Why you should watch out for Black Friday, and what you need to know to get a bargain

In a couple of weeks, shops across the UK will be copying the American phenomenon of Black Friday. Do we do it as well as the Yanks?

What is it?

Black Friday is the biggest shopping day in the US. It’s the day after Thanksgiving and shops open early to offer ridiculous discounts on big ticket items. A few years ago Amazon started doing it in Britain, and other stores have now joined in.

When is it?

This year it’s November 28th. Some retailers, including Amazon, will start on Monday 24th and carry on until “Cyber Monday” (1st December).

What kind of things are on sale?

It could be anything. The biggest discounts are normally on technology, with cameras and TVs often big sellers. However with more and more shops taking part you might find you can save money on everything.

Some deals will be in-store only. Many shops will open early on the Friday, and last year people were queuing outside Asda stores from stupid-o’clock in the morning.

Who’s doing it?

The following shops have already announced they’re taking part, and on some you can signup for notifications for when deals go on sale. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+ to hear first about the best deals.
Click through to find out more.

Online deals will also go quickly, particularly Amazon’s extra cheap Lightening Deals.

How do I know if it’s a good deal?

If you’ve time to check around before stock runs out, use these clever sites to get an idea of prices. Camel camel camel shows price history on Amazon, while Idealo covers many other shops.

Remember you can always cancel your order or return the item if you find it isn’t such a good deal.

Look out for price matching

John Lewis will be price matching as usual, and don’t be surprised if Amazon and others do the same. This is great if you don’t have some shops near you or they are out of stock.

Are the discounts any good?

Generally the prices seemed pretty good, but we don’t really compare to the madness you see in America. Remember…

  • There are usually plenty of cases where the biggest cuts are on soon to be discontinued products.
  • Many discounts will be compared against the RRP or a recent highest price, when it’s likely they’ve actually been selling at a far lower price.
  • Don’t buy something just because it’s got a big discount. It’s only a saving if you were going to buy it anyway!
  • Just because something is cheap, it doesn’t mean it’s any good. Like the £99 TVs in Asda last year that were rated ‘Don’t buy’ by Which?
What was last year like?

Chaos if you go by this Asda store (there’s a little bit of swearing near the end).

It’s up to you if you want to brave that!

I’ve also taken a quick look at forums from 2013 to find some of the popular deals of last year. I’ve searched for the average prices of those items throughout 2014 to see if it’s something to get excited about. Here are a few:

  • John Lewis sold a KitchenAid Artisan 4L food processor for under £200. It’s rarely lower than £350 normally.
  • Amazon also had a Playstation 3 with Grand Theft Auto V. The special price was £229. Two months earlier and a month later it was selling at £200.
  • Amazon dropped the price of a Canon Powershot SX240 camera by £20 to it’s lowest ever price at £99. A great deal. However, it was replaced by a newer model in January so this was probably a stock clearance deal!
  • Apple had one day discounts on iPads, MacBooks and iPods in 2013 of around 8%. If you don’t have a student or work discount, it was a rare chance to get a decent deal on these products.
  • Selfridges, ASOS and others had discounts ranging from 10% to 20% off. These pop up throughout the year, but they are still decent deals.
  • Boots had a lot of make up on offer. They also reduced the Panansonic Lumix FS40 camera down to £50 from £120. A great price, but once again it was an old model.

3 thoughts on “Why you should watch out for Black Friday, and what you need to know to get a bargain

  1. Pingback: Who's doing Black Friday deals and when - Be Clever With Your Cash
  2. Pingback: Deals Round Up 23rd November - Be Clever With Your Cash
  3. Great tips Andy, will be sure to keep them in mind next week!


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.