Saskatoon

Black Friday deals may be misleading

As Canadian shoppers prepare themselves for one of the biggest shopping days of the year, many are wondering if they are getting the best deal possible.

Marketing professor advises shoppers to check prices

It's important to make sure you're actually getting a deal at Black Friday sales. (Melissa Key/Goldsboro News-Argus/Associated Press)

Black Friday sales may not have reached the levels of shopping mayhem seen in the United States, but the event is becoming a bigger and bigger deal in Canada.

As Canadian shoppers prepare themselves for one of the biggest shopping days of the year, many are wondering if the deals being offered are really that great.

So, are you getting the best deal possible?

"Probably not," said David Williams, associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan's Edwards' School of Business. "It's not the rational deal you think you're getting."

A marketing specialist, Williams said the sales will generally focus on making high-profile items cheaper. That doesn't necessarily apply to everything else in a store.

"With Black Friday, one of the points is to get people into the store," he said. "Once you're in a store, you're more likely to open your wallet and buy a secondary thing, which may not be as much of a bargain as you think it is."

Williams said Black Friday has become another shopping event in a season that starts with back-to-school sales, and ends at Boxing Day.

"Normally, consumers are starting to have a bit of skepticism and mistrust of prices," he said. "There's always an event or a deal."

When it comes to online shopping, Williams said the low Canadian dollar may deter people from shopping at American sites this year.

"There might be a bit more caution," he said. "People may be a bit more apprehensive."

When Statistics Canada looked at retail spending in November, it found the share of annual retail sales in the month edged up only slightly from 2006 to 2014, from 8.4 per cent to 8.5 per cent.

However, spending on electronics and appliances, clothing and sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores has grown in November.

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