shopping


What to buy (and what to avoid) on Black Friday in Canada – Yahoo

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.

You'll want to bookmark these potential Amazon deals.
You’ll want to bookmark these potential Amazon deals.

Retailers to keep an eye on

Amazon:

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 EchoAmazon KindleRing doorbells, and their private-label fashion and basics lines.

Costco:

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 VIZIOHisense, and TCL Roku.

Walmart:

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 iPadApple 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 headphonesBeats speakers, and smart home products.

Finally, toys and gaming consoles typically go on sale ahead of the holiday shopping season. BarbiesLEGO, 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.

Appliances:

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.

Outdoor furniture and Christmas decorations:

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.

Winter clothing:

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.

High-end tech:

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.

If you're looking to score deals on older-model laptops and tech, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be a great opportunity.
If you’re looking to score deals on older-model laptops and tech, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be a great opportunity.

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.

Apple:

If you’re on the hunt for a new iPhoneiPadApple TViPod touch or Mac, if you purchase now, you’ll receive access to one full year of the new Apple TV+ streaming service for free.

Smartphones:

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.

Lenovo:

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!

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Five tips for back-to-school tech shopping

As the first day of school rapidly approaches, parents are scrambling to get the kids in gear – and that includes sending the kids off tech-ready.  Here are five helpful tips to keep in mind when shopping for back-to-school tech gadgets.

1.    Make a list, and prioritize.
A brand new computer can make a sizeable dent in your credit card. So, as with grocery shopping, when going back-to-school shopping ensure that you make a list and prioritize what you need and what you merely want.  Chances are you only need the bare necessities and the all of the other gadgets are simple wants.  Bear in mind that you can go a long way with a small budget — even when it comes to technology.

2.    Do your research.

Before hitting up the big box electronic stores, remember to do your research!  Keep in mind that stores often mark up prices come back-to-school time, and sales associates sometimes try to sell you electronics that you really don’t need.  Instead, go online – there are many great parenting resources like Today’s Parent – where parents share past experiences and shopping advice, and find out what your child really needs for their age group.  Needs shift as they move through elementary school, to high school, to post-secondary education.

3.    Hunt for the sales in flyers, and online.

Keep an eye on the weekly flyers and online on store websites. Parents often make the mistake of leaving back-to-school shopping to the last minute and they – literally – pay for the procrastination. Flyerland.ca is a great all-in-one destination for local flyers, and big box stores have sales early on in the season with limited quality items. Laptops also go on sale late-July/early-August, and that is the ideal time for families to head to the store and save some money simultaneously!

4.    Cash-strapped? Take a look at feature phones.

The reality is, we live in a smartphone-dominated world.  They aren’t cheap to start with, so if you are a little cash-strapped, be sure to take a look at feature phones. Cell phone carriers, like Rogers Wireless, offer an inexpensive alternative to having a smartphone that maintains access to social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and email; without the added cost of an actual data plan.  They can range from $7/month and up; versus the $25+/month with a traditional data plan.

5.    Find the free alternatives to expensive programs.

Companies like LibreOffice and OpenOffice offer free or inexpensive alternatives to productivity software tools like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.  There are no strings attached – they are simply open-source software choices (maintained by free developers) that offer significant savings to a family, giving the same amount of functionality as the traditional paid software, without the high price tag.

What tips do you have when it comes to back-to-school tech shopping? Share them with us in the comments below, or email submissions@cityline.ca!

Repost from Cityline.ca

 


March Break: The Deal About ‘Group Deals’

When it comes to planning your next vacation, there are many online options to help you out along the way.  Websites like Groupon, HotWire.ca, and RDeals.ca have made it much easier for people to plan last-minute getaways, while getting the biggest bang for the buck.

Group buying allows merchants to sell large quantities products or services at a highly discounted rate to the consumer – similar to going to a bulk food store.  Many websites feature the “deal-of-the-day,” often including last-minute vacation deals.  It’s important to know that most deals have conditions – some only let you use it on certain days of the week; others only let you use it between certain times; or even limiting the number of people.  Always check the fine print before clicking on the “Confirm Purchase” button as most deals are non-refundable.

If you’re new to group buying, and want to start hunting down your first deal-vacation, take a look at these three great websites.

1)    Groupon – http://Groupon.com

 

This service first became popular with the introduction of their iPhone app.  You simply add your credit card number – and just like that – you’re ready to shop your heart away.  Groupon has partnered up with Expedia to bring you last-minute vacation deals for many locations – from the Yosemite to Alaska – from 40 percent off all the way up to the 70-percentile range.  Imagining staying at a Las Vegas hotel for $59 a night, a 65% discount compared to $169 a night.

 

2)    Hotwire – http://HotWire.ca

This website runs around unsold airfare, hotel, rental cars, and vacation packages.  When the packages are unsold, Hotwire sells them to last-minute vacations at highly-discounted rates.  Hotwire works with Expedia – so you know that they are a trusted brand – offering quality destinations at a fraction of the cost.

 

3)    RDeals – http://RDeals.ca

RDeals.ca, launched back in November, is a daily deals site that brings local and national finds to Canadians for up to 90 per cent off the original price – many of which include door-crashing vacation deals.   A great example; for $19, you can go on a snow shoe tour in Collingwood, Ontario – over 65% off the original price of $55.

“Canadians are increasingly looking to engage with their favourite brands through multiple digital platforms and channels.  With RDeals, we are offering savings on top, quality brands and seamlessly connecting customers, wherever they are, to merchants across the country,” said Jason Tafler, Chief Digital Officer, Rogers Media Inc.

You can find a wide-selection and deal-worthy rates while shopping online.  It’s important that you take the time to do your research, so you can make sure you’re getting the best worth for your hard-earned money.


Full Disclosure:  RDeals.ca is a division of Rogers Communications Inc., the parent company of Citytv and CityLine.

Repost from CityLine.ca