I can’t believe I’m admitting this… but I’ve already succumbed to Black Friday sales.
Now, before you “tsk tsk” or otherwise tell me I’m a weak individual, you should know that I thought long and hard before I made the purchase. (Just kidding. I literally jumped online, bought the boots and then sent out a link to my friends so they too could score a great deal.)
And while it was completely convenient for me to shop online on a Saturday morning in my pajamas, therein lies the dangers of online shopping: it’s simply too easy to spend money. If, for example, my girlfriend had told me about this sale in-store, I would have had to (1) decide if it was worth the trip, (2) get ready to face the cold, (3) find parking at the mall… okay, you get my drift.
Instead, I made an impulse purchase, and within 30 minutes, four other friends had made similar impulse purchases.
Now here’s the really scary part. This was just one isolated purchase. If I don’t reign in my spending now, what will happen during the Christmas shopping binge? A recent TD survey found that when it comes to purchasing gifts for loved ones, instead of battling the busy malls, more than seven in 10 (72 per cent) of Canadians surveyed do at least some of their holiday shopping online. Not surprisingly, the same survey found that over one-third (37 per cent) of those who do most of their holiday shopping online are more likely to say they spend more than they would in store.
To help savvy shoppers plan their online holiday shopping without breaking the bank, TD worked with Cathie Mostowyk, online shopping expert and president of Shoestring Shopping Guide Inc., to help create and share a list of some simple budget-conscious shopping tips:
· Pick your price: Canadians love a good bargain. The TD survey found that 57 per cent of Canadians surveyed shop online looking for better pricing. You can use online shopping to compare prices so you can help ensure you get the best deal without having to face a crowded mall.
· Sign up for savings: Sign up with your favourite retailers for their email updates. They often send out information about upcoming sales, or special pricing and offers for their subscribers.
· Maximize rewards: Think about taking advantage of loyalty rewards. For example, there are a variety of redemption options available to TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite credit cardholders, including redemptions for travel purchases as well as for brand-name merchandise and gift cards.
(Did you attend our #TDInfiniteTravel Twitter Chat last week? If you did, you already know all about the perks of the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card!)
· Consider international expenses: If you’re like the 39 per cent of Canadians surveyed who shop online for the ability to shop with international retailers, make sure you factor in duty taxes, exchange rates, and consider the return shipping costs, as those costs can quickly add up.
· Cut shipping costs: Many stores offer reduced or even free shipping with a minimum dollar amount spent. Think about how many people you can cross off your list from one retailer – it can help save you time and money.
And my best tip? Show a little restraint. Walk away from your online cart at least once to ensure you’re 100% happy with your purchase. With these budget-conscious shopping tips, and a little luck on your side, may the Black Friday sales be ever in your favour!
This post is sponsored by TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card. The opinions on this blog are my own.