Black Friday: 4 things you need to know

by | Nov 26, 2015 | Biz/Tech

Javon Walker and Sarah Wickett

If you’re heading out to shop on Black Friday, there are a few key things you might want consider.

Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the United States and it’s popular with some Canadians as well.

Americans rush to shopping centres as early as midnight to grab the best deals.

The shopping can be intense, but consumers should be careful while heading into stores.

“All they have to do is put a black poster up in the store and tag it ‘prices slashed’… and people go and buy it,” said University of Toronto Economics professor Dwayne Benjamin.

“They think it’s a big sale,” he said.

The stores are relying on people being too lazy to do their research, he said.

“I think it makes more sense for individual consumers to do the research more carefully and comparison shop.”

For Canadians, Black Friday is like an early Boxing Day.

Although Canada hasn’t yet reached the intensity level of Black Friday in the U.S., one survey suggests an estimated 1.2 million Canadians are planning to call in sick to work on Friday to shop.

Here are four things to keep in mind if you plan to shop on Black Friday.

1. It’s more expensive to shop in the U.S.

With the Canadian dollar so low, it leaves the question whether Canadians should even bother shopping south of the border.

An online survey conducted by IPG Mediabrands suggested that 68 per cent of shoppers would shop at stores in Canada on Black Friday, while only 15 per cent said they planned to shop at U.S. stores; a 37 per cent decline compared to previous years.

2. Savings have already started

Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday are specific days for sales, a lot of stores have already started their Black Friday deals.

Some stores, like Best Buy and Walmart, have decided to offer their sales for a whole week.

3. Don’t forget about online shopping resources

Consumers may not have to fight through crowded stores to get their favourite item thanks to online shopping.

Benjamin said that it is more time efficient to not physically shop on Black Friday.

For example, Black Friday Deals Canada is a website used for early bird online shopping.

Shoppers can find coupons and limited time offers and the site stays active all year round.

4. Are the ‘deals’ really deals?

Don’t be fooled by stores false advertising how large their price cuts are.

Do your research, Benjamin said.