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Black Friday 2021: when do UK sales start, plus the pre-Black Friday deals live now

Here's what you need to know about Black Friday 2021: the date, the early sales you can shop now, plus how to get a good deal.

Black Friday 2021

Black Friday may still be a month away, but against a backdrop of stock uncertainty, especially for toys, we’re starting to see appetite grow for early Black Friday offers.

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So far, we have seen up to 25% off LEGO across retailers, including Argos, plus savings on home appliances like the Kenwood Kmix stand mixer – both of which were hugely popular last year, too.

Technically, Black Friday 2021 will take place on Friday 26th November this year, and Cyber Monday 2021 will take place three days later, on Monday 29th November.

Yet each year, the late-November sale seems to only get bigger and longer, with more and more retailers getting in on the deals action and slashing prices.

In fact, according to figures from Adobe, online sales on Black Friday last year reached $9.03 billion, up 22% from $7.4 billion the previous year. And, according to search experts Semrush, there was also a 14% global increase in interest for Black Friday last year.

Last year, Semrush confirmed that the most in-demand product groups were laptops, microwaves and furniture. And we have no doubt that you should expect more of the same this November. With Nintendo confirming the new Nintendo Switch OLED is available to buy now, too, you can expect deals on the older Nintendo Switch – great timing for those of you trying to snap up a bargain before Christmas.

Don’t want to wait? We’ve rounded up the best pre-Black Friday sales and offers you can shop now below. Plus, scroll down for our expert tips for getting the most out of this deals season.

What pre-Black Friday sales and deals can you shop now?

If you’re looking for early pre-Black Friday sales to get your Christmas shopping sorted sooner, there are plenty of offers around from major retailers.

John Lewis seasonal offers – shop now

John Lewis is holding a seasonal sales event that sees selected lines at 20% off.

Save 25% on LEGO sets at Argos – shop now

Harry Potter LEGO Black Friday set

Currys pre-Black Friday discounts – shop now

Amazon pre-Black Friday offers – shop now

Amazon is another huge retailer that is always worth keeping an eye on. The website has a Today’s Deals section that is updated daily with new offers.

Other pre-Black Friday sales and top discounts

Other worthwhile deals and early Black Friday sales include:

Google Pixel 6 Bose deal

You can also head to our other dedicated Black Friday deals pages too. These pages will be updated throughout the sales season by our tech experts. Here’s a selection:

Don’t forget that autumn is a key time for new tech releases. This means that it can be beneficial to wait for Black Friday if you’re after an iPhone or other flagship device. The iPhone 13 is on sale now, and it means that the iPhone 12 series will likely see discounts during the shopping event, so keep an eye out for the Black Friday iPhone deals.

If you don’t want to wait until the sales to buy the new Apple flagship, we’ve pulled together the best deals currently available on our iPhone 13 availability page, along with which UK retailers have the phone immediately in stock.

When is Black Friday 2021?

Black Friday will take place on Friday 26th November this year, but you can expect prices to fall much earlier. Last year, we saw stores launching their sales as early as the beginning of the month, making us wonder if the whole thing should be renamed Black November for the sake of accuracy. With toy shops warning of stock shortages this festive season, it’s likely that more retailers will launch their offers early to keep up with rising Christmas shopping demand in 2021.

These early waves of deals are often just teasers before the hottest discounts are rolled out on Black Friday itself or just before. It is then followed by Cyber Monday, which takes place on 29th November this year.

Traditionally, Cyber Monday was always an online-only event versus the discounts of Black Friday that took place in-store. However, this is a slightly old-fashioned concept. In recent times, online shopping hasn’t so much boomed as become the norm, which means there’s not much practical difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It is worth noting that there is often a lull in fresh deals in the two-day weekend period between the two dates, but plenty of Black Friday deals continue to run into the week that commences with Cyber Monday.

What’s the history of Black Friday?

Black Friday is a shopping tradition that’s been going strong in the US for decades – it always takes place on the day after Thanksgiving. Last year, the US alone saw a 34% increase in Black Friday searches, making it the biggest year yet for the event.

It took a surprisingly long time to gain popularity in the UK, only becoming a fixture in the sales calendar a few years ago. Now, though, it is well and truly here to stay, and you’ll find very few British stores that don’t get in on the deals action at the end of November.

Are Black Friday deals real?

Yes – in fact, it’s usually in the Black Friday sales that you’ll find the hottest discounts all year round. It’s at this time of year that you’ll see retailers at their most competitive, dropping prices as low as possible to outbid their rivals.

That being said, there’s a fair bit of filler alongside the killer: not every deal you’ll find during the Black Friday sales is a gem. Read on to find out more about separating the wheat from the chaff.

What were the best Black Friday deals in 2020?

What were some of the best Black Friday deals in 2020?

Of the thousands (no, literally) of deals we scoured during Black Friday 2020, there were a number of highlights that really stood out.

  • One product we watched yo-yo in price across a number of stores were Apple’s noise-cancelling AirPods Pro, which dropped as low as £195 at Laptops Direct.
  • True to form, Amazon slashed prices across a number of its own devices like the 4th-generation Echo Dot, which was reduced by 42%.
  • It was a particularly excellent Black Friday for phone deals – both handsets and SIM-only contracts. We saw the best pay-monthly offerings on the iPhone 11 (which had just had its flagship status poached by the iPhone 12), while there were some incredible data boosts in Three’s SIM-only plans.
  • TVs are always a major component of what’s on offer during Black Friday, and we saw prices fall by as much as 40% across models like the Philips PUS8555 50-inch Smart 4K TV and LG 65UN81006LB.
  • There were plenty of great price drops on kitchen appliances, too: we saw savings run as high as 50% on products like the Kenwood KHC29 BOWH Prospero Stand Mixer and Kenwood KMix Stand Mixer at Argos. Over at Currys, the offer on the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer was so popular it sold out online.

How to get a good deal on Black Friday: top tips

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of discounts that you’ll find online during the Black Friday sales. We’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you get prepared for deal-hunting.

  • If you’re thinking about buying a high-value tech item at some point this year and don’t mind waiting until November, holding off until then isn’t a bad idea. But don’t pin all your hopes on one item – put a wishlist together instead. For example, if you’re thinking of replacing your phone, read our best smartphone or best Android phone guides, and search out a handful of devices that pique your interest. We’re certain at least one of them will be discounted come Black Friday.
  • Don’t always go for the latest generation device. Black Friday can provide some brilliant deals on tech as retailers look to shift older models. Many of these products won’t be more than a year old. For example, with the Google Pixel 6 just being announced and the recent arrival of the iPhone 13, the iPhone 12 and Google Pixel 5 will likely see some good discounts.
  • As a general rule, don’t rely on inspiration if you’re searching for Christmas gifts during Black Friday. Of course, you might find a surprise gem – but remember that stores are extremely good at convincing you that you’ve just found the deal of the century.
  • Price drops shouldn’t always be taken at face value: retailers like to exaggerate their deals by listing RRPs that might no longer reflect actual prices. A great online tool is CamelCamelCamel, which will tell you the price history of an Amazon product, so you get a better sense of the deal’s quality.
  • Shop around. Always shop around! When you see an amazing deal, add it to your shopping basket. Then, use that window of time to take a look through prices from competing retailers in Google’s Shopping comparator. Keep in mind that stores like Currys and John Lewis promise to match prices that are cheaper elsewhere – hold them to it.
  • We love a good deal at RadioTimes.com – so much so that we share ones we like in a regular newsletter. Interested? Take a look below.

Which retailers take part in Black Friday?

The following stores were where we found some of the hottest discounts on electronics and other tech appliances, and we’re confident these retailers will lead Black Friday 2021 with the strongest deals. Many will price match in order to keep up with the competition.

Read more on Black Friday

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