While technically Black Friday and Cyber Monday are now distant memories, 2019's event will be on us before we realise.
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Best Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals | Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals Highlights | What is Black Friday? | Black Friday in the UK | Black Friday deals online | Black Friday & Cyber Monday deals to avoid
Cyber Monday is traditionally when Amazon focuses its efforts on technology discounts, but recently other retailers have jumped on the event to offer their own deals – and Black Friday continuations.
What is Black Friday?
Wondering where all this Black Friday malarky came from? Well you’re not alone. Black Friday is a relatively new phenomenon in the UK that only really got any traction in the last few years.
The cliff notes is that Black Friday is a yearly deals bonanza that started in the US. Traditionally it was a physical sale in big US stores like Target and Best Buy that occurred the Friday after Thanksgiving. Over the years it’s evolved as big online retailers, such as Amazon embraced the tradition and started rolling out deals online during the season.
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 Argos, John Lewis, Currys, Argos and AO.com use the period to release a number of cracking deals.
There’s never a better time to go hunting for a bargain, as a result. Whether you’re on the market for a new games console, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, pair of headphones, kitchen appliance or fridge freezer, Black Friday’s sure to have a deal that’s right for you.
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.
Thankfully you don’t have to navigate the stormy waters of Black Friday alone. Trusted Reviews’ crack team of experts has been scouring the digital high street hunting for all the best Black Friday deals.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is another import from the US. It started as a follow up to Black Friday that was created by retailers. The campaign was designed to encourage buyers to shop online the Monday after Black Friday, which started life as an in-store sales bonanza.
Like Black Friday the yearly tradition has slowly made its way over the pond and now it’s not unusual for the retailers outside the US to run Cyber Monday deals. These days in the UK numerous retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, Argos and Tescos run Cyber Monday deals.
However unlike Black Friday, as the name would suggest, Cyber Monday is a tech focused event. Traditionally retailers have offered a range of stellar deals covering TVs, games consoles, tablets, smartphones, wearables, headphones and everything in between during Cyber Monday.
In the past discounts have ranged from minor price cuts to up to over 50% off products from big name brands.
But before you go rushing in guns blazing make sure to protect yourself this Cyber Monday. Not all deals are created equal and many retailers artificially ramp up the RRP of certain products to make their deals look better in the run up to Cyber Monday.
As always, you’ll also want to make sure to stick to retailers you trust. Some unsavoury snake oil merchants always come out of the woodwork during Cyber Monday.
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.
When do Black Friday and Cyber Monday end and how long do they last?
Not only does Black Friday start earlier and earlier every year, it runs longer and longer. Nowadays, it runs through the following weekend, into what is called Cyber Monday and then often through the rest of the week. For example, Argos Black Friday 2018 is scheduled to run until November 27th. Amazon Black Friday is scheduled to run until Sunday 25th, but then Cyber Monday will start on the 26th and run the rest of the week. Phew.
Needless to say, expect to see major discounts at all the major retailers into the following week.
Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday really the best time for discounts?
Trusted Reviews surveyed 14,000 people this year to find out people’s views on the quality and reliability of Black Friday deals, and how much trust they put in the event.
We found that nearly 40% of people didn’t think that this year’s Black Friday would represent as good value as previous Black Friday events. A further 43% said they weren’t sure if 2018’s Black Friday deals would compare favourably to earlier years, making for a total of over 80% of respondents who were uncertain about the the quality of Black Friday deals.
However, we also found that nearly a third of those questioned by Trusted Reviews regarded Black Friday as a good time to shop for bargains, and over 25% said they typically start their Christmas shopping on Black Friday.
Partnering with a price comparison site that was able to assess historic pricing trends, we found that, certainly for premium technology, Black Friday was a good pre-holiday shopping opportunity, with a number of products showing substantial discounts across the Black Friday period.
Read our full report here: Trusted Reviews Black Friday survey
Black Friday 2019 UK – Black Friday in the UK
While Black Friday started out in the US, Black Friday in the UK has become just as big a sales day this side of the pond.
It’s evolved to become a sales extravaganza that spans the preceding week, and then beyond Black Friday itself into the following Cyber Monday (be sure to read that article for the information you need on that sales event, too).
The best Black Friday deals will typically still fall on Black Friday Week (or some call this Cyber Week), however.
More Black Friday / Cyber Monday 2019
- Black Friday PS4
- Black Friday Laptops
- Black Friday Dyson
- Black Friday Apple Watch
- Black Friday GoPro
- Black Friday Sonos
- Black Friday iPhone
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, Very, AO and all of the major supermarkets for Black Friday deals. Retailers like Argos have even gone so far as to prepare their Black Friday landing pages nice and early. You’ll still have to wait until November 23rd to see the actual deals but you can sign up for notifications.
We’ll be rounding up all of the very best Black Friday deals right here, but we’re also breaking them down by retailer at their respective pages. Here’s what we expect to see from Amazon, Currys, Argos and John Lewis this Black Friday.
Amazon Black Friday: Amazon’s own Prime Day discount bonanza is a really good indicator of what we can expect when Black Friday rolls around. We were checking the historical prices for everything we posted during our Prime Day 2018 round-up recently, and noticed a lot of Prime Day 2017’s prices were the same or similar to what appeared a few months later for Black Friday 2017. So, with that in mind, we fully expect to see Amazon price-matching some of its big discounts from Prime Day 2018.
Currys Black Friday: If you’re after some of the perhaps less glamorous items like a new washing machine or fridge freezer, Currys might be your destination of choice. Last year the Samsung AddWash washing machine had £300 taken off its price, which is great news for anyone who forgets to add their socks to their washing load. The PC World half of Currys PC World often also has good discounts on laptops from the likes of HP, Lenovo and Asus.
Argos Black Friday: If there’s one area where Argos is particularly strong around Black Friday, it’s toys. The retailer is already famous for its regular 3 for 2 discounts, but it usually ramps things up even more for its Black Friday deals bonanza. So if you’re shopping for Christmas gifts for the younger family members, it should be your first stop. There’s every chance Argos will also throw in vouchers on top of your spend (often £5 for £50 spend, or £10 for £100), which adds to the value. You can also collect Nectar points.
John Lewis Black Friday: The famous UK retailer is best known for its extended warranties. When comparing prices like-for-like, it’s worth considering the added value. When buying a big ticket item like a fridge freezer, laptop or TV, these bring a serious level of peace of mind. TVs for instance get another 5 years.
There’s also its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ policy where it’s constantly price-matching its competitors. Pair that with that bonus warranty and you could be onto a winner.
Debenhams Black Friday: Debenhams is another well known high street retailer which is running Black Friday promotions this week. Check out our article for a selection of the latest discounts.
Other UK retailers:
Black Friday & Cyber Monday 2019 UK: Shopping tips to get a good deal
Hunting for deals is a tricky business, especially during sale events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. With retailers rushing deals out at a near frenzied pace even the most tech savvy buyer can easily miss a banging deal or even worse, pick the wrong one.
Thankfully there are a few easy steps you can take to make sure you get the best possible deals this Cyber Monday.
To start with you’ll want to do your research. Flash sales are great, but it’s all too easy to let the excitement get ahead of you and buy a product that doesn’t meet all your requirements just because it’s cheap. If you go in with a list of greenlit products from the start you’ll save yourself a lot of panic and potential buyers’ remorse.
You’ll also want to decide your budget before hand. It’s all too easy to overspend during Cyber Monday, which can lead to issues further down the road. As a result you should always walk into Cyber Monday with a firm figure in your head and keep a record of every purchase.
Checking the RRP is another important trick. All too often retailers will inflate products’ RRP ahead of Cyber Monday in a bid to make deals look more impressive. You can manually check the actual RRP with a quick Google search, or if you’re a little more technical use tools like Keepa to see what they sold for earlier in the year.
Finally make sure to shop around. If you’re after a specific product make sure to check multiple stores and online retailers before you buy. During Cyber Monday it’s not uncommon for retailers to run deals on the same products and prices can fluctuate massively as a result.
Black Friday 2019 UK: Black Friday deals to avoid
We cover everything you need to know about snagging yourself a genuine deal in our Black Friday shopping tips and tricks article. This includes lots of helpful information including how to spot a genuine deal by checking the historical prices.
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.
One big area of confusion can often arise around ‘grey imports’. On the surface, these can look like fantastic deals. But what you need to be aware of is that these grey imports are often products imported from outside the EU, often from Hong Kong or China.
This can be problematic for a number of reasons. First off, if actually being shipped to you directly from halfway across the world, delivery time can be very slow. Think weeks to even months. Then you have to factor in the chance of having to pay customs duty when your item reaches the UK.
Some grey importers will have these products located in the UK already, which does avoid the above pitfall. However, as these products originate from outside the UK, they can often not be covered by a local warranty. That’s a problem if you encounter any issues down the line and need manufacturer support. In the long run, that saving might not look so great after all.
There are also other problems you might not expect, like manuals not being localised. You might also find yourself scrambling for a plug adaptor as it might not be the three-prong plug you need for the UK, or missing out on accessories you would normally get from an item bought here.
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.
Only stick with trustworthy retailers
We’re very selective in the retailers we include in our Black Friday deals content. We only include retailers you can trust from well-known names. We also don’t include grey imports for this reason.
Black Friday’s origin
Black Friday has only really been present in the UK within the last few years but its roots run far further back in time. We have our friends on the other side of the Atlantic to thank for what has become one of the most lucrative sales periods in the calendar year, but where did the name originate?
In a nutshell, the term was coined in 1966 by the Philadelphia Police Department to describe the chaotic scenes of traffic jams, crowded streets and occasional violence that they’d have to deal with during the season’s busy shopping period. The name itself was committed to print within an ad in The American Philatelist – a stamp collecting magazine present at the time.
Even before Black Friday was introduced into the collective consciousness, the media had already named various ‘black days’ in relation to stock market crashes and other financial disasters throughout the decades prior. But by the late 80s, businesses wanted to repurpose the media’s use of ‘black’ to mean something positive instead, attaching it to the discounts and deals that brought shoppers out in droves on the Friday after Thanksgiving (which takes place on the fourth Thursday of November each year in the US).
With the staggering sales figures that retailers offering Black Friday deals continue to pull in, the name has stuck, as has the lure of rich profits that the start of the shopping season brings to companies, no doubt a key driving force behind its introduction into the UK and other countries outside the US.
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