Though still relatively new to the scene, the Black Friday sale has become a much anticipated event in the UK shopping calendar.
Strategically scheduled before Christmas, it offers the prime opportunity for consumers to grab all kinds of bargains that might otherwise have had to wait until the more sedate Boxing Day sales.
Having first been trialled online by Amazon and then in-store at Asda, more retailers are joining the ranks each year, making Black Friday one of the biggest consumer events of the country.
Even the term Black Friday is often attributed to the traditional methods of accounting when profits would be marked in black ink, and losses in red. Though this is just one of many theories that try to lay claim to the now infamous day of consumer madness.
Queues extending out into the streets and people fighting over giant flat-screen televisions, are just some of the images now synonymous with the Black Friday name.
Bag your bargains online
For this reason many UK shoppers have started to show a preference for bagging their bargains from the comfort of their own home, rather than braving the lion’s den in person.
But even this has caused a different kind of chaos, with several sites crashing under the weight of consumer traffic in previous years.
Luckily the retailers have their fingers on the button and have been preempting the extra surge of online traffic by planning their Black Friday sales accordingly. In fact, some outlets are bypassing the in-store carnage altogether and are instead using Black Friday as a precursor to Cyber Monday, which happens just three days later.
On the whole, the best deals tend to come from the biggest names, with the likes of Argos, John Lewis, Tesco, Currys PC World and Amazon all slashing prices for the day-long flash sale. Electrical goods, fashion and homeware seem to be the most sought after products but if you know where to look, you can get your hands on pretty much anything at a reduced price.
So what’s happening for Black Friday in 2018?
The date for 2018 Black Friday is 23rd November, and it is predicted to follow its year on year trend for exponential growth with more retailers participating than ever before. That said, the UK has shown a little reticence in going all out American-style, with many people saying they will be doing more shopping online and spending less.
It’s no longer restricted to a single day either – companies such as Amazon now run flash sales throughout the week and all the way to Cyber Monday on the 26th. This has become known as the Black Friday period.
In terms of knowing what exactly is on offer however, most retailers keep their cards close to their chest until the last possible moment. So the best tactic is to check the stores’ own websites nearer the time, such as the John Lewis Black Friday hub page, which will have up-to-date info on all current offers.
Another thing to look out for are Lightning Deals, which operate on a first-come-first-served basis by offering a limited number of stock of a particular product. Depending on the retailer, customers with existing accounts such as Amazon Prime, may even enjoy a head start.
For this reason it might be worth getting ahead of the game and setting up your accounts before 23rd November.
So when you see that coffee machine you’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford, you can zip straight to the checkout without having to fill out all the registration forms.
Before you go… think: Is it really good deal and do I need it?
Retailers often use a fear of missing out to entice you to buy. It’s easy to get caught up in the commotion and head to the till before you’re really ready. We’ve all been there.
So it’s best to go into a sale having done your research. That means knowing what you need to buy and knowing what a good deal would look like. It’s a good idea to have a budget in mind and making sure you stick to it.