Black Friday and Cyber Monday are quickly approaching in Canada, with retailers taking advantage of putting out many great sales before the last big push into the holiday shopping season. The American tradition has become quite popular north of the border in recent years, and as people figure out their strategy for finding the best deals, the question remains—is there an advantage lining up in the wee hours of the morning, or are the deals online just as lucrative?
From electronics to appliances, clothing through home entertainment, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great for finding low prices, but there are some deals that are more worthy than others. This tech guide will help prepare you to look in the right places and find some unique deals that others might not have thought about.
Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday
Black Friday–an in-store event the day after U.S. Thanksgiving—has traditionally seen massive lineups in early hours of the morning. Online retailers like Amazon.ca have gotten on board with Cyber Monday, off-loading products at bargain prices the following Monday. Consumers this year can expect to see deals in the days leading up to and including Black Friday, as well as throughout the weekend and Cyber Monday.
Where to start planning?
Now is a good time to start planning what products you might be targeting and scan the flyers using a tool like Flipp. The app and website compiles flyers in your area and compares deals for specific products or categories of product across big-box retailers in-store and online.
ShopSavvy and Amazon are also great apps to save wishlist items and monitor sales across popular stores. Use ShopSavvy’s barcode scanner to scan an item to see if you can find a better deal in a nearby store or online. Amazon Prime traditionally releases deals throughout the weekend for Prime and non-Prime members alike, so you want to be sure to check frequently, refresh your wishlist to see if your items go on sale, and subscribe to Prime if you want access to faster shipping.
Retailers to keep an eye on
Historically, we’ve seen huge deals. Instant Pots have gained popularity in previous years with lucrative deals, and we can expect to see the continuation of that alongside their in-house products from Amazon Echo, Amazon Kindle, Ring doorbells, and their private-label fashion and basics lines.
If you’re looking for a TV and don’t have a specific brand in mind, Costco is traditionally a pretty great bet. They carry a large inventory with connections to popular brands like Samsung, LG, as well as off-brand manufacturers like VIZIO, Hisense, and TCL Roku.
If you’re willing to brave the crowds and lines, Black Friday at Walmart has proven to be popular on many popular toys from Barbie to LEGO and Star Wars. If you’re hunting for electronic games, Walmart has been known to offer some great deals on consoles like PlayStation and previous-generation iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple TV. Electronics, however, are often at limited quantities, so be prepared for some competition.
What should you buy?
As you start compiling your shopping list in the coming weeks, areas you’ll typically find deals in product categories like smart TVs where both high-end and off-brand 4K TVs will go on deep discount. Having said that, many big-box stores like Best Buy are limited to how many they can hold in their store inventories, so you might be better flagging a deal on an online retailer like Best Buy or Amazon. Use an app like Flipp to track similar models across all stores.
Previous-generation computers and tablets often go on sale in the fall as brands try to off-load older inventory. In the same vein, computer accessories are often heavily discounted Black Friday weekend, so keep an eye on wireless headphones, Beats speakers, and smart home products.
Finally, toys and gaming consoles typically go on sale ahead of the holiday shopping season. Barbies, LEGO, even Baby Shark have seen great deals in years past, but lovers of high-tech gaming will also benefit on Black Friday. Xbox and PlayStation both see clearances as new models get announced in the new year.
Don’t bother lining up overnight
While there are many great deals to be found on Black Friday weekend, there are a few deals that are worth skipping or waiting until Boxing Day after Christmas.
New models typically come out early fall, so manufacturers will try to get rid of older models closer to end of summer and beginning of September. Anything that’s on discount already likely won’t be discounted much further.
Furniture typically goes on clearance at the end of summer, so anything that’s left won’t be discounted more than it is already. Christmas decorations, however, are in their high season, so retailers will want the most value for their inventory and won’t put them on deep discount.
You’re better off waiting until the spring when winter is over to find deals. If you’re looking for something like Canada Goose, don’t bother waiting for a sale as they rarely go on sale.
The key with tech and Black Friday is the deep discounts are traditionally on older models. Higher-end tech and current models will see minimal sales, so the best you’ll find are bundled offers that come with free accessories, gift cards, and service offers—Apple is known to do this and is a great way to find value in the latest and greatest.
Early deals and sale predictions
We’re still a few weeks off from seeing the big deals, and retailers like to be competitive and keep things under wraps until the last minute. Having said that, we’re seeing a few previews, as well as retailers that will have longer deals that could still offer value if you want to get a head start.
Many of the major carriers will likely have data bonus incentives, deals, and rate discounts on many of the latest smartphones. If you’re on the hunt for a new-model smartphone, your best bet is to check around Black Friday.
The computer manufacturer has already announced some Black Friday deals leading up to the holiday shopping period:
- Up to 45% off all ThinkPad laptops (Nov. 28 – Dec. 2)
- Get up to 45% off all ThinkPad laptops, including the ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 laptop for under $1,349, the lowest price ever.
- Incredible doorbuster deals (Nov. 28, Nov. 29 and Dec. 2)
- On Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will offer special doorbuster deals at midnight and again throughout each day (while supplies last).
- Thanksgiving Day doorbuster (12 a.m., 10 a.m.–10 p.m.) examples:
- 12 a.m. – Lenovo Tab E7 Android tablet, $53.99
- 10 a.m. – ThinkPad X1 Carbon 6th Gen laptop, $1,279.00
- 6 p.m. – Flex 6 2-in-1 laptop/tablet, $449.99
- Black Friday doorbuster (12 a.m., 8 a.m.–8 p.m.) examples:
- 12 a.m. – Lenovo Smart Clock, $39 (add Smart Bulb or Smart Plug for $1)ǂ
- 9 a.m. – IdeaPad gaming laptops from $939.99
- 9 a.m. – ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7 laptop, $1,349 – lowest price ever!
- Cyber Monday doorbuster (12 a.m., 8 a.m.–8 p.m.) examples:
- 12 a.m. – Yoga 730 2-in-1 laptop/tablet, $949.99
- 8 a.m. – Up to 52% off slim, secure ThinkBooks
- 7 p.m. – Lenovo gaming mouse, 20.39
What’s on your list this holiday shopping season? Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA!