Over the past few years Black Friday has become synonymous with a shopping blitz event in the UK, consistently out-performing Boxing Day in the spending stakes, as retailers clamour to cash in ahead of Christmas with deals all over the shop.
The event has traditionally seen shoppers snap up cut-price goods from games consoles to appliances over the 24-hour bonanza, but now, we’re seeing equally as impressive discounts across fashion, beauty and even travel.
In Cornwall it never really was the shopping frenzy large cities experienced and remained a subdued online affair with no queues snaking round the block or shoppers fighting in the aisles.
The event is yet another – often unwelcomed – American import, falling on a Friday, the day after that country’s Thanksgiving Day, the third Thursday in November.
In 2014, when it all kicked off, the event was especially record-breaking on the high street, however in the past two years it’s been quite the opposite, with all deals online – and yes, websites have been known to crash straight after midnight.
When is Black Friday 2017?
This year, Black Friday falls on Friday, November 24.
Black Friday is a sales offer originating from the US where retailers slash prices on the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. In the UK it is used as a marketing device to entice Christmas shoppers with the discounts at stores often lasting for a week. (Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
What to expect in 2017 and how to find the best deals?
If 2016 is anything to go by, Black Friday is more than just an opportunity to pick up cheap tech.
According to The Mirror, in 2016 everyone from major fashion brands and luxury department stores to airlines and tour operators got in on the action, offering huge discounts across a range of product categories.
This year it is likely some retailers will opt to launch deals earlier to get ahead of rivals. PCs and smarphones, consoles and laptops will once again be on the top list of Black Friday bargains.
This November, retail consultancy brand Salmon predicts £10 billion will be spent through mobilealone – with Black Friday the busiest day. Last year 51 per cent of sales on this day were made through smartphones, which could surge following a spike in voice ordering technology.
Black Friday is a sales offer originating from the US where retailers slash prices on the day after the Thanksgiving holiday. In the UK it is used as a marketing device to entice Christmas shoppers with the discounts at stores often lasting for a week. (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images) (Image: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
It expects Amazon’s flagship own brand tech gear, such as the Echo, to sell out the fastest during this period.
Across November, a record-breaking £20 billion is expected to be blown across mobile, tablet and the high street.
James Webster, at Salmon, said: “Black Friday is no longer about one single day, or week – it looks set to take over the whole month. Retailers have realised the opportunity it holds to create an ongoing experience that can help grow their customer base and loyalty, and so it is now an expectation.
“Even those retailers who do not want to participate in the peak trading phenomenon need to be prepared for it as shopping fever takes over and consumers scour online retailers even if they aren’t offering discounts.”
12 best Black Friday bargain hunting tips
1. Do your research
During Black Friday it can be tempting to buy items because of the exaggerated savings being advertised but sometimes these items can be of poor quality with merchants putting them on offer just to clear stock.
This isn’t always the case so always check reviews before purchasing, especially for electrical items such as televisions and washing machines, to ensure the deal is worthwhile.
2. Be quick
‘Black Friday’ themed ballons reading “Black Friday Forever” and “BFF” form a retail store’s window display (Image: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Some online deals will sell out in seconds so be prepared and be quick.
3. Don’t wait until Friday
Black Friday deals can start any time during the week before the event so keep an eye out for details of when and where the discounts will be.
In 2015 Amazon launched its Black Friday sale a week before and this year it’s likely some major retailers will launch deals early to beat competitors.
4. Keep an eye out for hidden costs
Elevated savings are common during Black Friday but always check for hidden costs, such as shipping, which can reduce the discount.
5. Plan ahead
Think about what items you want to buy and find out if and where you can get them in good time.
A shopping list is a good idea. With Black Friday’s biggest deals set to be online this year, it’s worth bookmarking what you’re after now, and keep refreshing in the run up to the week.
6. Check delivery times
Shoppers pass a promotional sign for ‘Black Friday’ sales discounts as they enter a retail store (Image: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
When purchasing Christmas presents online during Black Friday always check estimated delivery times so you know they will arrive in time.
7. Be patient
Everyone gets excited to receive items when they order a great deal online but after Black Friday some parcels may take a little bit longer to arrive than usual due to the vast number of people purchasing items.
If you’re shopping in-store during the sales event be patient with staff who will be dealing with an increased number of shoppers.
8. Make extra savings
As well as offering a Black Friday discount retailers may have a code for free shipping or an extra 10 per cent off.
Search for these codes on deal-sharing communities and forums to see if you can use them in conjunction with the original Black Friday discount to save even more money.
9. Pay securely
Online retailer Amazon will once again be busy in the run-up to Black Friday (Image: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
If you’re shopping online use a credit card or use PayPal. If you do use a credit card, use one that offers you rewards such as air miles or vouchers for money off your shopping to save even further.
10. Question the discount
Retailers sometimes increase the price of an item before a sales event to make the sale look better.
Check deal threads on sites like HotUKDeals where bargain-savvy members will share their knowledge of sale prices and recommended retail prices (RRP) to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
11. Check the retailer
Some savings will be for lesser-known retailers who may not be Google approved, so always check that you’re purchasing from a safe site. Check forums where people discuss retailers and customer experiences to ensure you don’t get caught out.
12. Be a VIP
Some retailers like Amazon will most likely release Black Friday deals to their VIP members first, so it’s worth signing up to receive their emails. If you’re not a fan of marketing emails set up an email account specifically for these sorts of things.
Source: Cornwall Live