Dec. 26, popularly known as Boxing Day, is famous for two things: amazing Christmas dinner leftovers, and shopping! For many years, Boxing Day has been synonymous with large crowds, long lines, and a mad rush as shoppers try to catch the last opportunity for great deals before the end of the year.
Recent consumer trends have shown that Boxing Day shopping has decreased in popularity, as Canadians have made the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend in November their new favourite holiday shopping days. However, according to the Retail Council of Canada’s 2018 Holiday Survey conducted by Leger, 35 per cent of consumers still planned to take advantage of Boxing Day deals, with 62 per cent planning to shop in-store and the remaining 38 per cent shopping online through their computer, tablet, or mobile devices.
“Even with moving consumer trends, Boxing Day is still the last hoorah and the completion of the season’s shopping triad for both businesses and consumers,” says Karla Davis, Manager of Community and Public Relations at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Mainland BC. “It is a great opportunity for businesses to move product and clear inventory before the new year, which by extension creates the possibility for good bargains and savings on high ticket items for consumers.”
As consumers revel in the excitement of one more shopper’s showdown, BBB would like to share some consumer tips to help Canadians make the best of the Boxing Day bonanza:
1. Make a list: This will help to keep you focused and prevent you from breaking the bank. Consider adding items that do not normally go on sale.
2. Browse and window shop beforehand: Whether you plan to shop in-store or online, look out for promotions and advertisements from retailers. This will help to create inspiration for your shopping list, give you an opportunity to compare and verify prices, and you may even be able to catch a few pre-Boxing Day deals.
3. Gather the gift cards: You may already have a few gift cards lying around, and there is a great chance that there is at least one more waiting for you in your Christmas stocking or under the tree. This is great time to cash them in and hold off on spending your own money or using your credit cards.
4. Read the fine print: Two of the top influencing factors for consumers when selecting a retailer are holiday sales and a convenient return policy. Davis explains that “while this is important, consumers should also remember that low prices may come with a catch, and some Boxing Day purchases may be final. Ensure that you check all the after-sale services that the retailer offers, especially on more expensive items like large household appliances and electronics that would normally attract some kind of warranty.”
5. Avoid shopping in groups: Shopping alone or with one other person allows you to move quickly from store to store and make better use of your time.
6. Be wary of free trial offers: While shopping online, look out for misleading “risk-free” trial offers being promoted through fake celebrity endorsements, as subscription traps and surprise charges may be lurking.
With 87 per cent of consumers planning to support local retailers while shopping, it is important to know the businesses you can trust. Visit www.bbb.org to see business profiles, ratings, and customer reviews, as well as to report any misleading advertisements or scams.