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Black Friday 2017: A guide to the busiest shopping day of the year

Black Friday remains the busiest, maddest shopping day of the year. No retailer ignores it and no consumer can avoid it. But is it worth your time and hard earned money?

We take a look at some of the best deals and how to get them this 24 November.

Is Black Friday worth the bother? We take a look at the hype and how to get the best deals this November


By | 60 mins ago

Love it or hate it, Black Friday is here to stay. It has crossed the Atlantic and is now a Proper Day in the UK, with retailers discounting goods in store and online to get the deal-hungry shopper within us all to spend money.

It’s a big deal too, with UK consumers spending millions every year on anything from TVs and lawnmowers to nappies and candles. Everything is for sale, at a potentially discounted rate.

When is Black Friday?

The event is every November, and falls on the first Friday after the US Thanksgiving holiday – this year that is on Friday 24 November.

Why Black Friday exists

After a holiday of giving thanks for family, friends and settled life, American retailers opted to juxtapose Thanksgiving with a huge day of commercial spending. Who were we Brits to resist the allure of heavily discounted items too?

It is debated whether or not Black Friday refers to a day retailers finally went ‘into the black’, meaning they finally made profit for the year thanks to heightened sales, or whether it actually has morphed from a description of horrible traffic in Philadelphia on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Don’t forget Cyber Monday

Oh yes, and after Black Friday there is Cyber Monday, so-called after retailers realised people go back to work on Monday and kept spending online at their desks. We might as well call it Black Weekend though, because Saturday and Sunday don’t escape either, it’s four solid days of relentless spending, savings and tempting deals. Gulp.

Why Black Friday is such a big deal

Either way, when Black Friday first gained huge popularity about ten years ago, it was usual to see newsreel of people physically fighting over big TVs in the middle of Wal-Mart (or Asda in the UK, who has now actually opted to not take part[2] because of the mayhem). You can’t blame them really, as scenes often got out of hand at shops. But Black Friday has passed beyond trivial now as it has moved online, and it is serious business for retailers.

UK shoppers spent nearly ?2bn on Black Friday 2016, a lot of it on discounted technology such as phones, cameras, TVs and Fitbits[3].

What to expect this year

Tech is a big draw on Black Friday, and not just because a lot of people are buying from behind computer or smartphone screens. If you’ve been waiting to spend on a new phone, particularly if you are buying the handset outright, you might be waiting for a Black Friday deal. Carphone Warehouse[4] usually has a lot of decent smartphone deals, be it on contract or SIM-only.

Given that we now have excellent handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S8[5], and by November will have the iPhone 8[6] and the Google Pixel 2[7], you can expect retailers to offer some very tempting deals. November will also see the Xbox One X[8] released so many gamers among you will be on the look out for an early bargain. Games consoles are often part of genuinely decent discount, with many PS4 bundles going for under ?200 last year.

Meanwhile, places like Currys PC World[9] will no doubt discount 4K TVs, sometimes by hundreds of pounds. But with such a saturation of ‘deals’, you have to be aware that not everything is a decent saving – unfortunately some retailers will try and mug you off.

How to spot a good Black Friday deal

The most important thing to do when considering if something is a good deal is to ask yourself: “Would I still want and buy this if it was full price?” Often the answer to this can be no, which means you need to think whether you’re saving money with a discount, or wasting it caught up in the excitement of a sale. A deal for one person won’t be a deal for someone else, no matter how many times Amazon[10], Argos[11] or John Lewis[12] might tell you otherwise.

Sometimes it’s more obvious though. For example, 50% off a ?140 Fitbit Charge 2[13] is a good deal, particularly if you were thinking of getting it in the first place. Conversely, 50% off a ?2,000 TV is still ?1,000 – think carefully.

Also, it isn’t unusual (or difficult, or illegal) for some retailers to put prices up on Black Friday. Yes, that’s right – sometimes discount prices are higher on Black Friday compared to the rest of the year because dishonest retailers know they will get more page views from people ready to click buy. So it’s worth scouting out what you want to buy now if you want to wait for Black Friday to check whether the price is in fact better.

Returning Black Friday purchases

You should be able to, as return policies will apply in the same way as the rest of the year, but still check on an individual retailer level.

You don’t want to buy something, change your mind and then be stuck with it. Buying online can be tricky to return items for a refund, so make sure you really want what you Add to Basket.

You can find deals curated here[14], by us

We love tech here at Tech Advisor (obviously) and we love genuinely good deals just as much. We work with tech every day, so we know a good bargain – and bad deal – when we see one.

Here’s our deals page[15].

We will be curating a huge amount of tech deals for you, the discerning tech consumer, so that come Black Friday you can come here and see the best deals, safe in the knowledge that the discount and retailer is legitimate.

References

  1. ^ (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  2. ^ opted to not take part (www.dailymail.co.uk)
  3. ^ Best Black Friday deals (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  4. ^ Carphone Warehouse (www.awin1.com)
  5. ^ Samsung Galaxy S8 review (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  6. ^ iPhone 8 rumours (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  7. ^ Google Pixel 2 (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  8. ^ Xbox One X (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  9. ^ Currys PC World (www.currys.co.uk)
  10. ^ Amazon (www.amazon.co.uk)
  11. ^ Argos (www.anrdoezrs.net)
  12. ^ John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com)
  13. ^ Fitbit Charge 2 (www.fitbit.com)
  14. ^ Black Friday tech deals (www.techadvisor.co.uk)
  15. ^ Black Friday tech deals (www.techadvisor.co.uk)

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