Do you ever dream of going shopping, picking up everything you’ve ever wanted, and paying just pennies for it? Or maybe doing the same, but shopping online, from the comfort of your own home?
We’re not talking about Temu or Aliexpress. We are of course, referring to Black Friday: the biggest one-day sale of the year for all the savvy shoppers and deal hunters. It might have originated in the US, but this shopping frenzy is now everywhere, and often does not stop on Friday at all.
Black Friday used to be a single-day event, but in recent years retailers have offered Black Friday deals throughout the month of November, even starting in October.
However, the original Black Friday is still the time when all these deals culminate. That essentially means you’ve got plenty of opportunities to bag yourself a bargain on the tech you’ve been keeping an eye on throughout the year, with many of the deals unbeaten year-round. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t buy something you see on sale at other times, but if you were about to make a big purchase, such as a new TV, phone or other tech, it can pay for hang on and see if it’s cheaper on Black Friday.
With the holidays and back-to-school sales already behind us, it’s finally time to begin to look forward to Black Friday in 2023. It’s the perfect time to buy Christmas gifts at bargain prices.
Here we answer all your questions and make predictions on what to expect, so you’re fully prepared to snap up the best Black Friday deals on laptops, phones, Apple devices, and anything else you’ve been waiting to get your hands on as they appear.
Also, do not fret if you don’t manage to find a deal that you want on Black Friday – there is always another chance. Specifically, it’s Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, and traditionally a deals day that promises the best discounts on all things tech.
When is Black Friday 2023?
Black Friday 2023 is on 24 November, with Cyber Monday falling on 27 November this year.
It’s quite easy to remember when these two savvy-shopper days are taking place. Black Friday is always first, and it’s the day after Thanksgiving in the US. Cyber Monday, of course, comes right after the weekend. If you want to master these arbitrary dates, there’s one more – Thanksgiving itself. It’s always the fourth Thursday of November. Once you remember that, you’ll never be surprised by Black Friday deals again.
When will the early Black Friday deals start?
The boundaries of when Black Friday starts and ends are no longer as well-defined as they used to be. Traditionally, the event lasted one day, whereas now, Black Friday deals begin as early as October.
In the US, Best Buy, Target and Walmart all offered deals on tech not only on Black Friday but the weeks running up to the event in 2022, while those in the UK could look forward to deals from the likes of Amazon, Currys and Argos as early as late October.
Some retailers also started calling their regular sales Black Days or Black Weeks – nowadays it’s just a catchy term. However, the big Black Friday – the one at the end of November – is still ripe with exclusive discounts, usually from brands that sell direct, rather than retailers that sell lots of brands.
Be sure to sign up for Tech Advisor’s deals newsletter so you can keep up with the best Black Friday 2023 deals all across the web as they begin to appear! You can never be too keen, right?
Are Black Friday deals any good?
As the event has evolved over the years, just about everyone is wise to the tricks some retailers play. Whether it’s increasing the ‘WAS’ price artificially to make discounts look bigger, or simply increasing prices for Black Friday to make a profit (while making the price seem like it’s a deal), there are lots of reasons to have your wits about you when bargain hunting.
We keep track of prices all year around, and only highlight genuine deals. And we’ll tell you if we’ve seen it cheaper before, so you’re fully informed before you make a purchase.
You can check prices yourself, too. There are lots of useful websites such as Price Spy and CamelCamelCamel which show the price history of a specific product so you can see if you’re really getting a good deal or not.
Of course, just because a TV was £10 / $10 cheaper two months ago doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy one in a Black Friday sale if you need a new TV. There’s no guarantee you’ll get it cheaper if you wait longer: the trend is that prices are rising because of increased manufacturing costs, distribution costs and the price of energy.
What we’re saying is this: not all Black Friday deals are good deals. However, those you’ll find right here and elsewhere on the site are the best out there and are good deals.
Sometimes it’s worth paying a little more than the absolute cheapest price, too. For example, in the UK, John Lewis may not be the cheapest, but you might get a longer warranty than if you bought it from a rival retailer. There are scams too, so it’s important to check out the credentials of a retailer you’ve never heard of that’s selling the gadget you want for a super-low price.
Take advantage of price matching
Many retailers, such as Currys in the UK offer price-matching against rivals, whether online or in-store. Others will do this too, and this can be a benefit if you prefer to buy things from a bricks-and-mortar store and not order online.
One of the worries is that you see an early deal, buy it and then find the price drops further on Black Friday. Currys is again one example of a retailer that promises deals won’t have lower prices on Black Friday itself. Keep track of Black Friday deals at Currys here.
While Amazon doesn’t have a price-matching policy, it does have a strong returns policy. You can return most new and unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. You also have the statutory right to cancel an order within 14 days of delivery.
If you find your purchase has a lower price just days later, you can always cancel your first order and buy the same item at the lower price and send the original purchase back (if you’ve received it already). Again, be sure it’s unopened, unused and undamaged.
We’re certain retailers will run deals through the month of November this year instead of waiting for Black Friday itself. The added benefit of distributing deals over the month is that it also prevents frenzied crowds from gathering in stores and shopping centres, although this isn’t nearly as much of an issue as it was a few years back.
Top predictions for Black Friday 2023
Below are some of our biggest predictions for Black Friday 2023.
1. The rise of click and collect
The past few years have taught us the convenience of click and collect, where you buy online and pick up in-store, or even pay in-store. The industry term for this is BOPIS (Buy Online Pay In Store) – and this payment method is only expected to grow, with research from Business Insider predicting continued growth until 2024.
Click and collect saves you on queuing to pay in-store, while also saving you on waiting for the delivery. As a result, we expect more retailers to offer C&C as a payment method this year.
2. More ways to pay: Buy Now Pay Later
Over the past couple of years there’s been a surge in Buy Now Pay Later services – and retailers want to cash in.
Services such as Klarna, ClearPay and PayPal Credit allow you to split payments into 3-4 chunks or delay payments without interest (or late fees in some cases). Amazon offers this as well, and all of these offers have risks if you’re unable to pay back, but it is a convenient way to afford the things you want if you don’t want to pay in one go. Take a look at our full guide to Klarna for more.
3. Free next-day delivery
In a bid to compete with Amazon Prime and its free next-day delivery service, we expect plenty of retailers to offer competing free next-day delivery offers on deals across the Black Friday shopping season. It is one of the big drivers behind the Amazon Prime subscription service, after all.
4. Live shopping deals (especially on Social Media)
Live shopping e-commerce isn’t new. It’s a huge multi-billion dollar business in China, but it’s only just picking up in the west.
In 2021, Currys introduced live shopping to its site, appropriately called LiveShop. To compete with Prime Day it launched exclusive discounts on Google Nest and Pixel devices which were available only to those who watched the stream.
Amazon US had exclusive discounts through influencer-hosted live shopping events via Amazon Live, a similar concept to Currys.
Some brands have also started offering additional discounts through their social feeds – mobile manufacturer OnePlus is a huge fan of this tactic – so we’d recommend following all your favourite brands (if only temporarily).
6. More refurbished and trade-in offers
The refurbished market has gained a lot of traction over the past few years – and it’s clear to see why. Refurbished devices are repaired to look and feel like new, but they’re cheaper and crucially, they save the planet from electronic waste. And if you don’t consider that crucial, the other major benefit is that you get a warranty with a refurbished device, unlike if you bought the same thing used from ebay.
The good news is that with a seemingly never-ending wave of phone, laptop and tablet announcements, you’re almost guaranteed to find refurbished 2023 tech available at a lower price on Black Friday. We’re specifically tracking the best refurbished phone deals separately for those interested.
In a bid to increase stock to refurbish, there are plenty of retailers – including Currys and John Lewis in the UK – offering discounts with trade-in of various products. If you simply want to sell your tech without getting a discount, refurbished tech retailer MusicMagpie (decluttr in the US) offer competitive prices.
7. Lottery deals
Lottery deals are a relatively new concept for Black Friday, first appearing in 2021. The idea is simple; you sign up for a retailer’s lottery system to gain access to exclusive discounts. It proved extremely popular over the last couple of years, and it’s likely retailers will want to capitalise on the hype in the run-up to Black Friday this year.
When the time comes, we’ll be keeping an eye on the best Black Friday tech deals and also offering detailed coverage of the best Black Friday offers.
And if you’re an Apple fan, see the best Black Friday Apple deals on our sister site Macworld.