Black Friday.
Here’s how you can go about it.
First, you need to make a list. This list should contain all the goods you intend to buy, preferably in order of priority. You shouldn’t just make purchases because they are cheap. You should only buy things you need.
Not only will the list keep you within budget, but it will also help you focus your search while you are shopping online or in person. You should also make sure that you stick to your list by all means. Only when the list is exhausted, and you are still within budget should your even think of looking at other products.
But keep in mind; buy only things that you need.
Once you have your list, next to do is compare prices on Black Friday Flyers. Most retail outlets will release flyers listing the things available for purchase during the sales weekend. You should be able to access these flyers online or at their stores.
Once you have the flyers, compare the products and the discounts each retailer offers to find the cheapest listings. Keep in mind that while a particular product might be cheaper in one store, you can’t keep rushing from one store to the other. You could end up with nothing if you do things this way. Instead, compare prices and get the total amount you would need to spend at each store. You should pick whichever store offers the most products on your list at the lowest prices.
Remember to prioritize the store that offers the most necessary products at the cheapest rates.
Once you have made a list and compared price listings, all you can do is wait for the sales to start. It’s usually a sound idea to set the alarm for midnight if you are shopping online. You wouldn’t want to wake up late and find all the goods gone, would you?
Do remember that some price listings are too good to be true. For instance, if the price attached to the latest version of an electronic is abysmally small, then it’s best to stay away from such products. There is usually one or two things wrong with such products. Remember, a top-quality product will serve you for longer and thus save more money than a cheaper poor quality one.
Also, if the product on sale will still be available after the sales event and at a much lower rate, then it’s probably better to wait till after Black Friday. This way, you will get to save more money on other products while still getting the things you need. After all, Boxing Day sales are right around the corner too.
Earn Cash Back while shopping during Black Friday
In addition to all these saving tips, you can also try your hands at cashback apps and websites. There are several cashback options that will allow you to earn some money back when you purchase anything during Black Friday.
For instance, Rakuten (previously known as eBates) will allow you to earn some cashback if you choose to link your preferred outlets to their website. Drop is another cash-back app that you can try to take advantage of. The cashback app allows you to link your credit or debit card to it. Thus, whenever you shop, the app will take note of your transactions and reward you accordingly.
Canadian cashback apps and websites that you can take advantage of include
Great Canadian Rebates
Air Miles Shop
What To Expect in this coming Black Friday
Generally, you can expect the same trends from 2020 to 2021. Retail outlets will probably offer discounts on useful items rather than on unnecessary items. Why? There are very limited funds to go around. Rather than holding on to the current stock and racking on maintenance fees, they would prefer to attract as many customers as possible. And the fastest way to do this would be to offer promos on useful items.
Adobe Analytics reported that there was a 21% increase in online shopping expenditure last year. This increase pushed Black Friday to the top of online spending days in the United States, only behind Cyber Monday of 2019.
The products that sold the most during Black Friday 2020 included
You should expect things to follow the same trend this year, especially since Apple will be releasing a couple of devices in the coming months. Amazon is also likely to offer numerous discounts on kitchen appliances and the most popular toys, while Samsung will beat down the prices on some of their home appliances.
How To get the best deals on Black Friday?
Black Friday may require you to do some homework. While it’s unnecessary, a little homework can go a long way in easing your stress during the sales weekend. For instance, some retail outlets are known to increase their price listings from August to October. As such, when they lower the price back to its original price range, you would think you are getting a great discount.
Don’t fall for such petty tricks. You should pay utmost attention if you are going to be shopping for gadgets like laptops and TVs. This price hiking and dropping are quite prevalent in such product categories.
Additionally, you should try to be flexible with your shopping list. Say, for example, you are after a particular smartphone; rather than focus on that particular brand or device, you should focus on the specifications. Chances are, you may find another device with the same specifications at a much cheaper rate. There have even been cases where buyers found better devices at much cheaper rates by broadening their search parameters.
So make sure to carry appropriate research before you go shopping during Black Friday weekend.
Also, remember some five-star sets are not all they are made out to be. You may end up with a device that’s lacking in one way or the other, so pay careful attention to the specs listed on whatever you are buying.
Black Friday Shopping In The US
While Black Friday is extremely popular in Canada, some people still opt to go down south to shop during the Black Friday weekend. This act could seem like a good idea, but it is not for everyone. It may be favorable to others but just not right for you.
So, what guides your choice on whether you should travel to the US or not? That’s simple, weigh your choices against two things, crowds and living expenses.
Black Friday is synonymous with crowds. Long lines of customers are usually found camping out in front of stores hoping to be first in line to storm the store during the sales weekend. Every year, several pictures and videos are uploaded online showing the rowdiness and potential carnage that accompanies Black Friday shopping.
So consider your options; rather than traveling down just to camp in front of a store, wouldn’t you prefer to shop online? And you can even do this in your PJs.
If you think the savings would be worth the stress, then, by all means, go for it. Otherwise, stay in Canada.
Also, traveling into the US is no easy feat. Besides dealing with customs, you will need to cover your feeding, accommodation, and all other sorts of expenses while you are in the US. You will also need to pay a merchandise fee if you are not staying at least 48 hours in the US.
Regardless of if you are staying for 48 hours or not, you will certainly incur additional expenses. It is left to you to decide if the extra savings will be worth the expenses or not. After all, there are still outlets available to you. And that’s if you aren’t going to be shopping online.
So while crossing the border might seem like a fun idea, you need to ask yourself if it would be worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Black Friday
Do Canadian stores take part in Black Friday?
Yes. While Black Friday is more popular in the US, it is not shocking to find stores in other countries taking part in the event. Several Canadian stores participate in the event and may even kick start the event earlier than their American counterparts.
When does Black Friday end?
Usually, Black Friday sales will run out during the closing hours of that Friday. However, it is quite common for stores to run the sales promo event all through the weekend. This extension allows many customers to get whatever they want while stores also get rid of older stock.
Make sure to double-check when the promo period of your favorite stores runs out.
What day should I shop on, Black Friday or Cyber Monday?
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge events that pop up just once a year. Since they are just days apart, you may be confused as to which to focus on. Originally, Black Friday focused on physical shopping, while Cyber Monday was for online shopping. However, Black Friday now incorporates both online and physical shopping.
There is no particular event that is better than the other. It all depends on you and the products that you are looking to buy. You do run the risk of your product selling out if you wait till Cyber Monday to buy. So it’s often better to shop during Black Friday if the product is in high demand.
Due to the pandemic, it is very unlikely that Canadians will be allowed across the border during the Black Friday weekend. At least, the numbers allowed would be limited, especially with the vaccination requirements for traveling in and out of the US.
Nonetheless, you can still shop online and have your goods delivered to you during the following week. The discounts offered by retailers such as Amazon and Walmart would be more or less the same as if you were there in person.
You should also keep an eye on cashback sites and apps. Cashback apps and sites are an easy way for you to earn some of your money back after shopping. Consult flyers to make your shopping list to make sure you aren’t going over your budget.
Black Friday is one of the best ways to save money over the holidays. You get to buy all you want while not exactly breaking the bank. All the steps you have to take have been listed in this article, follow them, and you will be set to shop on Black Friday.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know your thoughts and comments below.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.