Prepare your bank card. Black Friday, the world's biggest shopping day, is just around the corner. The traditional start of the retail season in the US is now well-established in the UK and around the world, with the Black Friday sales as big a deal for retailers on this side of the Atlantic as it is for those in the US.
Black Friday 2018 will once again see everyone from Amazon to Argos, Currys to John Lewis, offering deals and discounts on everything from 4K TVs to wireless headphones, games consoles to smart speakers. So, when is it and what can we expect from the Black Friday deals this year?
When is Black Friday 2018?
Black Friday 2018 takes place on the Friday after Thanksgiving, which means this year it will fall on Friday 23rd November. Black Friday's partner in crime, Cyber Monday, will therefore be on Monday 26th November.
We can of course expect plenty of deals to run across the weekend to keep everyone interested, not to mention the 'Black Friday deals' that actually begin in the weeks before the actual date.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday began in the US but has now very much spread to the UK and around the world.
Why is it called Black Friday? The date was traditionally the start of the Christmas shopping season, when retailers hoped to move out of the "red" (loss) and in to the "black" (profit), hence Black Friday.
In the last few years Black Friday has truly become a world shopping phenomenon, with consumer electronics one of the most popular product categories.
Are the Black Friday deals any good?
After the initial few years of excitement around Black Friday in the UK, we naturally moved to the apathy stage, as people began to question whether the offers were genuinely good deals. And it remains up for debate.
For example, it's not unusual to see discounted products rise in price in the summer months ahead of a "price cut" come Black Friday; naturally this means you're essentially just getting the original discounted price from earlier in the year. But hey, a discount is a discount.
That said, there are always genuine deals to be had, it's just finding them amongst the onslaught of offers. We'll be doing our best to do just that - sorting through all the deals to find the ones worth your money.
Where to get the best Black Friday deals?
- Amazon Black Friday deals
- Argos Black Friday deals
- Currys PC World Black Friday deals
- eBay Black Friday deals
- John Lewis Black Friday
4K TVs and smart speakers are sure to be on offer in some form or another pretty much everywhere, while we expect it to be a good time to buy an Amazon Alexa device or Echo speaker.
The high street big names always go big on games console bundles ahead of Christmas, and with OLED such a buzzword this year, we wouldn't be surprised to see some cheap OLED TV deals.
We're similarly confident the specialist AV retailers such as Richer Sounds, Sevenoaks and Superfi will deliver some hi-fi and home cinema bargains - last year's What Hi-Fi?Award-winners are a good place to start when it comes to finding a price reduction.
Which products should you buy on Black Friday 2018?
The best Black Friday 2017 deals included savings on Sonos, LG and Sony OLED TVs, the Amazon Echo Plus, Google Chromecast, a Naim Mu-so wireless speaker and a Q Acoustics soundbar.
For Black Friday 2018 we expect to see similar products on sale, with 4K TVs and especially OLED TVs, wireless Bluetooth headphones and speakers, and the likes of Amazon and Google reducing their wireless products.
We've already had a heads up from Hisense that it will be offering a handful of affordable 4K TV deals.
PS4 and Xbox bundles are likely to be on offer too, and you're sure to be able to find deals on phones and tablets, including the latest Samsung Galaxy and Apple iPhone models.
We only have a few weeks to wait to find out this year's details...