Studies have shown that Boxing Day still yields better discounts than Black Friday in Canada. So if you’ve been eyeing a special item or are flush with holiday gift cards, you may want to consider braving Boxing Day crowds on the hunt for deals.
But before making that early morning dash, keep in mind the following:
1. Prioritize your choices
While there may be lots of great deals, your finances may not allow you to grab them all. Set your budget ahead of time and prioritize desired purchases. If you can only afford your top 3 of 7 desired items, stick to the three items with your 4th choice as a back-up. Here are some budgeting tips.
2. Some items may be cheap but will be less expensive in January
Winter clothing, for example, often gets marked down further as winter fades and stores need to make room for spring merchandise. For example, here’s a month by month breakdown of fashion discounts.
3. Read the fine print
Many stores have some great door crashers, but in limited quantities. The 5 am lineup and the ensuing wrestling match to land one of these deals may still leave you empty handed. You may find a similar deal online without the hassle.
4. Map out upcoming gift giving occasions, like birthdays
If you’re organized, taking advantage of Boxing Day deals can be a great way to check off upcoming events from the list.
5. Boxing Day caveats
Stores may not honour price matches on Boxing Day door crashers, while others may have final sale policies on sale items. This is particularly important to note if you’re prone to impulse buying.
6. Are they unloading crap?
Some retailers may be trying to dump obsolete technology. Getting a good deal on last years’ model may be a good bet, but buying technology that’s becoming obsolete is not. Also, clearance of discontinued items may raise a red flag as to why it’s on sale. I recently saw a great deal on an electric toothbrush. A little investigation revealed why – awful reviews that detailed frequent malfunctions and poor construction.
7. Relieve the pressure
Limited quantity deals can create pressure to make impulsive decisions. Always check the refund/exchange policy. If their return policy is restrictive, make sure you have no doubts about the purchase.
8. Use it or lose it
As bricks-and-mortar and online retailers battle each other, some will thrive while others make a post-season exit from the retail marketplace. If you have gift cards for a retailer that you suspect isn’t doing well, use or trade it while they’re still in business.