While Black Friday has been a common staple in the States as well as a part of the ‘super sale’ family and Boxing Day is a big sale for Canadians, with the introduction of the December 1st Cyber Monday Sale, there are multiple opportunities for savings to be found in and around the Holiday season.
For years many Canadians have ventured across the border in search of huge savings during these times of year and more recently many Canadian stores are participating in these sales to keep their patrons on their side of the border. Additionally, Cyber deals have also appeared to encourage Canadians to spend less time shopping across the border than before.
Today, I want to focus specifically on how Black Friday and Cyber Monday compare to one another and see which is perhaps a better option for us as we prepare, financially and mentally for our Christmas shopping this year.
Ultimately, it is up to the consumer of course whether they choose to stay and shop on the Canadian side or whether they drive across to the U.S to find other sale options. However, the other question I want to try and answer also here is are these sales really worth it? – Are the savings worth the drive as well as worth the hassle of battling the crowds??
On these dates each year, malls and stores across Canada and the U.S. extend their hours in order to accommodate the high volume of shoppers as well as individuals who are working and still want to take advantage of these sales in the wee hours of the morning, as well as during the evening. Here are some questions you can ask yourself in order to determine if shopping Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday Sales are a better option and make more sense for you.
How Much Money will You Spend on Gas & other Expenses?
If you are choosing to do some cross-border shopping, first you will want to determine how much you will spend towards gas and other expenses, such as overnight hotel and food accommodations. If you have a long drive to the border and decide it will be best to stay over night as opposed to driving back home the same day, then you will want to also figure out if you will be spending more than what you will save on the items you want to purchase.
Many Canadians however who decide to go to the States to attend these sales, do live relatively close to the border so this can mean that not as much gas will be spend, especially if they decide to fill their tank at a lower price, while across the border. Another benefit of living only a few hours from the nearest American border means that this shopping adventure can be performed in the confines of one day and therefore hotel expenses are irrelevant.
Alternatively, if the drive is too far and the amount you will end up accumulating may outweigh the amount you will save, then staying at home and shopping the Cyber-Monday online sales may be a better option.
Benefits of Shopping Online Cyber Monday Sales
1) It’s Faster and More Convenient – you can shop from home or from anywhere. If you are working and can’t take part in these sales in person, this can be an easier alternative to having to rush to the stores before and after work.
2) More Easy to Compare Prices – instead of having to call or drive around to different stores, you can compare the prices of the specific products you want to buy online and this can save you time as well as money.
3) Avoid Vehicle and Consumer Congestion – this method can ensure you will avoid busy roads as well as store crowds. You won’t have to stand in long lines, and can avoid tired legs and sore feet and overall shopping exhaustion.
4) Less Stressful – shopping the Cyber Monday sales can overall help with the amount of stress that can arise from long drives, busy parking lots, navigating mall crowds and dealing with other shoppers who are equally ‘stressed out’.
Benefits of Shopping the Black Friday In-store Sales
1) See what you are buying – if you shop in the store, you can actually see the product, measure the size, and compare it to other in-store items.
2) More sales on Black Friday than Cyber Monday – on average there may actually be more sales available on the the Friday as opposed to the Monday.
3) Better Prices on Black Friday – There may be better prices on Black Friday than on Cyber Monday and therefore more savings to be found – so perhaps worth the drive!
4) Consult Salesperson Advice – if you shop in person you can consult the advice of the sales people and this may help you make more informed purchases.
How much can you actually SAVE?
Whether you are going to attend these ‘super sales’ to make Christmas shopping purchases and/or for other shopping purposes – it is important to know how much money you can potentially save!
• Typically, many items you can buy during ‘super sale’ periods are often as high as 50 percent and this can certainly help you save money on large priced items, such as electronics, clothing, furniture, seasonal items, and even vehicles.
• If you do decide to drive across to the States to shop, you can choose to gas your car before returning to the Canadian side. Often times, gas prices will be reduced by 20-30% percent compared to Canadian prices and those stations that are closest to the border can be the lowest.
• Not only can you do all of your shopping in one day/weekend, you can save quite a large amount of money overall.
It will of course be important to stick to your shopping budget and try not to overspend no matter how tempting it may be. If you will be shopping the stores in person, you can take a list with you that can help you remain on track in terms of what items you are looking for. This may help you avoid spending too much, as well as help save time and allow you shop with more efficiency.
Overall, I think both ‘shopping’ options seem to have their benefits. I agree that it is a personal decision and all shoppers need to decide for themselves which may be the best alternative. I am all for saving money this Christmas and I think taking advantage of these ‘super sales’ does appear to be worth it in one way or another.