What is Black Friday?
- Each year, on the Friday following Thanksgiving, retailers in the US will take part in an extensive sales extravaganza. This day has come to be known as Black Friday.
- In recent years Black Friday has extended its reach to the UK, and has largely shifted into the online space. In the case of online retail giants like Amazon, the festivities have also expanded to fill up the preceding week and some time after.
- This year Black Friday falls on Friday, 29th November. We’ll be updating this page nearer the time with all of the best Black Friday offers. It’s going to be a big one.
With deals anticipated to start dropping our way as early as November 1st, we’ll be keeping this page updated with all the very best dates across a number of fantastic products, including the following:
Why is it called Black Friday?
- The origin of the term Black Friday is a little hazy, but it seems to date back to the 1950s. Some posit that it refers to the time immediately following Thanksgiving and prior to Christmas when retailers move from being in the red, to being in the black.
- Others claim the day gained its title due to the large number of American workers who would call in sick on the day after Thanksgiving, thus gaining an easy four day weekend.
- A third commonly circulated suggestion for the name relates to the police force of Philadelphia and Rochester, who labelled the day Black Friday due to the terrible traffic that would invariably ensue.
It has since spread to numerous other countries, including the UK. These days, in the run up and days after Black Friday, pretty much every store under the sun, including Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, Currys PC World, Argos, eBay and AO.com use the period to release a number of important money saving deals.
The only downside is that many of the deals have a limited lifespan and retailers use the period as an excuse to clear old stock and products that aren’t necessarily the best available. This can make it difficult to know if the deal you’re looking at is a steal or a lemon.
This is why Trusted Reviews gets involved. We assess all Black Friday deals both through our product expertise, and by checking the price history of featured products, so you can be sure that you’re getting a great deal.
What is Cyber Monday?
- Cyber Monday is a recent spin-off from Black Friday dating back to 2005. It’s yet another day of sales, but this time it relates specifically to the online retail space. Indeed, Cyber Monday was created entirely by retailers seeking to encourage people to shop online following the Thanksgiving holiday.
- It takes place on the Monday immediately following Black Friday, which means that Cyber Monday 2019 will occur on Monday, 2nd December.
In the past discounts have ranged from minor price cuts to up to over 50% off products from big name brands.
If you don’t get the deal you’re after during Cyber Monday don’t worry – the same group of retailers also launch a number of great deals during the Boxing Day sales after Christmas.
How long do Black Friday and Cyber Monday last?
While they literally refer to only two days in the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have expanded to take up the best part of two weeks in late November and early December, but that only applies to certain retailers, with others taking up the whole month for their Black Friday sales.
At major retailers like Amazon and Argos you can expect an extended Black Friday sales period to begin in the week ahead of the big day, and then to continue through the weekend and into the Cyber Monday week.
Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday really the best time for discounts?
Last year Trusted Reviews surveyed our readers and found that nearly 40% didn’t think that the year’s Black Friday would represent as good value as previous Black Friday events.
Despite this skepticism, we also found that nearly a third of the people we asked regarded Black Friday as a good time to shop for bargains. More than 25% said they tended to start their Christmas shopping on Black Friday.
We partnered up with a price comparison site to assess historic pricing trends, and we found that Black Friday was indeed a good opportunity to snag a pre-Christmas bargain. A number of products experience substantial discounts across the Black Friday period, especially when it comes to premium technology.
Of course, there are still plenty of red herrings out there during the Black Friday period. That’s why we’re here to sort the wheat from the chaff.
Black Friday 2019 UK – Black Friday sales from UK retailers
Every retailer will get involved for Black Friday in the UK. But the biggest players will be Amazon, Currys, Argos, John Lewis, eBay, Very, AO and all of the major supermarkets.
- Amazon Black Friday Deals: Amazon is by far the biggest Black Friday player. In previous years we’ve seen sweeping deals right across each of the online retailer’s many categories. Expect more of the same this coming Cyber Week.
- Currys Black Friday Deals: The Currys Black Friday offering doesn’t tend to be quite so far-reaching, but it is likely to be your best bet for a getting great deal on white goods. For example, last year saw the Samsung AddWash washing machine discounted by £300. Don’t forget that PC World is also part of the Currys package these days, so there’ll be some tasty discounts on laptops from brands such as HP, Lenovo and Asus.
- Argos Black Friday Deals: Argos is the place to go if you’re seeking some top toy deals this Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can get brilliant 3 for 2 discounts at pretty much any time of the year, but their toy deals get even better around Black Friday. If you’ve got kids, it’s a no-brainer to drop by Argos.
- John Lewis Black Friday Deals: John Lewis has a reputation for being a higher grade of retailer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get some top bargains around Black Friday. Also keep in mind that John Lewis has a ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ policy that makes it ripe for price matching, as well as a generous 2 year guarantee on most tech.
- eBay Black Friday Deals: Once the biggest wild-west marketplace of the internet, eBay is now a far better shout for finding a cracking offer, as the likes of Currys PC World, AO and Argos all have storefronts on the site as a means of selling refurbished or excess stock. If you don’t mind buying through second hand sellers on occasion, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts as eBay more often than not has the cheapest prices for a lot of items during Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Black Friday shopping tips – How to get a good deal
The sheer scale of Black Friday means that it’s very difficult to pick out the best deals. But you can make it a lot easier if you follow some basic pointers:
- Know your products: It’s good to have a clear idea of what you want before the Black Friday deals start to arrive. Going in blind is bound to lead to a pointless purchase and wasted money. Read up on the product categories that interest you and which specific products are the best in their class. TrustedReviews will be happy to oblige on that front.
- Stick to a budget: Another thing you should know before going into the sales period is how much money you’re willing to spend. Not only does this make firm financial sense, it will also help focus your mind and hone in on a specific product. If an item is above your pre-selected price threshold, don’t even consider it. You’re here to save money, remember.
- Check the true price: Black Friday is much more than mere hype, and there are plenty of great deals to be had. But that doesn’t mean that retailers won’t try it on a little. The practice of ramping up the price of a product ahead of Black Friday in order to make offers look better than they actually are is still quite prevalent. Either Google the product and see what it’s going for elsewhere, or check out price history tools like Keepa.
- Shop around: We’ve just alluded to this one, but do make sure you shop around before you commit to buying anything on Black Friday. You’ll often find multiple retailers running deals on the same products, so make sure you’re getting the lowest price possible.
Black Friday 2019 UK – Deals to avoid
When shopping during Black Friday it’s equally important to know what deals to avoid as it is which to jump at. This is because retailers can use a few tricky tactics to make deals look better than they are. A standard one is to inflate a product’s RRP to make the deal look bigger than it actually is.
- Just because a store front lists a product as having a ridiculous 50% price tag, doesn’t actually mean it’s half price. The listed RRP could be its launch price, rather than what it generally retails for today. This is especially true on products with multiple year shelf lives, like TVs and fridges.
- You should always check the average price the product retails for before deciding whether the deal you’re looking at is a steal. Thankfully there are a few tools available that can help you do this. If you’re shopping on Amazon Keepa lets you know the average price the product you’re looking at has been selling for using an easy to read graph, for example.
- Finally, just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it’s good. Black Friday always sees a number of brands most people have never heard of come out of the woodwork offering unbelievable features sets at rock bottom prices. Sadly, all too often these products don’t live up to their promises – not every brand can be the next OnePlus or Xiaomi. Where possible it’s always best to go with a brand you know and trust.
Grey Imports – Price vs. Quality of service
So you follow our advice and decide to shop around before making a purchase this Black Friday. Thank goodness you did, because you’ve just found the product for hundreds of pounds less at a website you hadn’t heard of before.
Before you click that Buy button, though, it might be worth doing a little research into the retailer itself. There’s a chance it’s dealing in grey imports.
What’s a grey import, you ask? These are products that have been imported from outside the EU, usually from Hong Kong or China. Because they come from these countries, the products can often be offered for much less money than through traditional channels.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these grey imports, but there are a number of potential pitfalls to consider beyond an illegible manual and a funny-shaped plug.
For one thing, your product will likely take weeks rather than days to reach you, as they’re probably being shipped from the other side of the world directly to you.
Even once they do arrive in this country, there’s a chance that they’ll be intercepted and held by UK authorities until you pay the necessary customs duty. You may find your savings eliminated, or you might even end up paying more for the product than you would if you’d gone through the usual channels.
Not all grey importers work this way. Some import the products into the UK first and ship them from here. Even if you receive such a product swiftly and cheaply, however, you might find that its warranty isn’t valid in this country should you have an issue with it.
If you’re not familiar with a retailer, then, run a web search on and establish whether it’s dealing in grey imports before you commit to a purchase. It’s always worth being on the safe side before you put your hard earned money down on the counter.
Beware the ‘Bait and Switch’
In the past, retailers have gotten themselves in hot water for misleading consumers by luring them in with massive discounts, only for them to find out the item in question is ‘out of stock’.
Where things got murkier, was when these out of stock items were suddenly back on sale for the full price the following day after Black Friday was finished. This meant that in all likelihood that product was still in stock but pulled from sale early. Consumers were quite rightly annoyed.
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