What is Black Friday?Black Friday is one of the most significant shopping days in the US. It’s when retailers price-drop many of their goods, causing a pre-Christmas rush of epic proportions. Like fast food and dodgy grammar, Black Friday has now bled into the UK. Several UK retailers – online and on the high street – now offer sales worth checking out.
But what is Black Friday? Its traditional significance is being the day in which companies go ‘into the black’ and start making profit in terms of their annual financials. However, its position as one of the most frenzied shopping days of the year (in the US at least) has since eclipsed this meaning.
Here are the deals to check out in the UK.
ArgosSticking to Friday only, Argos's Black Friday deals take place on 29 November. It kicks off at 6am, and there's a pretty wide array of deals on offers. Sticking to the best tech deals, here are a few minor highlights. If we're honest, there's not a huge amount to get excited about.
Nikon L27 point and shoot camera for £39.99 - It's not the greatest camera in the world, but for that price it might make a good 'first camera' Christmas present.
Sony Xperia Z for £349.99. This is actually a little more expensive than the SIM-free price on Amazon, so is only worth considering if you need a phone you can pick up on the high street, stat.
AmazonAmazon offers the most significant Black Friday activity in the UK. For the whole week, the site is offering a bunch of limited-stock deals every hour. They range from cameras and laptops to clothes for babies. However, they are worth keeping an eye on, especially for early Christmas presents.
You’ll need fast fingers, though, as most of the more popular deals sell out very quickly. Our top tip is that you should stick around at least 15 minutes after the deal starts, though. Many people who put products in their basket as soon as the deal starts simply leave them to time out after 15 minutes, making deals that previously appeared ‘sold out’ available once more.
Top tech picks so far include a Nintendo 3DS XL console with Mario Kart for £129.99 and a Sony RX100 camera for £292. The best deals are likely to show up on Friday – and will likely include some of Amazon’s new Kindle Fire HDX 7 tablet.
Friday's top deals include the Sennheiser Amperior headphones kicking off at 11am, the Nokia Lumia 820 phone at 2pm, a giant 60-inch LG TV at 2pm and the Bowers & Wilkins P3 headphones at 7pm. The Nintendo 3DS deal with Mario Kart is also back, which was selling for £129.99 a couple of days ago.
Apple StoreThe Apple Store is to hold a one-day event on 29 November (that’s Black Friday). It’ll be available online, or in the Apple Stores on the high street.
Here's the full run-down of savings to be made.
iPad Air 16GB WiFi - £369, saving £31
iPad Air 32GB WiFi - £438, saving £41
iPad Air 64GB WiFi - £508, saving £51
iPad Air 128GB WiFi - £578, saving £61
iPad Air 16GB 3G/4G - £468, saving £31
iPad Air 32GB 3G/4G - £538, saving £41
iPad Air 64GB 3G/4G - £608, saving £51
iPad Air 128GB 3G/4G - £678, saving £61
iPad 2 16GB WiFi - £304, saving £25
iPad 2 3G - £404, saving £25
iPad mini 16GB WiFi - £234, saving £15
iPad mini 32GB 3G - £334, saving £15
There are no iPad mini with Retina display discounts, sadly.
MacBook Air 11-inch 128GB - £768, saving £81
MacBook Air 11-inch 256GB - £948, saving £81
MacBook Air 13-inch 128GB - £868, saving £81
MacBook Air 13-inch 256GB - £1048, saving £81
Apple's desktops are all discounted by £81.
iPod touch 16GB - £174, saving £25
iPod touch 32GB - £224, saving £25
iPod touch 64GB - £304, saving £25
iPod nano 16GB - £118, saving £15
There are no discounts for the iPod Classic and shuffle models.
Currys & PC WorldHigh street tech giants Currys & PC World are going to have a weekend blow-out in order to celebrate both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It'll take place both online and in stores.
Top deals include £75 off all Macs, 10 per cent off iPads, 10 per cent off Windows laptops £500 and over, and £50 off TVs between £699 and £999.
There is also 10 per cent off many cameras, camcorders. You'll need to sift through them to find the bargains, but there are a new rarely discounted cameras in there, such as the APS-C Ricoh GR, for £539.99. It doesn't include Compact System cameras or DSLRs, though.
eBayAuction site eBay is offering some really quite excellent deals as part of its Black Friday weekend celebrations. There's the snazzy Philips Fidelio P9 wireless speaker for £69.99, a fraction of its normal price, the 16GB Nexus 7 for £169.99 and a 50-inch Panasonic plasma TV for just £349.99. It's a fairly low-end model but that's a lot of TV for little money.
Ebuyer Orange ThursdayEbuyer kicked off its Black Friday celebrations with Orange Thursday deals, but it now has kicked off the proper Black Friday ones.
There are a few decent deals in there too, including the Nokia Lumia 520 phone for £99.99 and the Sennheiser RS-110 wireless headphones for £37.98. Ebuyer's flagship deal is its 'cheapest ever' 3D TV for £219. However, it's a 32-inch Digihome set so without knowing that the picture quality is like we'd be careful.
Fancy a bit of gaming? Game is also offering Black Friday deals. Its website has a separate Black Friday sale section, on the website. The selection started off small, but there are now hourly deals too. Here's what's happening each hour.
8am - FIFA 2014
9am - F1 2013
10am - Disney Infinity
11am - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
12pm - Battlefield 4
1pm - Rayman Legends
2pm - Lord of the Rings
3pm - Call of Duty Ghosts
4pm - The Elder Scrolls Anthology
5pm - Dedafall Anthology
6pm - Football Manager 2014
7pm - Dishonored
GOGPurveyor of classic oldies and more indie-tinged newer games GOG.com has a sale on for Black Friday that'll last through the weekend. 65 games are available in the sale, for as little as $1.79. Yep, it's all in US currency but buying these digital downloads in the UK is no issue.
Top picks include the Alone in the Dark gamesm Realms of the Haunting, the titles from the Tex Murphy adventure series and Rollercoaster Tycoon II. Most of these games are old enough to drink and drive, but are perfect for a bit of nostalgia if you're a gaming veteran.
John Lewis is offering a range of discounts across its electrical departments. We've had a look through each. While there are no jaw-dropping bargains, here are a few notable offers.
The Sony QX100 Lens camera is selling for £259, which is actually more than the £50 off John Lewis is advertising. There's a 60-inch Sharp TV for £699, and there's money off the company's iPads, although no more than you get at the Apple Store. However, you do get an extra year's warranty so it's worth a look.link
In order to celebrate Black Friday, Phones4U is offering money off some of its PAYG range. You get £15 off, which can be quite a chunk when you're buying a cheaper phone. Here are some of the deals we know to be happening -
Motorola Moto G 16GB - £139.95
Samsung Galaxy SIII mini - £139.95
Samsung Galaxy Y - £39.95
Nokia Lumia 620 - £114.95
HTC 8S - £109.95
Sony Xperia Miro - £89.95.
Xbox LiveMicrosoft is to hold a sale on Xbox Live, the online games portal for the Xbox 360. A bunch of games will go on sale, as spotted by OXM. Here's the full list.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified - £16.49
Tomb Raider - £9.99
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - £12.49
Fallout 3 - £5.99
Mark of the Ninja - £3.39
BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien - £4.99
Dust: An Elysian Tail - £3.39
The Cave - £2.49
Motocross Madness - 3.39
Sleeping Dogs - £9.29
Metro: Last Light - £14.99
Sacred Citadel - £4.99
The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct - £14.99 (Gold member exclusive)
SteamValve's Steam online store is going to have an 'Autumn sale' from Black Friday and over the weekend. Of course, Steam has a sale at the drop of a hat, so that's no surprise. The sale is on now, and features both daily deals and shorter 'flash sales' that last only a few hours.
Today's top picks include Skrim for a mere £3.74, Terraria for £1.49 and The Walking Dead for £5.24.
ZavviIt may not have all that many great tech deals, but there are loads of good stocking fillers in the Zavvi Black Friday sale. DVD box sets and games are twinned with a few good tech deals. These include the previous-gen Beats Studio headphones for a reasonable £153, the Microsoft wireless Xbox 360 steering wheel for £19.99 and some cheap House of Marley headphones.
If you spot any great Black Friday deals in the UK, let us know in the comments.
Next, read our round-up of the best tablets