Canadians teeming over the U.S. border for Black Friday

Matt Coutts
Daily Brew

If you are reading this, it's probably too late. Either you have embraced the craze of cross-border Black Friday shopping or you found something better to do with your morning.

The annual day of commercial mayhem is here again, marking the day after American Thanksgiving and the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season.

It's an American-made event meant to benefit American stores, but we Canadians are not ones to miss out on a good deal, what with the border just a wee drive south and all those big box stores happy to swipe Canuck credit cards.

Stores including Walmart, Best Buy, Apple and Toys "R" Us faced a crush of shoppers first thing this morning, with more than a few Canadians in the mix.

According to the Toronto Star, a recent survey found that 40 per cent of Canadians plan to cross-border shop this weekend. That just can't be right. That is a fraction shy of half of the entire population crossing the border to buy things.

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Take that survey will several grains of salt. At the very least it suggests Canadians get feverish at the thought of crossing the border to score those Black Friday deals.

A more reasonable Harris/Decima poll suggests 10 per cent of Canadians were going to spend on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when the discounts become available online.

These are U.S. holidays, we are just nibbling at the corners.

In many areas of the U.S., Black Friday can be absolutely bonkers. The Associated Press reported that 11,000 people lined up outside Macy's flagship store in New York City before it opened at midnight on Friday.

A survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers-Goldman Sachs found that 33 per cent of Americans planned on doing some Good Friday shopping.

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Say nothing of the retailers; Black Friday seems to be big business to pollsters. They all have their numbers, and they all say we are bonkers for bargains. Salivating for sales. Delirious for deals.

You get the point.

Here's a tip, shoppers. When a store says that everything is "up to 70 per cent off," all it really means that nothing is more than 70 per cent off. Think about that. Stores don't run Black Friday sales because it garners good press.

They do it because it lets them make buttloads of money off people who buy things they usually wouldn't just because it seems like a good deal.