Much like turkey-sized tinfoil, drunken office parties and awkward dinner-table conversations about Brexit, Black Friday is now a fundamental part of Christmas. And each year the annual sales bonanza grows bigger, with more stores and brands getting in on the action.
You can expect discounts on everything from mattresses to mobile phones, with each retailer slashing prices in a frantic bid to outdo the next. To help you make sense of the madness, we’ve put together this guide to Black Friday 2019, which covers everything you need to know and prepare for. Then, when the big day comes, we’ll update this page with a curated list of the best deals out there.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is an American tradition: a decades-old day of discount shopping that takes place the day after Thanksgiving. You might call it the Stateside version of the Boxing Day sales - but set up for Christmas gift-buying instead post-Christmas bargains.
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The gloomy-sounding name dates back to 1966, and a name given by the Philadelphia police to the chaos of shoppers scrabbling for bargains - although it took until 2010 for the concept to take root in Britain.
When is Black Friday 2019?
It falls this year on 29 November, but Black Friday sales aren’t confined to just the day itself - not in the hyper-competitive market, where retailers offer competitive deals in the preceding days, often pitched as “teaser” offers. You can expect companies like Argos, Currys and Amazon to start announcing price drops a fortnight before Black Friday itself.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday takes place on the Monday after Black Friday. Traditionally, retailers doubled down on their price slashing with online sales, but most now run deals throughout the whole weekend.
One challenge, during this frenzied four-day period, is to know when to strike. If you buy a product on the Friday, it may well be even cheaper by the Monday. If you hold on for the Monday, it could be sold out by then. Ultimately, you'll always be rolling the dice. Regardless, we've listed the hottest deals out there below.
The best Black Friday deals 2019
1. Apple 7.9-inch iPad Mini 5 (was £649, now £549)
It isn't often that we see Apple products on sale - but Currys has put discounts on a wide range of iPads in its Black Friday sale. The best we've seen so far is the £100 price drop on this iPad min, which certainly isn't a budget-priced tablet at its original price of £649. But now at just £549, this high-powered device is far more appealing.
Brand, currys.co.uk, was £649, now £549
2. De'Longhi Autentica ETAM29.660.SB Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine (was £789, now £499)
Appliances Online has reduced the cost of this high-end bean-to-cup machine by £290 in its Black Friday sale, suddenly making it a whole lot more affordable. With a 15-bar pressure grinder, milk frother and dual-cup option, it's a quality machine that should please most caffeine addicts.
De'Longhi, ao.co.uk, was £789, now £499
3. Apple iPhone 11 (£40 per month, 100GB data, free upfront)
The latest phone off Apple's production line is never going to cheap per se - but this Fonehouse deal is the best bargain out there. It gets you the handset with a hefty 100GB of monthly data, for £40 a month and absolutely nothing upfront.
4. Fitbit Inspire HR Fitness Black & Nest Mini Charcoal Bundle (£75, £139 separately)
Buy these two smart devices together and you save an impressive £64. The Fitness wearable will do everything from track your steps to calculate the calories you burned; Google's mini-sized Nest can relay the day's news and schedule things into your calendar. That's Christmas presents for two different people covered!
Fitbit, currys.co.uk, £75, £139 separately
5. Amazon Echo Dot (was £50, now £22)
Amazon's price drops on its own devices typically suggest a newer-generation product is likely to land soon - but regardless, this canny little smart speaker is still 56%
Amazon, amazon.co.uk, was £50, now £22
6. LG OLED55B9PLA 55-inch Smart 4K UHD TV (was £1,599, now £1,099)
This is the strongest Black Friday TV discount we've seen so far: a £500 discount on a television that not only offers you cutting-edge 4K visuals but also has built-in Google Assistant, meaning you can change everything from the volume to the channels by voice command. The 65-inch version has also been reduced, from £2,449 to £1,779, if you have a big enough living room.
LG, currys.co.uk, was £1,599, now £1,099
7. Save £250 on the Nectar Mattress and get two free pillows worth £70
Yes, mattress brands are nearly always running some kind of sale or other - but Nectar, a relative newcomer to the bed-in-a-box industry, really impressed us with this Black Friday offer. Not only do you save £250 on each mattress you purchase, but you can also pick up two of the brand's mattresses that typically sell at £70 for free.
8. 23andMe Dna Test Kit (was £150, now £75)
Know someone who's always difficult to buy Christmas presents for? Give them this leftfield choice: a DNA test kit that will shed light on their heritage and genealogy after a saliva sample is sent off in the post. Just imagine the look of delight on your uncle's face when he discovers he's 14% Viking!
23andMe, 23andme.com, was £150, now £75
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