Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping dates of the year – and this year it'll take place on Friday 26 November 2021. In the last couple of years, many shops have started offering deals from the beginning of the month, leading some to refer to it as Black November.
Mark the date in your diary and sign up to newsletters from your favourite brands because it's the perfect opportunity to nab yourself brilliant bargains on everything from fashion and beauty to gadgets and big ticket household goods. It's also a great way to buy gifts for your family and friends for less before Christmas.
Our tip is to be prepared, and shop smartly. Only buy things that you really need or want and don't be sucked in to spending money on things you'll later regret. Research your products, make a wishlist and make sure you know the returns policy for any purchases you change your mind on.
Whatever you're after this year, here's our guide to everything you need to know about getting the most out of Black Friday.
What is Black Friday?
A few years ago, many of us hadn't even heard of Black Friday. The shopping event originated in the US and first came to the UK in 2010 - since then it's become the biggest day in the shopping calendar for bagging a bargain.
Hundreds of UK retailers now take part, typically reducing their prices in a flash sale for 24 hours – although many begin their offers in the days leading up to Black Friday, and keep their prices low over the weekend, so keep your eyes peeled for the best bargains.
And it's safe to say that we've embraced Black Friday in earnest, reportedly spending an incredible £8.6 billion on the day in 2019.
Why is it called Black Friday?
While the name's origins are somewhat unclear, many believe the term 'Black Friday' comes from the idea that retailers' books will move from 'red to black', as they rake in such large profits on the day.
When is Black Friday?
Black Friday traditionally happens on the day after Thanksgiving, the American holiday that is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November.
This year, Black Friday will take place on Friday 26 November 2021, with retailers usually reducing prices online from midnight, although consumers have been known to queue outside shops overnight in order to make their way in as soon as shops open on the day.
What deals can I get on Black Friday?
Some brands reveal which products will be on offer in the run-up to Black Friday, while others tend to stay tight-lipped until the day, and deals will differ from retailer to retailer.
However, with so many retailers typically taking part, you should be able to find bargains across a wide range of categories, from fashion and beauty to homeware and technology.
So, if you've been waiting to invest in a new laptop for months or have had your eye on the latest hair gadget for a while, then Black Friday might be the perfect opportunity to invest.
Where are the best Black Friday deals?
A whole host of big name brands and retailers usually take part in Black Friday, including Amazon.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of the retailers who will take part, many brands have already created Black Friday deals pages, so it might be worth bookmarking them now:
How to get the best deals on Black Friday?
It's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of deals available on Black Friday, so planning is key to make sure you stick to your budget.
From searching for discount codes to holding out for Cyber Monday, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you get an even bigger discount than retailers will be offering directly. We spoke to deal experts from cashback website TopCashback to get their best tips.
Do your research: If you know what you want to buy from the Black Friday sales, make a list and do your research before the sales start. Compare prices across retailers so you know which are selling the products you want for the lowest price and therefore who may lower their prices the most.
Check RRPs: A week before Black Friday, check the real RRP price so you know the value of the discount you are actually getting. The price of some items may have dropped just before meaning the £20 discount you thought you were getting on Black Friday is actually just £10 off the new RRP.
Set up accounts: Items sell fast on Black Friday, but, by setting up accounts with the retailers you are most likely to shop with, you can make sure you get the best deals and save lots of time. A few days before the sales start, make an account and add all your key information – address, payment details etc. – to make the checkout process as quick as possible and reduce the risk of losing items in your basket.
Search for vouchers: Before committing to any purchases, scan the internet for vouchers and discount codes. There are lots of sites you can visit which hosts lists of codes that will work on retailer’s websites. It’s also worth signing up to retailer’s newsletters and following their social channels as they often release special codes. These can then be layered on top of Black Friday deals to get a higher discount.
Earn cashback: On top of the Black Friday sales and extra savings from discount codes, you can add another layer of savings to get an even better deal by shopping through a cashback website such as Topcashback and Quidco. These websites allow shoppers to earn a cash reward each time a transaction takes place via their website. You can also check groceries-focused cashback website GreenJinn and Swagbucks, which works with retailers such as Amazon.
Consider how you’re paying: It can be a good idea to pay for items on your credit card because it can provide you with an extra layer of protection if things go wrong – but you should pay it off in full when payment is due. Don’t put yourself into debt.
Avoid the shops: shopping online isn’t only easier, it often means you have a guaranteed returns period as the Consumer Contracts Regulations dictates retailers must allow consumers two weeks to return all items and get a full refund, even ones on sale.
Too busy to shop on Black Friday?
If you can't make it to the shops on Black Friday or run out of time to snap up deals online then don't worry because you'll have another opportunity to nab some amazing bargains on Cyber Monday.
Another US import, Cyber Monday is the day when retailers slash their prices online. It always takes place on the Monday after Black Friday, and will fall on Monday 29 November 2021 this year.
We'll keep you updated about all the best Black Friday deals we find, so bookmark this page for our best Black Friday deals.
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