Navigating Black Friday can be a pain, so we’ve tried to make your life a little bit easier by organising the deals you need into convenient category pages:
We’re sorry to break it to you like this, but we’re about to enter the second pandemic holiday shopping season. Yep, that’s right. Black Friday is just around the corner, so it’s time to get ready.
It won’t be much longer until retailers start cramming your inbox full of ad scans and deal previews. It may seem a bit pre-emptive, like those neighbors who insist on putting up their Christmas decorations before the leaves start falling, but trust us when we say that this year’s Black Friday sales will be even weirder than last year’s event.
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What can you expect from Black Friday 2021?
Under circumstances absolutely no one had on their bingo card, petrol has become as elusive as PS5s. We continuie to experience pandemic-related material shortages and delivery delays across industries of all kinds. Unsurprisingly, this ordeal has left manufacturers and retailers scrambling; Ikea have actually gone so far as to charter private cargo ships to make sure their shelves are stocked for the busiest shopping season.
As such, finding the best deals this Black Friday will likely be a question of availability more so than price.
“I half-jokingly tell people ‘Order your Christmas presents now because otherwise on Christmas day, there may just be a picture of something that’s not coming until February or March,'” UPS International President Scott Price told Agence France-Presse in mid-September. And you thought finding toilet paper last spring was bad.
Since planning ahead will be your best defense against backorders and “out of stock” notices, we’re rolling out Black Friday coverage way earlier than usual this year. (The early bird gets the Nintendo Switch, so to speak.) We’ll be updating this post with the best deals as sales start to pop up — in the meantime, here are all the must-know details you’ll need ahead of time.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday began in the U.S., but seems to be taking on greater significance every year in the UK.
Since the 1950s, shops in the U.S. have offered impressive deals on the day after Thanksgiving to kick-start the Christmas shopping season. In 2013, Asda had a Black Friday sale on this side of the pond, and offered deals on a wide range of goods. Other retailers jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon the following year, and the rest is history.
We collectively spent £435 million in 2013, when the concept was still in its infancy in the UK. Nowadays we spend billions — the highest total in Europe. Black Friday is clearly a very different beast compared to just a few years ago, and this trend is set to continue in 2021.
When is Black Friday in 2021?
While Black Friday proper falls on Nov. 26 this year, retailers will start trickling out their deals much sooner — we’re thinking as early as October.
Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday — what’s the difference?
Scoring a great deal on Black Friday once meant camping out at a retailer in the middle of the night right as the store opened. But once online shopping became mainstream, online retailers wanted a piece of the Black Friday pie. Cyber Monday was born thanks to people of the early 2000s wanting the best possible internet connection to do their shopping. At the time, office computers had better broadband than home setups, causing people to wait until work on Monday to do all their online shopping. In 2005, the NRF debuted the term Cyber Monday and we’ve been online shopping after ever since.
Big-name retailers will also have good online sales on Black Friday, many of which are live weeks in advance. Argos and Currys will offer good prices on Black Friday, while Amazon is better on Cyber Monday if you’re a Prime member. (Though Amazon does run Black Friday savings for the whole week leading up to the event.)
What should you be buying on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
There are going to be a lot of deals around Black Friday, and finding the best offers can easily become stressful. There are certain types of products that you should prioritise at this time though, because these see the biggest discounts and the best offers.
We know that everyone will have a different wishlist at this time of year, but these are the products to look out for this Black Friday and Cyber Monday:
Appliances: Retailers like Argos and Currys always go big on Black Friday, dropping prices on pretty much everything they stock. You can expect deals on washing machines, fridges, freezers, kettles, toasters, and much more. If you’re looking to stock up on appliances for your home, these sites should be your first stop.
Games consoles: Finding console availability has been a total nightmare, and we’re not expecting things to change. That doesn’t mean there won’t be opportunities to pick up a Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PS5 this year. You best chance of success is finding bundle deals on sites like Amazon, Argos, GAME, and Currys, alongside games, controllers, and gaming accessories.
Smartphones: Retailers like Carphone Warehouse and Mobiles.co.uk always offer plenty of impressive deals on all sorts of smartphones. This year, we expect to see a lot of contract deals for the iPhone 13.
Toys: Black Friday is the best time of the year to shop for toys. The most in-demand toys will sell out fast in the run-up to Christmas, so Black Friday presents a great opportunity to get the prized item before the rush. We recommend checking out Amazon and Argos for the best deals on Lego, including those massively popular Star Wars and Harry Potter sets that always cause a stir.
TVs: Black Friday is all about big deals on the biggest products, and that means TVs. We expect pretty much all of the leading retailers to offer fantastic deals on TVs of all sizes from top brands like Sony Bravia, Samsung, LG, Philips, and Panasonic. It’s best to shop around for the best TV deals, because there are going to be so many, but you can’t go wrong with Currys and Amazon.
VPNs: Virtual Private Networks, or VPNs, are a fairly new addition to the Black Friday shopping scene, but they are having a big impact. More and more people are concerned about cybersecurity, and VPNs offer online protection for your identity and data. All the leading services are likely to offer discounted rates over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and you should be able to find good deals on the likes of NordVPN, ExpressVPN, PureVPN, and CyberGhost VPN.
You should also look out for deals on travel, subscription services, and laptops, because these are likely to feature heavily throughout this shopping season.
What are the top retailers for Black Friday deals?
Amazon: Check back later for deals!
Argos: Check back later for deals!
Currys PC World: Check back later for deals!
John Lewis: Check back later for deals!
Laptops Direct: Check back later for deals!
Very: Check back later for deals!