Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 – What is Black Friday and how can you find the best deals?

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: This is it people, the two biggest sales events of the year, Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019, are almost upon us, and that means there’s a ton to unpack including what it all means and which deals to look out for.

If, like me, you consider yourself a fiend for a discount then chances are you set aside the month of November (and in this year’s case, the start of December too) as the optimum time to snap up all of those tech items you’ve coveted but at a seriously reduced price. I am of course, talking about the Black Friday sale.

Sure, Amazon Prime Day has its kicks and the January sales are always worth a look, but if you want an absolute bonanza that sees discounts on everything from TVs to consoles, headphones and coffee machines, Black Friday and Cyber Monday blow the competition out of the water. When it comes to bagging a bargain, there’s nothing quite like it, so let’s dive into this gargantuan sale to better understand what it all means and how to help you navigate it in search of that perfect deal.

What is Black Friday?

Ask any person on the street to answer this question and chances are they’ll immediately conjure up images of large, obnoxious crowds of people, fumbling and fighting amongst themselves to be the first one to swipe a heavily discounted 4K TV at the checkout. If you’re into a good ol’ fashioned brawl-up in your local department store, then Black Friday can certainly provide all that (especially if you live in the USA), but the autumnal sale is so much more than that.

Starting life in North America, Black Friday has always been hot on the heels of Thanksgiving (coming just one day later in fact), officially signalling the first day of the Christmas shopping season in any given year. As time went on, Black Friday eventually became the biggest shopping day of the year in the United States, making it the prime time for retailers to unleash their best deals.

Because the rest of the world just can’t help itself in emulating all things Americana, Black Friday has since become a worldwide phenomenon, all the while shifting from an in-store focused affair to one that dominates the online space – and making it a heck of a lot easier to track down deals as a result.

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:

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?

As the name implies, Cyber Monday was always intended to be an online only sale with a tech focus, and in that sense, the event hasn’t changed. Officially dating back to 2005, Cyber Monday is a fairly modern invention, but it’s barely taken any time at all for the invention to catch on as a worldwide addendum to the Black Friday period.

In the years since its inception however, Cyber Monday has evolved to stretch beyond the bounds of the titular Monday on which it usually takes place. Nowadays, Cyber Monday has expanded to unfold over an entire week, emulating the way in which Black Friday has unfurled into an untameable beast.

Simply put however, all this evolution means that consumers will have more opportunities than ever for picking up a tech-based deal that appeals to them. During this time, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the likes of Amazon, Currys PC World and John Lewis, which have a fairly extensive library of tech products to peruse.

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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