Tips For Shopping on Black Friday in Canada

Black friday Canada 2017 Shopping Tips

We have all done it, walked by a store and notice a sale sign and just have to look (and shop) but are they all really good deals?  We have some tips and tricks to help you make the most of your Black Friday shopping if you choose not to cross the border.

Research: We have all seen the signs that say 70% off but when you look more closely, the “regular” price is inflated to a never seen price.  Make a list of items you want to buy and their usual sale prices.

Store rely on the fact that once in the store, you are likely to buy and capitalize on that.  You will often find that clearance items are back up to close to regular prices with an additional percentage off, making them the same price they were reduced to previously.

Have some back up choices too.  While you may have a specific item in mind, if it sells out before you get to the store, know what item or brand you want to replace it with if you are not willing to wait for another sale.  Check what other stores nearby will have it for a similar price.  Remember that many stores will not price-match a Black Friday deal.

Black friday Canada Crowds 1

Plan: With some stores offering shopping online as early and various opening times on Black Friday, plan where you will go first to make the most of door crasher sales that are often the best deals.  Decide if those prices are worth the wait time and potentially missing out on other sales (and if they are worth setting that early alarm for on your day off).  We get a little luckier than our US counterparts as some sales will start earlier on Thursday here since it is not a holiday.

Set a budget! Door-crashers and unadvertised sales plus random items you just have to have can be tempting, know how much you want to spend.  Buyers remorse is no fun and Black Friday is pointless if you overspend.

Where to shop? Heading across the border may get you better deals but the line up at border crossings may be long and customs is happy to take your money when you come back, factor in the duty when considering prices.

Some stores will offer coupons as will some malls Make sure you print or save them ahead of time as data can be spotty when deep in the mall and you don’t want a huge line of angry shoppers behind you while you try and download a coupon.  Some malls will also be trying out their special personalized offers when you visit a store if you connect to their app and allow location access this year.

Keep your receipts. We have all come home and wondered what happened to that receipt, make sure you keep them, especially for big ticket items.  I usually stick an envelope in my purse and put them all in that rather than my wallet so I don’t risk losing them when I pull cash out.  You may need the receipt for a return on a faulty item or for proof of purchase for warranty.

Black friday Canada Lineups

Be comfy & prepared: Let’s face it, shopping during big sale events can be stressful.  Parking is a nightmare and it is a prime time for thieves.  Plan your parking and make sure you lock your car with all items hidden from view.  Wear a cross body bag so you can carry shopping or grab that last cute sweater off the rack without worrying about a purse and wear comfy shoes for all of that walking.  Have breakfast because shopping on an empty stomach is a big no – no!

If using public transit, it can be chilly in the morning but warm in the stores or malls – layers you can take off will help rather than bulkier clothing you have to carry (or check to see if your mall offers coat check).

Remember it is a work day for many, if you are heading from the suburbs, add plenty of time for dealing with commuters trying to get to work too.  Even with malls like the Eaton Centre opening at super early, Toronto roads can be busy, I am sure the same is true for other areas.

Shopping with a friend or family member will help too.  You can hit up two stores at once, or save a place in a line while the other runs back to grab an extra item.  Not too big a group though or you will waste time browsing and chatting!

Bring some cash.  While Black Friday is not as big here as in the US, it is still one of the busiest shopping days in Canada and it can put a strain on credit card and debit processing systems.  It is not unheard of for the system to go down, so some cash always helps.

SC Official Discount Gift Card Offers SmartCanucks Cheap Gift Cards Canada

Use rebates and loyalty cards: I remember shopping during Black Friday last year and watching someone buy a television along with other items at Shoppers Drug Mart and not use an Optimum card.  I stood there behind them thinking of my 20x offer sitting on my card which would have been $100+ back in points at bonus redemption.  With so many people not using points on their cards, it is also a good time to redeem loyalty points or just use the card to keep it active.

There are lots of discount gift cards to be had during the year and even this week.  Pick them up now and decide what you will buy with them.  Plus buy the ones offered on Black Friday for Boxing Day shopping!

While the grocery rebate apps will not have many big ticket items, it is always a good idea to check to see what is available and if shopping online, check for online rebates at select stores to help you make the most of your shopping.

Get social: While SmartCanucks has an extensive list of Black Friday sales, there are many smaller stores you may visit that we will not know about.  Follow your favourites on social media and watch for flash sales throughout the day.  During big shopping days, I like to add notifications for stores I plan to buy from so I don’t miss a sale – even if I have to delete some extra push notifications throughout the day.

Lastly, of course, check back with us throughout the day as we add more sales and be nice to store staff, they are working and probably a lot more stressed at the lineups than you are!

One response to “Tips For Shopping on Black Friday in Canada”

  1. adora says:

    Helpful tips. Just like to add that many stores offer Price Adjustment within 7-14 days should their price drop. (e.g. Gap) While other stores offer Price Match post-purchase. Some do both.
    So keeping the receipts is very important. With stores like Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart and Home Depot, you can request to have your receipts emailed to you as well.


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