11/23/2012 04:20 EST | Updated 01/23/2013 05:12 EST

Black Friday shoppers take advantage of new duty-free limits

Today millions of Americans and some Quebecers are taking advantage of Black Friday shopping deals.

This is the first year that new duty-free rules come into effect, allowing Canadian shoppers to buy more south of the border.

The duty-free limits have increased from $50 to $200 for 24-hour visitors to the U.S. People who stay more than 48-hours can benefit from an $800 duty-free limit.

Montreal stores also participated in the shopping frenzy. Stores like Best Buy and Future Shop promoted Black Friday sales. Shoppers in the underground shopping mall along St. Catherine Street also flocked to stores advertising special discounts.

But the Quebec Network of Voluntary Simplicity is trying to shift the focus from consumerism to volunteering.

The group is asking people to focus on giving time rather than material goods.

The co-founder of the network, Dominique Boisvert, said he would like to change Black Friday to "buy nothing day."

He said people spend too much time evaluating society based on economic growth.

"That's clearly not helping people to be more happy," he said.

Boisvert is asking people to offer their time as a gift instead of buying something from a store.