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.
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 toLEGO 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.
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 emergence of online retailers have paved the way for an e-commerce economy booming like no other. One-click purchases and subscriptions make it easier than ever before to shop from the comfort of your own home, plus hassle-free returns mean you can buy guilt-free.
Here are three tips to help you save money while online shopping:
Yes, it’s possible! Use Ebates.ca to start your online shopping. The brilliant method of Ebates.ca is that it’s a free online membership that allows you the ability to earn Cash Back on just about everything you purchase online. Plus, I use their Ebates app to get deals on the go and score exclusive Cash Back offers.
GALLERY: A view of desktop and mobile apps.
Once you’ve created your account, you can browse through 750
different stores, (including Amazon, Hudson’s Bay, Best Buy, even travel sites
like Expedia) their gift card shop (they carry hundreds of gift cards from gas
to groceries and restaurants), see if there are any additional coupons and
offers, and then it’ll send you over to the store’s website where you can shop
like you normally would.
To make it easier, use the Ebates Cash Back button in your browser to earn without having to visit Ebates first. For me, that means even if I forget to jump to Ebates.ca first, the button is a great reminder that I can still earn.
As long as you start on Ebates.ca, your purchase is logged and you will receive a Cash Back percentage in your account. It’s that easy! Every three months, you will receive a “Big Fat Cheque” or a PayPal payment directly into your bank account. If you’re going to buy something anyways, you might as well start online and use Ebates.ca to get paid to shop.
Lastly, you can earn extra Cash Back by referring friends to sign up and you’ll earn a $5 bonus after your first purchase of $25 or more! Sign up today using THIS link or download the app!
Make sure to comparison shop
Comparison shopping is how I find the best deals. Google Shopping
is a helpful website to input the item which you’re searching for, then let the
website scour the web for the lowest rate and find the deal that’s right for
Google Shopping will search for everything from tech to home decor.
Then, note the items and their retailers.
Protect your purchases
I like to make it a regular practice to make my purchases on a
reputable credit card. This means reading through your consumer protection
rights should something arrive damaged, if something faulty happens to your
purchase, or even if you manage to lose it.
Plus, as a points collector, I responsibly use a credit card to rack up miles to use towards future purchases.
This article contains sponsored content from Ebates.ca.
A new app, which we have decided to keep unnamed for the purposes of this article, features hundreds of home security cameras across North America, causing great concern among users online.
In Toronto, dozens of driveways, backyards, front entranceways are featured, and south of the border, cameras inside the home are displayed for public streaming.
When it comes to security tips, experts are saying to regularly change the password on the camera itself, and ensure it is a strong key combination that is different from the default password.
Similar practices are recommended for routers itself. Change your Wi-Fi network password, hide your network (SSID), and remember to set your router administrator credentials away from the default username/password.
From drones to solar-charged backpacks, Winston Sih shows us the coolest new tech must-haves for all of your summer adventures.
As aired on Cityline, Monday, April 27, 2015, on City.
As always, you can watch previous episodes of Cityline at Citytv.com, or via the City Video iOS or Android apps! Cityline airs 9 a.m. on City across Canada. Check Citytv.com for all television air times across the country.