Friday, December 21, 2007

Boxing Day: Is it all a Ploy?

I have become increasingly skeptical of Boxing Day "deals". Yet, for some odd reason, I still feel obligated to join the millions of others stampeding into the shopping mall on the 26th, waiting in line to get into a store they'd normally never shop at to save a few bucks on something they probably never would have purchased otherwise. Is it all worth it?

What about the so-called "deals"? The truth is that it really comes down to the specific store. Of course some will have real, cost-saving door-crasher specials that are worth trudging to the mall and fighting for a parking spot in three feet of snow to snag. But there are others who draw you in with huge signage and big promises only to offer a measly 10% off; and this is only after having first jacked the price tag up by 15%!

Even after purchasing an item at a fantastic deal, 'll often head over to the mall on the 27th or 28th and find the exact same deal still in effect. Why did I wait in line for 15 minutes to get this deal a few days ago, when I could have just come back?

Many retailers are honest about this, promoting the sale as "Boxing Week" rather than Boxing Day, if not for the customer's benefit, for their own. It pretty much says in a subtle, yet direct way, "Hey, you don't need to bombard me today - come back tomorrow...please!"

Nevertheless, I, like many others, feel the need to pop over to the mall on the 26th and make sure I'm not missing out on anything. Even though deep down I know the same deals will exist two days later, there's an air of tradition that requires that I put myself through torture, and support one of the biggest days in consumer culture.

Before you head out shopping, do your research (even if just anecdotal) and find out where the worthwhile savings are before you waste your time. Many retailers, like Future Shop and Best Buy, will not only hold in-store sales, but will also begin online sales as early as December 24, offering significant savings in limited quantities. And if you don't make it out on December 26, rest assured that, if history repeats itself, there will be "deals" of all kinds all week long.

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays (should you celebrate another holiday) to you all!

[Photo courtesy of].

1 comment:

Lee_D said...

I think the degree of deal-ness really varies from retailer to retailer.

At the original A&B Sound, Boxing Day was headlined by truly outrageous pricing on a few limited quantity items, designed to generate real excitement and motivate people to line up at 1am to get in the door at 6. But beyond that were lots of opportunity buys, where the company;s buyers bought up end runs and special purchases just to blow out on Boxing Day. And in addition, because that day was all about volume, smart shoppers could finagle a deal on regular stock merchandise that was pretty aggressive as well.