Black Friday 2020: When Black Friday sale starts, best early deals and offers

All the latest news on Black Friday 2020 as Thanksgiving draws closer bringing with it plenty of deals.

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Black Friday 2020

Black Friday 2020 is set to be another huge consumer event and chatter has already started around the deals we can expect. If you’re one of the many shoppers already preparing for the deal day then you’ve come to the right place.

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Black Friday is on 27th November this year with Cyber Monday following straight after on 30th November, just in time for the Christmas shopping season.

Things will be a little different this year thanks to the pandemic. In the USA, shops are giving staff Thanksgiving off with most stores not opening due to Covid-19.

In the UK, we never see the same mad rush to band down shop doors on Black Friday (98 per cent of shoppers plan to spend online), but it will still have an impact on what’s on offer. 

With Amazon Prime Day and Black Friday so close together, we’d expect sales to be focused around October and November for the holiday season. We’d also expect a lot more online deals this year rather than in-store only deals (like the Nintendo Switch Asda deal last year), which can only be a good thing for everyone reluctant to venture out.

Last year, there was about a 20 per cent uplift in traffic for people searching for deals in some regions, according to Adobe Analytics. It remains to be seen whether Black Friday following so soon after Amazon Prime Day will impact sales – with people snapping up deals early and both adding to the draw of buying for Christmas.

This year, it’s expected that Brits will spend an estimated £7billion over the Black Friday weekend. In the US, this is even higher – around $58billion.

We’re waiting to see what the best buys will be but during last year’s Black Friday event, toys were the hot ticket (with Argos Crazy Codes doing well) and the Nintendo Switch being the most popular console. With a new PS5 and Xbox Series X on the way, we expect these to sell well, even without discounts.

The deals on offer will, as always, be dominated by consumer electronics like phones, TVs, laptops, smart speakers and gadgets, but with so many offers on the table, it can be hard to know what’s the best deal and what exactly to look for. 

We also found in 2019 that retailers didn’t drop everything at once, with Argos, Currys and Amazon drip-feeding deals in the lead up to Black Friday.

When is Black Friday 2020?

Black Friday falls on 27th November this year, meaning it’s less than a month before Christmas Day.

The event began as a US tradition and therefore always falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which is always the last Thursday in November.

Cyber Monday follows on the first Monday after Black Friday every year, so this year it’s on 30th November

Last year TVs and gadgets had their prices cuts Credit: Argos Black Friday deals
Last year TVs and gadgets had their prices cut Credit: Argos Black Friday deals

The two events used to be markedly different in that shoppers would rush to the high streets for Black Friday, whereas Cyber Monday was exclusively reserved for online deals.

Black Friday has always tended to lean more towards tech products while Cyber Monday was more about lifestyle and a wider array of products, though this is no longer the case.

However, as so much of Black Friday is now about online shopping, the two events are often simply branded as Black Friday weekend. 

Expect deals in the week ahead too, though – 20th November will be a test run for many retailers so keep that in your diary also. For example, Currys runs its own Why Wait Sale during this week for those who are looking to save some money without the usual panic-buying that comes with Black Friday sales. Currys has also kicked off its early sales so keep an eye out as there will be deals already available. 

How does RadioTimes.com prepare for Black Friday?

We keep an eye on prices in the lead up to Black Friday (and Amazon Prime Day) to make sure we’re recommending the cheapest and best deals in the weeks before and on the day. 

We also keep our deal pages up to date so you can check back and snap a good deal up during Black Friday. 

You can look over all our Black Friday content before the event to prepare yourself – whether that’s looking for a deal, a review or tech guides. 

How long is Black Friday?

While many shops run early Black Friday offers, Black Friday officially kicks off at midnight on 27th November (i.e. late night Thursday).

You’ll still see early deals, but the majority of deals will be available on the actual day – with some retailers offering a week or a weekend of associated special offers.

Best Black Friday 2019 deals

If you’re wondering what deals we saw last year there was a mix of smart home tech, TVs and a lot of deals around Airpods and Nintendo Switch. Argos also had Crazy Codes.

Best Prime Day deals ahead of Black Friday 2020

Of the thousands of offers released, we scoured Amazon to find the best Prime Day deals live across everything from home tech and entertainment to gaming, and will be doing the same across Black Friday.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon devices like the Amazon Echo Dot saw huge reductions from RRP prices. Tech giants including Samsung also got in on the action, with Apple even offering 20 per cent off AirPods alongside 15 per cent off selected iPads and various smartphone savings.

We can’t predict what Black Friday will bring, and Amazon has said that this year’s Prime Day prices will not be bettered, but we do now have a feel of where prices could fall to in November. Here are just 10 of the best Prime Day deals we’ve watched become available to Prime subscribers.

How will Black Friday 2020 be different?

Black Friday 2020 should still bring with it plenty of discounts and offers, but we do expect there to be a few changes in shopping behaviour thanks to the pandemic – both economically and in terms of what deals are available.

Last year, the retailers went all out to compete with early Black Friday deals on key products. If we see a continuation of this, then TVs with smart options, 4K and HDR should be up for grabs and lower prices, and Apple should offer its usual deals on iPads and Airpods.

The Airpods Pro may mean we see older versions drop in price too. The same goes for the PS4 as the new PS5 is out this Holiday season, as well as Xbox Series X. Apple also has the new iPhone slated for November, so we can expect a few deals there and on older models. iPhone 11 may not be discounted as much though thanks to iPhone 12’s delay.

Where to find the best Black Friday deals?

Most retailers want a piece of the action when it comes to Black Friday, which means there are a lot of offers and deals to sort through. Amazon, as one of the largest retailers in the world, is one of the most prolific with a stream of deals: Echo Dots, Kindles, and Fire TV sticks are worth keeping an eye on.

John Lewis is also another brand to keep on your radar as it tends to drop the prices on TVs for Black Friday, meaning you are more likely to get an offer on a 4K TV. The brand also offers discounts on other tech products which can sometimes hit up to 30 per cent off.

Currys PC World ran a series of early offers last year so it’s a good place to check in the lead up to Black Friday as well as on the day. Smartphones, games consoles and TVs are all likely targets for deals.

If you’re struggling to work out what deals are for you, we will have a guide on the day, so check back on Black Friday itself. Amazon also has a Daily Deals page which offers up to 90 per cent off some products.

Best Black Friday deals 2020

There are plenty of retailers taking part, but we’re keeping track of the best deals for you. Whether that’s technology, consoles, and games, to electricals, and toys. We have guides on the best Black Friday deals.

We also expect great deals around products like Amazon Echo, the Amazon Fire Stick hot off the heels of the new Echo Dot 8 and Amazon Fire Stick Lite. Kindle is also often on the deals list.

Google Chromecast, Google Home will also be among the best deals.

Apple also recently announced new products, with the Apple Watch 6, and Apple Watch SE. With new items on their way, we expect the older Apple Watches to have deals on them.

Game-wise, expect FIFA to be among the top deals, especially as FIFA 21 will be out along with the new PS5 and Xbox Series X – so expect PS4 and Xbox One deals as well as PSVR. Speaking of which, Nintendo Switch deals were among the best sellers last year.

Phone wise the iPhone 12 will be out, so expect deals on the older models.

We’ll update this page with more as the event approaches and early deals drop.

Are Black Friday deals real?

Black Friday

Yes, Black Friday deals are real. The deals are agreed with the brands and retailers so aren’t just flash sales even though that’s how they come across.

Sudden price drops are also used, which is more based on an algorithm. Take Amazon, for example, with its lightning deals.

Price-matching is also popular, with John Lewis and Currys PC World both running a price match promise.

The main issue isn’t so much whether deals are real but how good they are. Keep an eye on prices in the lead up to the day to ensure you are getting the best Black Friday deal you can. Sometimes you will see some items are cheaper after Black Friday, sometimes with price drops on Cyber Monday, but this is a usual practice too. The best thing to do is grab a deal if it is cheaper than usual and it’s a product you already wanted. You can read more about the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday in our guide.

Are there any Black Friday deals now?

There will be a lot of deals starting to arrive in the weeks ahead of Black Friday, and we’ll keep you updated when and where to look closer to the time.

We have already created a catalogue of deals pages showing the best discounts you can get right now across the technology and entertainment sectors. 

Like we mentioned above, the Nintendo Switch was highly popular last year, and more discounts on the console are expected this year, too. And, because of Black Friday’s later date, the shopping event is a great time to buy Christmas gifts. If this is the case, be sure to take a look at our LEGO and Smyths deals for any toys you might be after. 

These deal hubs are a fantastic way of keeping an eye on prices if you have a specific item in mind, or to snag a deal early if you would rather not wait until the end of November.

If you’re in the latter camp, Amazon Prime Day will be a great opportunity to grab some decent deals in October. This is often when you can get Amazon’s own products, such as Kindles and Echo smart speakers, at a lower price. 

You do need to be an Amazon Prime member to take advantage of the discounts, though.

Currys has also kicked off its early sale with clearance offers.

Can Black Friday deals be returned?

Legally, you have the same rights to refund faulty items bought on sale as you do when they’re bought full price. If the item isn’t faulty – for instance, if you decide you simply didn’t like the product – then you need to check with the retailer. In the UK you need proof of purchase if you want to return an item, but if you just want a repair or to exchange you don’t need the warranty. You can read more in our guide to Black Friday returns.

Origin and history: What is Black Friday?

Back in November 1951, Black Friday was first mentioned. The Factory Management and Maintenance journal used the term to describe people calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving so they could get that extra day off.

US police also used the phrase Black Friday and Black Saturday to describe the intense traffic that happens around the season.

Early Black Friday Shopping At A Target Store

There was also a movement in 1961 from local government to change the shopping season to Big Friday or Big Saturday, but it never took off. The term Black Friday was seen as more fitting as it represented a shopping spree that pushed retailers ‘back into the black’ money-wise.

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Check back for the best Black Friday deals on the day.