For most Canadians, Boxing Day—and Boxing week for that matter—starts on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas. But serious bargain hunters won’t wait that long for Canada’s original and traditionally busiest discount shopping event. Nope, they’re shopping Cyber Boxing Day deals. Yes, you read it right. Many retailers actually start their Boxing Day sales online first, when traditional bricks and mortar stores are closed for Christmas night, according to Matthew Cheng, founder of eCoupons.ca and CyberBoxingDay.ca, a website dedicated to leaked online Boxing Day flyers. Redflagdeals.com also has Boxing Week flyers posted early.
“For the past few years, we’ve noticed that Canadians will browse throughout Christmas Day and start shopping right after midnight on Dec. 26 once Cyber Boxing Day sales go live,” Cheng said in a press release.
Not all Cyber Boxing Day shoppers are buying online however. Many are simply doing research and comparison shopping before heading out to the stores, if they go at all. Industry watchers have suggested that imported American shopping traditions such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday have cut into Canadian Boxing Day sales. Still, there seems to be appetite for Boxing Day sales. Cheng and his team launched CyberBoxingDay.ca in 2009 after noticing a spike in traffic for information on Boxing Day online sales.
Here are Cheng’s Cyber Boxing Day tips:
1) Many Boxing Day sale items will be available both online and in store. Availability will depend on how many items the retailer allots for its online store versus individual brick and mortar stores.
2) Before heading out to the store, compare prices online to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
3) Generally, online Boxing Day sales go live at midnight Eastern Time on Dec. 26. However, some online retailers start sales at 3 a.m. Eastern / 12 a.m. Pacific. This depends on the retailer’s ecommerce system.
4) Cross-border online shopping is very popular amongst Canadians. Boxing Day is the busiest online shopping of the year in the UK as well and U.S. online stores hold “After Christmas Clearance Sales.”
5) Electronic coupons can help save additional money at checkout.