The wrapping paper has barely been recycled and already you’re rushing out the door en route to magical deals, long lines and depleted savings. Such is the allure of Boxing Day! How can you make sure the deals are worth your time, pocket change and pain? Here are a few ideas for making sure you don’t get boxed:
1. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, do. your. research. Do not rush blindly to your nearest Best Buy with the vague goal of picking up a big TV for cheap. A little bit of research will ensure that you’re getting the best deal for the least hassle.
2. If you can buy it online, do BUY IT ONLINE. Especially if there’s free shipping or free delivery available. You will save yourself five hours of grief and you may even pay less than in-store prices. Aggregate online shopping sites like Shop.ca may also offer better deals than retailers themselves. And check your credit card’s perks website to see if they incentivize making purchases through specific retailers.
3. Make your list ahead of time. Wait a few days. Check it again and reassess how many of the items you really actually need. Here are some comprehensive lists of deals being offered (online and in-store) at a host of Canadian retailers: Walletpop, Red Flag Deals, Bargain Moose.
4. Don’t forget the promo code! Old Navy may be offering 70% off, but you always have the option of adding in a promo code deal at checkout. In your haste to get those $2.99 fleece sweatpants, don’t forget!
5. Negotiate. Ask about price matching. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts on floor models, demos or damaged items. The worse the retailer can do is say no. And scoff at you derisively.
6. And if it isn’t painfully obvious, set a budget! Believe it or not, 20% of Canadians don’t. Which all but guarantees that you will saunter home from the store with electric slippers, a plasma TV the size of your house and a basket of fruitcakes. Shop mindfully!