Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 – The who, what and why of Black Friday

Why is it called Black Friday? Is the sale even worth it? For the answers to all these questions and more, you're in the right place.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals: The countdown is almost over, paving the way for a plethora of incredible discounts in this year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 sale. With everything expected to drop, from TVs to laptops, games consoles, mobile phones and so much more, there is no better time to well and truly pick up a bargain.

If we’re being honest, Prime Day hasn’t got anything on the bonanza that is Black Friday, bringing together a host of incredible savings that are widespread across a whole bunch of retailers. More importantly, when it comes down to it, it really is the optimum time to buy those gadgets you’ve been waiting to be slashed in price.

Yes, you heard it here first. Us deals writing folk believe Black Friday is generally the time you can get the best value for your money when purchasing snazzy new tech, offering a wider range of places to shop and discounts to wade through. Falling slap bang at the end of November, it also lends itself as the perfect time to get ahead on your Christmas shopping.

What is Black Friday?

Along with all the fun and fanfare of Halloween, Black Friday is yet another festivity we appear to have adopted from the good old US of A. Finding its beginnings in the United States, Black Friday was the sales event which historically followed Thanksgiving celebrations that always fell on the fourth Thursday of November, with shops opening its doors to hoards of individuals queuing, ready and raring to get a good bargain on some premium ticketed goods.

Once upon a time it was known to be a bit of a brawl with outright fights breaking out over 4K TVs and games consoles, but with Black Friday now straying into the online marketplace things are definitely a little more subdued – at least from the high street’s perspective, anyway.

Yes, much like how its found itself hopping from country to country, Black Friday has also well and truly entered the World Wide Web, all but taking over the very premise of Cyber Monday. In its own smaller origins, the sister sale used to see some of the deals we saw in store feature online in what was coined Cyber Monday. Taking a more tech-orientated stance, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have now become a free-for-all across physical and online stores.

Why is it called Black Friday?

The origin of Black Friday has become one of those modern myths that seems to generate just as much speculation as it does genuine answers. After a bit of sleuthing however, it seems as though there are two prevailing theories.

In the mid to late 20th century, the Philadelphia Police Department – which had to oversee the ensuing Christmas chaos – would use the term ‘Black Friday’ to refer to the onslaught of Christmas shoppers and the resulting traffic jams they’d bring with them.

For a more modern definition however, the term ‘Black Friday’ has been adopted by inner circles and board meetings to refer to the moment in the financial year when most retailers goes from being in the red to being in the black, meaning that they make the most of their revenue from Black Friday itself.

Is Black Friday the best time for deals?

Given some scepticism from other media outlets in the last year, people have been wondering if Black Friday is really worth the fuss, or if retailers have simply worked us up into a buying frenzy from which we can’t escape. To be fair, this is a valid question and one that should always be asked when presented with an upcoming sales event, but as far as we’re concerned, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are worth paying attention to.

Now, we’ll be the first to admit that if you shop through Amazon and Amazon alone, chances are you’ll have found better deals during this year’s Amazon Prime Day event, but if you aren’t stuck with shopping at just a single retailer, then you’ll find that Black Friday and Cyber Monday usher in the year’s biggest price drops.

As an example, let’s take a trip down memory lane and look at one of our favourite Black Friday deals from last year. The iPhone XR, which at this time last year was still fresh on the market, wouldn’t see an official price cut from Apple until September 2019, but Fonehouse – undismayed by convention – left us with an absolute banger of a deal.

With 100GB in tow, £36 a month and absolutely nothing to pay upfront, that very same brand new iPhone XR could be yours, coming to a two-year total of £864. Bear in mind, the SIM-free RRP of the iPhone XR was £749, leaving a minute difference of £115 that went towards the tariff. By those numbers, you were only paying roughly £4.80 a month for 100GB of data. Even though we’ve seen some cracking iPhone XR deals since then, we’ve yet to see one that could best this Black Friday offering.

How to save money on Black Friday?

14If the answer wasn’t already obvious, you are, at this very moment, in the best place for money saving expertise over Black Friday. That’s right, the Trusted Reviews team will be working around the clock on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to find the best tech deals from Amazon, Currys PC World, John Lewis and more, bringing them here in one easy to digest space, all for your convenience.

Of course, given that we’re all a bunch of tech nerds who know their products inside out, not only do we know if a product is worth your time, but we can also spot a bad deal from a mile away. In fact, just to be completely sure, we’ll be using price checking tools like Keepa throughout the sale, allowing us to compare the reduced price of a given product with its price history. Yes, that’s how much we care about finding you the best offers.

Heck, if you’re still a sceptic (and who isn’t these days?), you can even utilise tools like Keepa or Camel Camel Camel yourself to reach the same conclusion. We’ll always be completely transparent when it comes to covering sales events, taking into account our experiences with reviewing tech for the last couple of decades.

How is Trusted Reviews preparing for Black Friday?

In short, we’ve already started! In anticipation of Black Friday 2019, we’ve set up a number of different retailer and product-specific hub pages that can get you straight to the deals you want, even quicker. These hubs will be updated constantly with new deals and information, so be sure to bookmark the ones you’re most interested in.

Retailer hubs:

Product hubs:

As the month rolls on however, our coverage of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale will ramp up exponentially, covering not only the longer lasting deals but also the super quick lightening offers that are sure be gone before you know it. In essence, you’ll be getting everything you need from the Black Friday sale, but in a far more accessible format and with offers that are handpicked by real live humans – not by some robot in a far flung place.

How long does Black Friday and Cyber Monday last?

Don’t let the ‘Friday’ in Black Friday fool you (the same goes for the ‘Monday’ in Cyber Monday by the way), these two sales have long since escaped from their previously established parameters to the point where, as far as consumers are concerned, Black Friday kicks off as soon as November does.

Related: When is Black Friday 2019?

Cyber Monday, which at one point in time could be considered a full stop on the Black Friday bonanza, is now just the start of another week of deals. All in all, you’re looking at more than a month’s worth of sales, which should be ample time for anyone to bag a bargain and arguably, finish up their Christmas shopping.

What is Cyber Monday?

If you’re after a philosophical answer to that question – I’m not your guy. In a more literal response however, Cyber Monday dates back to 2005 and was created as an additional sale (tacked on, if you will, to the Black Friday fare) as a means of promoting online shopping.

Flash forward to today however and it’s clear to see that Cyber Monday has taken on an entire life of its own, breaking free from its Black Friday shackles to become an entire week of tech-focused offers and discounts (the perfect sale for our readership you might argue).

Unless the major retailers decide to surprise us with an even longer Cyber Monday schedule than last year, just expect the sale to continue past its titular Monday and carry on until the Friday of that same week (December 6th in this case).

Because Cyber Monday is a tech-heavy sale, the likes of Argos and Amazon don’t have quite the same expertise (particularly with white goods) against Currys PC World, John Lewis or AO, so bear that in mind and you’re more likely to get to the deals you want even quicker.

How will Black Friday 2019 be different?

If you think that we spent too much time obsessing over the intricacies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you can bet your brisket that retailers have been spending all year focusing on how to improve their output for Black Friday 2019, learning upon the events of last year.

Based on last year’s sale, all signs are pointing towards Amazon and John Lewis as being the harbingers of huge change for Black Friday 2019. Starting with the online giant itself, any change that Amazon has planned is likely due to last year’s tactics from Currys PC World.

Anyone who shopped with Currys last November should know that the tech-focused retailer didn’t wait until the end of the month to unleash its best deals. Nope, with the Black Tag sale, Currys unleashed the entirety of its discounts as soon as November began, giving consumers plenty of time to find an offer that suited them.

By comparison, Amazon’s Black Friday offering, which kicked off about a week before Black Friday, seemed late to the party by comparison. We can’t imagine that Amazon fancies being undermined in the Black Friday space a second time, so don’t be too surprised if the company kick-starts its official sale even earlier this year.

John Lewis on the other hand will be navigating some serious changes out of necessity. Anyone who’s followed the news will know that John Lewis has had a tough time over the last year and a bit. Posting a game-changing profit loss of 99% last year, the high-end UK retailer has since let go of a great deal of its staff, meaning that Black Friday 2019 could be a make-or-break moment for the company.

Expect to see some major price drops over at John Lewis as the company will likely press even harder on its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ mantra by consistently price matching the competition and scoring more sales in the process.

Deals to avoid over Black Friday 2019

Don’t get me wrong, I like a good price cut as much as anyone (if I didn’t, I’d be pretty terrible at my job) but when it comes to buying a new piece of tech – especially a high price item – it’s always worth knowing exactly where the product is coming from and the reputation of the retailer that’s selling it.

Of course, if you’re shopping through the likes of John Lewis, Currys PC World or Argos, then you’re in safe hands with major companies that are easily held accountable if anything goes wrong with the transaction or the product in question.

Things get tricky however when you start to shop at retailers that have UK storefronts but are actually based internationally. This is where you run the risk of buying a ‘grey import’. You can easily spot grey imports by unusually high discounts and a long wait in shipping – meaning that it’s being sent from outside the EU.

Aside from the fact that these products often take months to reach their buyer, in some worst-case scenarios, the products can also be held by customs until you fork up a fee. It’s an unwanted hassle that can be avoided completely by simply shopping through the trusted channels.

If you want to stay up to date throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday, follow us @TrustedDealsUK

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