With Black Friday fast approaching, we thought we'd share all our top tips, tricks and everything that we so know far. There are lots of great savings to be made in the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, but also traps and pitfalls that are easy to fall into.
Remember, a lot of the Black Friday anticipation is psychological. Big signs start appearing in shop windows, companies hyping up their "clearance sales" - it's enough to get anyone excited about grabbing a bargain.
Follow our top tips and save yourself getting (too) sucked into the madness!
What can we learn from last year's Black Friday?
Last year more stores than ever cashed in on the Black Friday fun, with sales appearing on tech sites, clothing stores and even supermarkets. Amazon (the first retailer to bring Black Friday across the pond), delivered with all sorts of deals available in the run-up to Black Friday, as well as the weekend itself.
It's anticipated that more retailers will follow suit this year, with deals expected to appear from as early as the beginning of November.
Online sales proved to be on the rise, with more people choosing to stay inside and buy online rather than face the high street sales. In fact, online retail sales were up +11.7% to £1.39bn, according to data from IMRG.
How can I get ready for Black Friday?
First things first...
Mark Friday 23rd November in your calendars as that is Black Friday 2018's official date. Cyber Monday takes place the Monday after (26th November) and is traditionally when online retailers go big on sales.
If you're wanting to make the most of the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, then take note of these top tips:
Make a list of everything that you need & price check
Remember: a deal is only a deal if you need the item in the first place.
Come up with a list of the items that you're after and note down the prices as well. Just because a company is offering "50% off" their own price, doesn't mean it will be the best deal out there.
Black Friday's timing makes it perfect for nabbing great deals for Christmas presents. Take a bit of time beforehand and come up with a list of all the people you need to buy for and any present ideas.
Set a budget for items
It's easy to get carried away on Black Friday.
The latest tech items, new additions to your wardrobe, just one more pair of boots... you know the drill.
Everyone deserves to treat themselves now and then, but to make sure these treats stay within your means give yourself a budget for each item. For example, if you're after a new pair of jeans you could set yourself a budget of £30 and only look at items within this price range.
Add items to your 'saved' basket online
If you're a fellow ASOS addict, you'll already be well familiarised with Saved Items. But did you know lots of other online retailers have this tool as well?
In the days/weeks leading up to Black Friday, pop items that take your fancy into your saved. Then when the inevitable discount code drops, you'll be ready to grab the items you want quickly before they run out.
Be ready before the day
The majority of retailers will start their Black Friday discounts in the week before (if not earlier). Don't get caught out and be ready for the sales ASAP.
Ask yourself - is this actually a good deal?
Don't get sucked into the bright colours and flashing signs shouting about discounts and offers. While there are definitely some bargains to be had, some of the time Black Friday 'deals' are just normal discounts dressed up as 'new'.
It's always a good idea to be aware of an items original price, in order to be aware of the price 'drop'.
Set your alarms
Online sales often start early in the morning, so to avoid missing out on stock make sure you're ready early.
What do we know so far about Black Friday 2019?
The original Black Friday retailer promises to not disappoint this year, with deals set to land onsite from 16th - 26th November. Plus, Amazon Prime Members have reasons to celebrate, as this year they gain a 30-minute sneak-peak to all flash lightning deals.
Black Friday has begun at Argos, with plenty of great deals and discounts to be had on tech, TV, electricals and beauty.
It's here! Score 20% off EVERYTHING (including sale items!) with the code HELLO20. Valid until 8am Tuesday 27th November.
There's a different deal on every day this Black Friday week, so make sure you check out what's new each day.
Get great discounts on gift sets and bundles this Cyber Weekend at The Body Shop (these always make fab Christmas presents!). Hurry, it's only while stocks last.
Christmas has come early at Boots, with great discounts on fragrance, beauty, electricals and more. This deals won't hang around so make sure you snap them up ASAP.
If you're due an upgrade, or just fancy a new handset, you might be better off holding off until the Black Friday sales begin at Carphone Warehouse. Their Price Promise and free next-day delivery leaves you in pretty safe hands in scoring yourself a great deal on your next mobile.
There's currently up to 40% off selected lines at Cath Kidston in their huge Black Friday sale.
Charlotte Tilbury are running daily discounts that last for 24 hours each. Check back each day to see what's on offer.
Currys PC World is expected to be a great place to swipe up big savings on TVs, Computers, Audio and more this Black Friday.
Rather more traditionally, these offers normally only last for 24 hours on the day itself so don't forget to set your alarms!
Debenhams Black Friday sale begins on Tuesday 20th November, with offers and reductions being revealed throughout the week.
Score up to 60% off everything at the Early Learning Centre. That's Christmas presents for the little ones sorted!
There's up to 50% off at FCUK this Black Friday. Score discounts on dresses, coats & jackets, knitwear and more.
Get 30% off everything with code TGIBF.
Expect big deals on PS4, Xbox One and Switch this Black Friday at GAME, which kicks off from 6pm on Thurs 22nd.
Score a huge 40% off all full-price items and an extra 25% off sale, both in-store and online using the code BFGAP. Ends 24th November.
Score up to 30% off ghd products on the official ghd website this Black Friday.
Get watches, gold and silver jewellery at better than half price at H.Samuel. That's a Christmas present sorted...
Score 25% off everything at Hobbs with the discount code BF25. Hurry, this one won't be around forever.
There's up to 60% off now in House of Fraser, with great offers on fashion, beauty, homeware and more.
John Lewis is a great place to score a bargain all-year round, thanks to their commitment to being Never Knowingly Undersold (they'll match competitors prices).
This Black Friday is no different, and the folks over at John Lewis will be working hard to check and respond to competitor's prices. These changes are quicker and easier to do online, however if you're shopping instore they'll always honour any online price.
Get 25% off everything online and in-store at Karen Millen. Perfect timing to find your festive party dress!
There's a huge 40% off EVERYTHING at La Redoute (which includes women's, men's, children's and homeware) with the promo code BLACKFRIDAY.
Join the waitlist for discounts on big beauty brands like AVEDA, Benefit, Estée Lauder and more (last year they had 25% off every order).
Black Friday has begun at New Look with their biggest Black Friday sale to date, up to 50% off selected lines.
Get 30% off winter wear at Nobody's Child.
Score 50% off at this natural haircare company. Plus, sign up for free Noughty products through their product testing trial.
There's at elast 25% off everything at Oasis, both instore and online, this Black Friday weekend.
There's up to 60% off boots and trainers at Office, as well as 20% off & free UK delivery using the code 'GLITTER' (on full price items only).
Black Friday has already begun at Smyths! Score big discounts on toys from Fisher-Price, Hot Wheels, Disney and more.
Score major discounts on beauty products, perfume, aftershave and electrical goods this Black Friday at Superdrug.
Our favourite deals are Diesel Only the Brave 200ml down 50%, from £84 to £42, the Revolution Christmas Tree Advent Calendar half-price from £120 to £60 and the Braun Series 3040 Wet And Dry Shaver less than half-price, down from £109.99 to £44.99.
Save up to £200 on vacuums in the Shark Black Friday sale.
With the closure of Tesco Direct this year, instore will be the place to be for all the best savings this Black Friday. Best set your alarm clocks and get ready to battle...
Score deals on the latest handsets at Three, both online and instore. It's been announced that the first wave of deals will be released on Thursday 15th November and the rest on Black Friday.
Black Friday has landed at Topshop, with up to 50% off everything online.
The Black Friday sales have arrived at Very.co.uk, with discounts on clothes, tech, homeware, gifts and more. These offers will only last until the 27th, so make sure you don't miss out.
The Black Friday blowout has begun at Wayfair with massive discounts on homeware, including Christmas decorations.
There's up to 50% off selected lines this Cyber Monday only.
Retailers to watch!
In previous years these retailers have all held sales or ran discount codes. We're considering them ones to watch:
- Pretty Little Thing (up to 50% off everything last year)
- Boohoo (up to 50% off sale last year)
- All Saints
- Oliver Bonas - 25% off selected items between Black Friday and Cyber Monday
- Urban Outfitters
- Beauty Bay
Remember, keep your wits about you and you can score yourself some amazing bargains this Black Friday.
Want even more?
Check out Inside Source's guide to Black Friday 2018 for even more top tips and tricks.
What's your best Black Friday bargain? Have you got any top tips we've missed? What's the worst 'saving' you've seen?!