By MoneySavingExpert's Coupon Kid, Jordon Cox
Black Friday 2017 is fast approaching, which means thousands of items will be reduced across major high street stores and at online retailers.
It’s important to ensure you’re not sucked in by the hype though, and just buy things for the sake of it – we’ve seen plenty of dud deals in previous years with stores claiming blockbuster savings when in fact, it’s cheaper at a rival. But if there’s something you need, will use and can afford, there are usually decent bargains to be had – if you know where to look. Just make sure you get prepared in advance and do your own price comparisons to ensure you really are getting a good discount.
In the weeks leading up to it and on Black Friday itself, we will be posting all the confirmed deals on our Black Friday Deals page with full analysis to help you avoid the duds, so be sure to keep it bookmarked. You should also stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter feeds for all the latest updates as we look to root out the strong deals, from the not so strong.
When is Black Friday 2017?
Black Friday 2017 takes place on Friday 24 November.
Is Black Friday any good?
Essentially, it is a day for retailers to sell more and entice people to buy from them. However, if there is an item that you need or want to get some cheap Christmas presents, then it could be worth it for you.
Just make a list of items you’re after in advance and look at the average price. That way, you shouldn’t find yourself spending willy-nilly on the day and you’ll know if it is actually a decent discount at a glance.
What are the best things to buy on Black Friday?
There will be deals on thousands of items, so it’s easy to be overwhelmed. Generally, over the past years the best deals we’ve seen have been on big-ticket items and electronics, OR at companies that rarely offer discounts, such as Apple.
In the past, we’ve seen the lowest-ever price on Black Friday on items such as iPads, tablets, Kindles, video game consoles, TVs, Nutribullets and much more.
Also, look out for store-wide discount codes. Asos and Gap are two that have offered these in the past and this works well as you’re getting a strong discount on standard stock, so you know it’s not just trying to flog out-of-season gear.
What’s the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is another sale event that happens the Monday after Black Friday (this year on Monday 27 November), which is mostly for deals online. While there may be good deals to be had, the biggest discounts are historically found on Black Friday.
What we’ve been seeing in the past few years is brands having their Black Friday sales last the entire weekend and into Cyber Monday, with not many new deals being promoted on the day by retailers. In most cases, if you want a specific product, Black Friday is probably your best bet.
What do we know so far?
Retailers traditionally keep their cards close to their chest about exactly what deals they will be offering, but based on past years, we can make some predictions of what could be coming up from the major retailers. When anything is confirmed, we’ll be sure to share it on our Black Friday Deals page, with full analysis of if it’s a good deal or not.
Amazon in previous years has started its Black Friday sale weeks ahead of Black Friday with ‘lightning deals’ happening every hour on specific products. Usually the best deals come on Black Friday itself with most being market-leading or matching the market-leader throughout the day.
We expect major gadgets to be reduced in price, as well as heavy discounts on Amazon products such as the Amazon Echo, Dot and Kindle, as we saw in its ‘Prime Day’ sale earlier this year.
Last year, high street giant Argos had a 13-day event starting almost two weeks before Black Friday. It featured reasonable discounts on tech, toys, appliances and more, with the best deals and discounts being on Black Friday itself.
Although it described its sale as ‘The biggest Black Friday sale event’, we weren’t impressed by many of the items on sale, with a lot of prices being beaten elsewhere. We expect similar this year.
In previous years, the website had a queuing system at its busiest time to control traffic – with its busiest time being 8-9am. Free fast-track same-day delivery and in-store collection services is normally available on the day.
Do be wary though, and as always, compare prices elsewhere, because a recent Argos 3for2 deal turned out to be far less MoneySaving than it appeared initially (see our Argos 3for2 price hikes news story).
In the past two years Asda said it was not taking part in Black Friday, following ugly scenes in stores in 2014, with customers fighting over cut-price TVs and stampedes splashed across the TV news doing little for its reputation. Despite not officially taking part, there were deals to be had during the Black Friday period last year, including £10 Baileys and cut-price petrol. This year, we expect to see more of the same offering discounts on non-conventional items.
Asos is a creature of habit and for the past two years it has offered a 20% off site-wide code spanning the Black Friday weekend, so it’s well worth looking out for, as we expect the same or similar in 2017.
For the past few years, Boots’ Black Friday offering has included sales of 50% off or more on selected items including No7 and Soap and Glory. The best deal we saw last year was a £50 Soap and Glory gift set for £25 on Black Friday. We’re pretty sure you can expect to see the same kind of thing again this year, so if your loved ones like those brands, it’s a good time to stock up for Christmas.
Curry’s is a funny retailer on Black Friday. In previous years it has had 10-day ‘Black Tag’ events with deals on hundreds of electronics, all of which were quite underwhelming. Last year’s event was supposedly its ‘biggest ever’ year for Black Friday deals, but a lot of items could be found cheaper elsewhere.
In previous years, it was reported that Curry’s put prices up on some of its items to then reduce them on Black Friday, so be sure to check every deal to make sure it’s market-leading.
If you’ve been looking for a console or video games for Christmas in previous years, Black Friday at Game has been a strong contender. Last year, we saw sub-£200 PS4 and sub-£230 Xbox One S bundles.
This year, we are hoping to see a reasonable discount on the soon-to-be-released Xbox One X console (out in early November), as well as the regular Xbox One and PS4 consoles – hopefully cheaper than last year. Some package deals were cheaper elsewhere, however, so have a look around on the day.
Another brand that seems to be a creature of habit, House of Fraser has offered the same deal for the past two years – up to 50% off sale online and in stores. It’s fair to say we can expect something similar this year, on items including womenswear, menswear and kidswear, beauty, electronics and homeware.
However, this year, we’ve already seen an ‘up to 60% off’ sale from House of Fraser (its biggest ever), so it’ll be interesting to see if it matches this or sticks to the usual 50% off.
John Lewis is always a strong performer on Black Friday, in previous years offering cheap Kindles, TVs, electronics as well as on specific popular items, such as the Nutribullet – some of which sold out early in the morning, so you’ll have to be up early. Throughout the day, it’s also very proactive on price-matching competitors, meaning it will usually match the market-leading price.
Its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ policy is normally still honoured on Black Friday, and in the past it has even matched some online-only retailers, even though its price promise normally only recognises retailers with a high street presence. It’s also an added bonus that John Lewis offers extended warranties on selected electrical items at no extra cost, which may make it a better place to buy, even if the price is the same elsewhere.
Probably not one to get too excited about. M&S offered 20% off and 30-50% off gifts in 2015 and 2016 respectively. For M&S this year, we again predict a modest discount in stores and online, with better offers found in other high street stores.
You can often find bigger discounts at M&S throughout the year in flash sales, so perhaps one not worth waiting for… unless it pulls something big out of the bag for Black Friday 2017.
Black Friday at Sainsbury’s has been described in previous years as “low key” and we can expect similar this year, with a fairly modest number of deals on mainly electronic items.
Last year it offered deals on TVs, tablets, the Nutribullet and other electronics, although they were only available in store, not online.
For the past few years, Selfridges has offered a 20% off online code and in-store voucher over the Black Friday weekend. It’s safe to say we expect to see it repeating this again.
Although this is a decent code, we have in the past seen up to 50% off sales at Selfridges, so while it’s likely to apply across most items, it may not be the best discount you’ve seen.
Tesco is usually a big player on Black Friday, reducing a range of electronics in the past including a 32” TV for £99, Amazon Fire TV stick for £25 and a range of video games at market-leading prices.
We’re predicting the same thing this year, and hoping for the return of additional discount codes for Tesco Direct, which we saw in 2015. We expect the usual Black Friday price war, as Tesco battles to be cheapest for top-name products, against the likes of Amazon and John Lewis, which of course is good news for consumers.
So there we have it… those are our predictions for this year, and we’ll update this list with any information we receive from retailers in the lead up to Black Friday. It may seem quite far away now, but it’s never too early to start planning, if you want to ensure you bag the best deals, and don’t fall for the duds