Wednesday, December 26, 2007

When Did Boxing Day Become Boxing Week?

My wife isn’t much of a shopper, and I shop even less. So, maybe retailers have been talking about “Boxing Week sales” for some time without me noticing. Until recently, I thought it was just “Boxing Day.”

We seem to get whipped into a frenzy about post-Christmas sales. We also get very excited about trying to find certain toys (particularly video games) that are scarce. I can’t say that I’m an expert on the methods used to get people to shop, but it seems that this scarcity is created intentionally to generate excitement and keep prices up.

The rise in the Canadian dollar relative to the US dollar has created a sharp rise in Canadians crossing the border looking for bargains. There is no doubt that US prices are usually lower, and the trip can be worthwhile when buying expensive items. However, most people seem to just buy a few small things. I hope they are enjoying the trip because not much money is saved, if any at all, once you factor in travel costs and time spent. On the other hand, a benefit of cross-border shopping is that it puts pressure on Canadian retailers to lower prices.

Unless you have a particular item you need and plan to buy at a sale price, your finances might be better served by avoiding the big Boxing Week sales crowds and staying at home.

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