If you’re wondering when Black Friday is, what is it or how to get the best deals, you’ve come to the right place…

Black Friday has become a much-anticipated event in the US, the UK and around the world, offering shoppers an opportunity to snag a bargain on a wide range of products. 

But when is Black Friday, and what exactly is it? 

Whether you’re on the hunt for Christmas prezzies or just fancy treating yourself to some new fitness kit, here’s everything you need to know about the global shopping extravaganza if you didn’t already, and how to bag the best deals.

A keyboard with a special Black Friday button

Do your research before hitting that buy now button this Black Friday

What is Black Friday?

Originating in the US, Black Friday has evolved into something of a global phenomenon. Unofficially kicking off the holiday shopping season, the retail frenzy has become a pre-Christmas tradition, with most major brands and department stores slashing prices and offering promotions on goods to convince people to splurge with their last paycheck before the holiday season. 

Coined in Philadelphia sometime in the ‘60s, the term Black Friday refers to how retailers moved from the red and ‘into the black’ – in other words, turned profitable, thanks to the sales and promotions on offer. The ‘80s and ‘90s saw the widespread adoption of the event as retail giants like Target and Walmart fueled the shopping frenzy, offering huge, unmissable discounts on big-ticket items. 

Before long, the scene shifted from crowded stores to the digital world – following the nature of the market – and that’ll be why Black Friday remains a highly anticipated day, with retailers across the board drawing hordes of eager shoppers to online marketplaces and department stores alike. 

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When is Black Friday?

Black Friday traditionally takes place every year on the day after Thanksgiving in the US. So it’s like the American version of the Boxing Day sales in the UK.

Black Friday normally falls on the fourth Friday in November, and since this is typically most people’s last pay cheque before the Christmas holidays, it’s become known as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season.

This year, officially, Black Friday will take place on 24 November, but you can expect big deals for the week leading up to and following that date.

How long do Black Friday deals last?

Black Friday deals typically start on the day after Thanksgiving, which is 24 November this year. While the length of these sales varies among retailers, the deals often extend beyond the Friday and continue on for a good week or so. Many stores, especially online retailers, launch early Black Friday promotions ahead of the main day and some continue to do so through the weekend that follows.

In recent years, the trend has shifted towards week-long or even month-long Black Friday events. It’s pretty standard these days to see Black Friday deals at the advent of November. Online retailers are also known to introduce flash sales or hourly deals. If there’s something in particular you are looking to buy in this year’s Black Friday sales, it’s worth checking your preferred store’s promotional calendars or signing up for its newsletter, as the duration can vary. That will help ensure you get enough time to grab a good bargain or two, but more on that below…

When is the best time to shop Black Friday deals?

The best time to shop Black Friday deals is typically on the day itself: the Friday after Thanksgiving. However, as mentioned earlier, many retailers initiate sales earlier in the week, and online deals may start even earlier. 

Some of the most sought-after deals are available during doorbuster events, often in the early hours of Friday. Then there’s always Cyber Monday, the following Monday, which originally came about as the Black Friday of online shopping, but now seems to have been merged into the same Black Friday weekend. To maximise your savings and grab the best deals, try to be strategic, plan ahead and monitor pre-sales – doing so will help you capitalise on specific time-limited promotions.

How to bag the best Black Friday deals

It might be easy to dismiss some of the sales you spot during Black Friday as underwhelming, with reduced sale prices not seeming all that cheaper than usual. This is common, as some retailers will overegg their RRP prices on price tags or stickers so that the reductions seem more appealing (a practice known as “price anchoring”).

However, if you’re well prepared, eagle-eyed and willing to put the effort into finding some bargains, it’s more than possible to save some decent dosh on the items on your list and make the most of this pre-Christmas shopping bonanza.

Here are seven top tips for grabbing the best Black Friday bargains:

  1. Plan ahead

    Start by making a list of items you want to purchase. Whether it’s tech gadgets, clothing, home appliances or boring Christmas gifts like socks for your Uncle Bob, knowing what you’re looking for will help you stay focused and avoid splurging unnecessarily on impulse buys.

  2. Set a budget

    Before you dive into the Black Friday sales, decide how much you’re willing to spend. Sticking to a budget will prevent overspending and eventual buyer’s remorse.

  3. Do your research

    Look up the products you plan to buy in advance. Read reviews, compare prices and familiarise yourself with the regular retail prices of the items you’re interested in. This way, you’ll recognise a genuine deal when you see one.

  4. Follow your favourite retailers’ socials and newsletters

    Many retailers send out exclusive deals and early access offers to their newsletter subscribers or social media followers. Sign up for your favourite stores’ newsletters and follow them on their social platforms. That way you’ll be the first to know about any Black Friday promotions they might be doing.

  5. Use price comparison tools

    Online price comparison tools and browser extensions can help you find the best prices across various retailers. They provide real-time price comparisons, helping you identify the most cost-effective option. Coupert is a particularly good one.

  6. Get up early or stay up late

    Black Friday sales often start at midnight or in the early hours of the morning. If you’re serious about scoring the best deals, set your alarm early. Make sure you have the right browser tabs open, ready to be one of the first to shop.

  7. Consider Cyber Monday

    If you don’t find what you’re looking for on Black Friday, don’t forget about Cyber Monday, which takes place the following Monday. Originally created to encourage consumers to take advantage of the online deals and discounts available after the Thanksgiving weekend, this is essentially just a continuation of the Black Friday sales but with a focus on online shopping. Still, it’s worth having a look to see if your top retailers have made any further markdowns. 

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