BY KELLY ROCHE
“Cyber Week will generate a phenomenal number of orders this year, and is a big reason we’re expecting record-breaking parcel volumes this holiday season,” said Canada Post SVP of parcels René Desmarais.
“A lot of Canadians wait to make their purchases, knowing that Cyber Week deals and promotions will save them money.”
Starting Nov. 28, or Cyber Monday, Canada Post expects to deliver one million or more packages every weekday for three-and-a-half weeks, or nearly up to Christmas Eve.
The trend began in 2012, when Canadians were shopping online extensively, resulting in Canada Post delivering one million parcels on a single day for the first time.
Free shipping and other offers from retailers are enticing savvy Canadians; in 2015 Cyber Week parcel volumes were 44 per cent higher than the year before.
“Canadian retailers are embracing e-commerce more than ever before and offering greater choice to consumers who want to shop online this side of the border,” said PayPal Canada’s head of consumer marketing Kerry Reynolds.
Of those people, 43 per cent are planning to buy more gifts from Canadian retailers than they did last year.
Millennials are more inclined to shop online from domestic websites, with 83 per cent saying they plan to do so.
But the Competition Bureau is warning consumers to be aware of scams and knockoffs, even when they’re not intending to shop.
“Simply browsing social media, you will encounter high-end fashion items pitched at rock-bottom prices in ads and banners,” reads a news release.
“While it looks like a fantastic deal, it is really a fantasy. If the price seems too-good-to-be-true, it might be just that.”
What arrives at your door is typically an imitation item, warns the agency, made of cheap material — often in the wrong size, colour or design.
- Know exactly who and where you are buying from.
- Read the refund and return policies, including the fine print.
- Don’t take ads at face value just because they are displayed on trusted social media sites.
- If in doubt, do additional research on other websites. Shop around.
- Beware! Consumer protection laws vary around the world and may not apply as expected.
- Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it may be just that!
Consumers who purchased such items online and have had bad experiences can submit a complaint to the Competition Bureau or the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre.