Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year in North America and while us Canadians don’t always benefit from the kind of retail bargains that our cousins south of the border enjoy, this is one day when the playing field is level. Black Friday sales are just as plentiful here in Canada as they are in the US, and this is your guide to securing the very best.
Where to Find the Best Black Friday Deals
The biggest retailers are usually the ones who offer the biggest discounts. They have more buying power, which means they can negotiate lower prices with wholesalers and pass the savings onto the customer. You will struggle to find a small-scale independent retailer doing this, because if they did then a single blow-out Black Friday event could be enough to bankrupt them.
Checkout the following stores for the best Black Friday sales during any given year:
- Amazon: The kings of online Black Friday deals, Amazon have huge savings on everything from tech and clothes, to food and games. They have countdown deals, time-limited promotions and more. Be sure to bookmark and keep a close eye on their sales. You should also get yourself a wish-list and add your name to the Amazon newsletter, as that way they will email you when they have a Black Friday offer on your wish-list items.
- Best Buy: Always a great place to go for some Black Friday savings. This is one of the leading discount retailers in North America and it has more than enough bargains come the end of November.
- Walmart: The Big W has far fewer stores here in Canada than it does in the US, but with over 400 stores to choose from (334 of which are supercenters) there is still enough to go around. They have huge Black Friday events every year and these can’t be missed.
Lowest Black Friday Prices
Now you know where to shop on Black Friday, that leaves just one question: which products offer the biggest discounts during this special shopping day?
Trends come and go, as does product availability. These both play a role during Black Friday and what’s good one year may not be good the next. But there are some mainstays that are always worth buying, including:
- Gaming Bundles: Retailers love to showcase the latest consoles and to throw in all kinds of games and accessories as well. If you spend big then you can save big and get the best console and the best games to go with it.
- Music and Film: There are some big offers on DVDs, CDs and other media during most Black Friday sales. In most cases the retailers are looking to offload surplus films and albums that didn’t sell as expected, but a bargain is a bargain, especially if you have mainstream tastes (fans of B-Movie horror and Heavy Metal might have to look elsewhere).
- Appliances: Black Friday sales are the best time to get yourself a new washer, dryer, refrigerator and any other kitchen appliance that you need. If you shop sensibly you can save up to 50% on retail prices.
What Not to Buy on Black Friday
The biggest Black Friday savings can be made on the products mentioned above. There are some other great offers available as well, but there are also a select few deals that are not quite what they seem, deals that you should avoid if you want to save your money for the real discounts. These include:
- Branded Phones and Devices: Apple products are some of the most sought-after on Black Friday as many believe that this holiday will bring the likes of the iPad and iPhone into their price range. But the truth is that branded tech like this is rarely available at any kind of discount and the best time to buy the current model is just after the new model has been released.
- Fitness Equipment: Offers are available, but retailers are wary of providing big discounts. They know that there is a huge spike in sales of fitness equipment in the new year, so they save their biggest promotions for then.
- Jewelry: This close to Christmas, retailers are not willing to let their star jewels go cheap. They might take part in the Black Friday sales, but only as a passing nod to the holiday. Save your purchase for the January sales.
- Gift Cards: A popular purchase during Black Friday sales, but one that is actually a lot cheaper closer to Christmas, when retailers look to offload their stock before it expires.
The Black Friday FAQ
To help you find the very best Black Friday deals and to truly own this holiday, here’s a short FAQ:
Why is it Called Black Friday?
“Black” is typically used to denote a dark day or event, such as Black Tuesday, the term used to describe the day the stock markets crashed in 1929. Believe it or not, this is also true for Black Friday.
It was initially used to describe the traffic congestion that followed the day of Thanksgiving, when the Christmas shopping season began in earnest and the chaos commenced. Prior to that it had been given this name because the day after Thanksgiving was notorious for workers phoning in sick, essentially shutting down the US workforce as a result. However, it was the congestion issue that stuck the most and it’s believed to be from this that we get the term Black Friday.
It has also been suggested that this term was coined by retailers who saw Black Friday as the day they left the “red” and entered the “black” thanks to the huge increase in profits, although this explanation seems to have been offered twenty years after the term was already in use.
When Did Black Friday Start?
Black Friday has been described as the “Busiest Shopping Day of the Year” since the early-1950s. However, it wasn’t until the early 1980s that it became connected with huge nationwide sales.
When is Black Friday This Year?
Black Friday always falls on the day after Thanksgiving, which itself falls on the fourth Thursday of November.
What Time do Stores Open on Black Friday?
Most stores open at 6:00am to get an early start on the busy day ahead, but some are known to open as early as 5:00am while others, (including CostCo and Best Buy) don’t open until 8:00am or 9:00am.