November 24, 2021
8 mins

Is Black Friday Even Worth It? The Truth About Fake Sales

Black Friday – The Best Time of the Year

Maybe you've got your online carts filled, and the in-store discounts scoped out. Or, perhaps you're more of an impulse buyer who likes to go on an excellent old-fashioned deal hunt. Before you embark on your extensive shopping, we beg the question – are the Black Friday deals Canada offers worth the hype?

More importantly, are you getting ripped off with fake sales? We break it all down in the article below, so keep reading to find out.

The Basics of Black Friday

Before we get into the actual value of the day, let's look at why and how it came it be what it is. Following are a few basics every consumer needs to know about Black Friday.

What Is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the biggest retail sales day in Canada and the United States. It is a day full of fantastic shopping deals, massive discounts, and great rewards. It marks the beginning of the holiday and its associated shopping season. Stores offer big sales on clothing, electronics, toys, and more.

When Is Black Friday?

Black Friday falls on the last Thursday of November, after American Thanksgiving. The date typically ends up being around the 26th of November. Retailers will offer ‘pre-Black Friday' and ‘post-black Friday' deals to keep the shopping festivities going. All in all, Black Friday can stretch up to three whole weeks! However, Black Friday deals extend well before and after the 26th.

What Is Cyber Monday?

In addition, a similar tradition on the Monday after Thanksgiving has arisen. Yep, we're talking about Cyber Monday. If you're wondering, ‘what day is Cyber Monday.' In that case, it happens to fall right after the Thanksgiving weekend – around the 30th of November.

The premise here is that consumers are ready to resume spending after a weekend of Thanksgiving fun.

Why Is It Called Black Friday?

Although the term ‘Black Friday' is a new one, the concept of post-Thanksgiving sales is certainly not. The idea of kicking off the holiday spending season with a particular retail day has been around for decades. This is also because many businesses give their employees the day off after Thanksgiving. Thus, it makes for the perfect day to go out on a shopping spree!

U.S. police officers in the 1950s coined the term ‘Black Friday.' At the time, crowds of shoppers flooded the City of Brotherly Love after Thanksgiving to do some shopping. In turn, the retailers offer massive sales and decorations to incentivize spending. Thus, the police had to work overtime to deal with the crowds of consumers lining up. Over time, this dreaded workday became known as Black Friday.

It may seem like everything is on sale this time of year. But the reality is that America's biggest shopping holiday is just another illusion – carefully constructed to get you spending more.

Are Black Friday Deals in Canada Even Worth it?

There's much compelling evidence to suggest it isn't. And shoppers are catching on to this fact too. For example, Black Friday sales fell 12% in 2020 compared to 2021.

Below, we get into some reasons why Black Friday deals may not be worth it.

It's a Lot of Marketing

We can tell you what retailers care about, and it isn't your happiness finding a good deal. No, retailers are always looking to one-up their bottom line. And they wouldn't put out the kind of sales they claim if they weren't getting something out of it. So, while the day is touted as extravagant, with blow-out sales, take a look at some of the wording on the advertisements.

Phrases like ‘One-Time-Only,' ‘Best Sale EVER,' and ‘Don't Miss Out' generate frenzy through advertising. Consumers feel compelled to cash in on the offer as they fear they may miss out down the line. While some deals may be worth it, most discounts out there are minor. It's just that the advertising used to communicate these deals is truly spectacular and highly effective.

You Can Get the Same Deals Later

You can find the same Black Friday Canada deals at lower prices at other times of the year. For example, fitness equipment is always cheaper in the winter. On the other hand, winter clothing and jackets discounts are always available during the summer season.

It's all about supply and demand, and retailers use low-sales seasons to increase revenue. 
Thus, instead of scoping out the best Black Friday deals in Canada, you're probably better off waiting it out. After all, if you're willing to go through the Black Friday frenzy for a good deal, you're probably prudent enough to time your buying to seasonal discounts.

Doorbusters Are a Scam

What's a ‘doorbuster?' It's a heavily advertised deal that retailers offer that is limited to only a few. These are provided for a brief period and sell out quickly.

However, the whole point of doorbusters is just that – to get you in the door. You may walk into a retail store hoping to find the deal, but it's long gone. Instead, you'll see the retailers' other sales on display, and hopefully, spend money on those. It's a great way to spend money on things you never wanted to buy in the first place! And consumers take out lines of credit to ensure they can get ahold of these ‘special deals.'

It's the Same Stuff – Again

Most retailers will recycle the same deals and prices – year after year. Even big retailers like Best Buy and Target are almost predictable in their offerings. But the fact of the matter is, people still go out and spend their hard money on the same deals year after year.

By shopping seasonally or getting a little creative with when you spend, you'll make back your deal – and more. You're better off doing that than spending on the same sales, which don't offer you more significant savings or added benefits.

The Effort May Not Be Worth It

Some bargain fans camp out at stores the night before Black Friday. Others skip Thanksgiving dinner with their loved ones to catch a good deal. People are crazy about the Black Friday experience, which may not be worth it. There are long lines to account for, sold-out items, lengthy cash-out procedures, and an unruly crowd.

The time and effort you spend to get a paltry deal may not be worth it! Thus, you may want to save your energy for an agreement that is actually blow-out spectacular.

And how many of us bought something on holiday and realized it wasn't quite right? Despite the day-after disappointment, there's also the item returning that is not worth it. You may have to stand in another insanely long line to make the return. And many Black Friday deals are final sales, meaning you won't be able to return the item at all.

That Brings Us To…

Cyber Monday!

This holiday is all about online deals. So now the question deserves to be asked – why would people brave out Black Friday instead of just shopping from the comfort of their own homes on Cyber Monday?

Well, to begin with, Cyber Monday Canada isn't all that different from Black Friday. It is simply another heavy layer of marketing applied to recycled discounts from the previous week.

Cyber Monday deals are very similar to Black Friday deals in Canada. However, while you may not be saving much money, you will be saving significantly on time and effort. In addition, Cyber Monday deals offer greater leniency with returns too. Thus, instead of blowing all your coin on Black Friday, perhaps it's Cyber Monday you should be focusing your energy on.

Think Twice before Spending on Black Friday Deals in Canada

Is Black Friday genuinely worth it? The deals aren't all they're said to be, and the effort of finding the items you want is a drag. Not to mention, the urgency the holiday demands can lead you to buy things you never even liked, let alone needed. So if you feel compelled to kick back and skip the lines this year, you may have the right idea. But, unfortunately, you're better off investing it elsewhere instead!

Many people find themselves in debt this time of year. So if you're looking for financial management, planning, and spending resources, we're the site for you.

Be sure to check out our debt consolidation page for more information today!

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