November 25, 2016 11:28 am
Updated: November 27, 2016 11:08 pm

Black Friday frenzy in Edmonton as shoppers seek early deals

WATCH ABOVE: Many shoppers were up early Friday morning to take advantage of Black Friday deals. The tradition may have started south of the border but Edmontonians are getting in on the fun. Julia Wong has more.

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Dozens of Edmonton shoppers lined up early Friday morning, braving the freezing temperatures in anticipation of hot Black Friday deals.

READ MORE: Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals for 2016

Black Friday, an American tradition following Thanksgiving Thursday that is seen as the launch of the Christmas shopping season, has spread north of the border in recent years as corporations try to cash in.

A recent Shopbot survey found one in five Canadians intend to spend more than $350 this Black Friday.

READ MORE: Black Friday and Cyber Monday: How to avoid the biggest security mistakes when buying online

Outside the Best Buy electronics store in South Edmonton Common, about 50 people were lined up before the store opened at 6 a.m. Kris San Jose showed up at 5 a.m. and was the first person in line.

“My mom was looking to get a new TV and I saw a good deal in the flyer and I told her, and we basically lined up,” he said after buying said TV.

He said the wait was worth it, in spite of the cold. So why go to the hassle when you can shop online from the comfort of your own home?

“It’s better to have the product right away. That’s what I find to be better,” said San Jose, who was surprised the line wasn’t longer. “I’ve seen Boxing Day be a lot busier than Black Friday for some reason.”

But beware what you buy and where. In the weeks leading up to Black Friday, a 2014 report by Vancity Credit Union revealed some of the so-called “door crasher” sales are actually inflated. So that huge discount you think you’re getting might just be the original price or a small markdown.

READ MORE: Black Friday and Cyber Monday: How and where to score the best bargains

Such strategies don’t seem to compel consumers to close their wallets, though. In 2015, Canadians swiped their plastic 26 per cent more on Black Friday than Boxing Day, according to Moneris. The credit and debit card payment processor predicts an eight per cent increase this year.

WATCH: Is Black Friday worth the wait, or is it just hype? Kyle Murray from the University of Alberta School of Retailing explains the marketing phenomenon from a business point of view.

Jeff Novak with RedFlagDeals.com, a site showcasing Canadian deals, expects decent deals on earlier versions of the Apple Watch, older GoPro models along with attractive price cuts from giant online retailer Amazon.

“You are going to see some really great Amazon Prime deals this year as well as discounts on electronics, video game systems, video game bundles, and televisions,” he said.

Lia Almeida of price-comparison site Shopbot said Amazon often dominates with sales on kitchenware, e-readers, and Fitbit Charge. Best Buy, on the other hand, is usually the go-to source for electronics.

READ MORE: Slice Canada’s top 5 picks for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales

If you are putting your big purchases on a credit card, just remember to pay them off right away.

Consolidated Credit’s number crunching shows the interest that accrues is sometimes greater than the money you saved.

black-friday-credit

And remember when shopping online: always be suspicious of any deal that seems too good to be true.

– With files from Anne Drewa and Paula Baker, Global News

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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