Shoppers from across the country will hit stores (or their keyboards) searching for the best Black Friday deals in Canada. With so many sales, it can be hard to tell which ones are worth your time, or just trying to take advantage of you. This quick list provides a few common scams and best practices when shopping. We also found a few deals so you can shop confidently this Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday Deals in Canada: Sale or Scam?
When it comes to Black Friday deals in Canada, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean it’s a good deal. Before clicking “purchase,” take a moment to compare prices. Check the retailer’s previous sale prices and other reputable retailers' prices. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true—they often are.
Review and Understand the Return Policy
Black Friday deals in Canada often come with strict return policies. Be certain to review and understand each retailer’s policies. Even if a purchase is marked down, this discount won’t mean much if you cannot return it for a refund or exchange.
Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping often involves buying gifts before the holidays. It is crucial to ensure that gift recipients can return or exchange them if needed. Always ask for a gift receipt.
Pay Attention to the Fine Print
Before you click “add to cart” on that Cyber Monday deal, read the fine print. For example, many retailers advertise deep discounts, but the item is only available in limited quantities before it returns to regular price.
The same applies to “buy one, get one” deals. Check to see if both items are equal in value. Often, one item has a significant discount, the other has no discount or is of lesser value, and the average of the two items makes for a less meaningful deal. Finally, don’t fall victim to “door dasher deals” that get you in the door for limited quantity sales only to sell you everything else at regular or inflated prices.
Cyber Monday Deals in Canada: Be Smart
It doesn’t matter if it’s a Black Friday deal in Canada, or a Cyber Monday sale. Every Canadian should understand the basics of online shopping security.
Inspect the Site Before Clicking the Purchase Button
Always be aware of potential imposter sites. These simple steps can distinguish between shopping safely and a criminal maxing out your credit card.
Check the URL. Ensure you’re on the correct website before inputting your credit card information. Bookmark the site beforehand or type in the URL yourself rather than clicking on a link you received in an email.
Look for SSL encryption. Before entering sensitive information, ensure the site has SSL encryption. You can usually tell by the URL—it should start with “HTTPS” instead of just “HTTP.”
Check for customer reviews. A quick Google search can show what other customers say about shopping with your chosen retailer. If there are no reviews or primarily negative ones, it’s a red flag!
Use a credit card, not a debit. Always use a credit card instead of a debit card when shopping online. If you end up the victim of fraud, you can dispute the charges with your bank or credit card company. It is likely that the card issuer also insures the funds.
Top Five Black Friday Scams
We all know scammers like to take advantage of the high stress of scrambling holiday shoppers. Here are a few of criminals' most common tactics during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
As we mentioned, scammers create fake websites that look identical to a legitimate retailer’s site. They do this to steal your credit card information when you make a “purchase.” These sites often use typosquatting, also known as URL typos, to pass as their legitimate retailer counterparts unnoticed. Examples include wolmart.com and amazonn.com.
Email Deal Scams
Many Black Friday and Cyber Monday scams come in the form of phishing emails. These emails appear to be from a legitimate retailer but are sent by criminals. The email will likely include a non-existent deal or coupon code. You are redirected to a fake website that steals your personal information if you click the link.
Order/Delivery Link Trap
An order/delivery link trap happens when you receive an email appearing to be from a delivery company like Canada Post, UPS, or FedEx. It can even be an email with a tracking number from a well-known delivery retailer like Amazon. The email notes an issue with your delivery and provides a link to track your package. Unfortunately, clicking on the link will take you to a phishing site that will try to collect banking or credit card information or your other online credentials. Always track your deliveries through the original retailer’s website.
During the holidays, scammers will try to take advantage of your generosity by setting up sham charities. They use fake websites or social media profiles to collect donations that won’t ever support a good cause. Therefore, it’s essential to do your research before donating to any charity. If in doubt, use the Canadian Revenue Agency’s charity search tool to ensure your chosen charity is legit.
Fake Social Media Deals
We’ve all seen too-good-to-be-true deals pop up in our social media feeds. And while some of them may be legitimate, many are not. Be very careful when clicking on links from social media posts. Scam artists often use social media to lure victims to their fake websites.
The Hottest Black Friday Deals in Canada
So now you know what scams to steer clear of this holiday shopping season. We’ve selected five amazingly awesome (and real) deals we’ve collected from our chosen retail partner, amazon.ca.
Remember to stay vigilant when shopping for Black Friday deals in Canada this year. Avoid the scams that we covered. With this baseline knowledge and some caution, you can stock up on holiday essentials and remain stress-free during this “crazy” shopping season.
Creditpicks is a collective of citizens, residents, designers and developers, MBAs, undergraduates, and current students. They contribute to Creditpicks both full-time and part-time. Our shared interest is in dependable, accurate, yet readable research on what makes personal finance tick in Canada.
Cite this article
Creditpicks. (2022). Black Friday Deals in Canada. Creditpicks. https://www.creditpicks.com/black-friday-deals-in-canada/