Boxing Day: Is it worth it?

Man with shopping bags

For many people, Boxing Day shopping is an integral part of the holiday season. Stores advertise great deals in order to bring people in the door – but is it worth getting up early to wait outside the store, and brave the crowds? We looked at Boxing Day flyers from several large stores for last year’s Boxing Day sales, and compared them to prices found during the rest of the year.

One product we looked at was a name-brand wireless ink-jet printer, which was advertised at $38, marked down from $89.98 – a savings of $51.98! On the surface, this seems like a good deal, but further research showed that this printer is reduced to $38 several times throughout the year.

Good deals can be had, though. A snowblower was advertised at $799.99 – a savings of $300, and research indicated that it is normally sold throughout the year for its regular price of $1099.99, and that when it does go on sale, the savings never reach the Boxing Day price of $799.99.

If a product you are looking for is on sale, it may be tempting to brave the crowds on Boxing Day to do some shopping. Keep in mind that these sales are “while quantities last” and generally rainchecks are not offered. Stores will often carry a limited number of deeply discounted items, and when they are out, will offer an alternative brand or model that is not on sale. This works because consumers do not want to leave a store empty-handed, so do your research and make sure you are still getting a good deal. And, as always, remember that a deal is only a deal if it is a product that you need, and spending money on something you don’t need or can’t afford is not saving money!