Black Friday is undoubtedly the biggest shopping event of the year, allowing customers to make the most of deep discounts ahead of the holidays. This year, the event arrives on 26 November – and while that’s still a few weeks away, we’re already starting to see deals roll in.
To get the most out of Black Friday discounts, you’ll need to be a savvy shopper – that means knowing what you want to buy and understanding whether a deal is really as good as the retailer claims. It also means staying aware of things like delivery charges, shipping times, additional hidden discounts and other strategies to get the best price. Fortunately, we’re here to help you out.
In this article, we’re taking a deep dive into everything you can expect this Black Friday. We’ll look at which devices to keep an eye on for major discounts, which retailers should have sales, ongoing early Black Friday deals and most importantly, top tips and predictions so you’re wholly prepared to maximize your Black Friday savings.
Black Friday 2021 sales tracker: Sales on now & expected soon
- Amazon – Dates TBC, but deals may begin up to a week in advance based on past years
- Apple – 4-Day Black Friday event – expected to launch on Black Friday (26 November)
- Best Buy – Early Deals Event on now
- Currys – Dates TBC, usually holds the Currys Black Tag event
- OnePlus – Has announced it will have the best prices over Black Friday – access exclusive discounts through the OnePlus app
- Target – Holiday Best event is on now, with Black Friday prices all season long
- Walmart – Black Friday sneak peak available now, full sales begin 10 November (online) and 12 November (in store)
We’ll be adding more sales to this list as they’re announced, so stay tuned!
Best Early Black Friday deals right now
Here are our top highlights for the best early Black Friday offers. See the full list at the bottom of this article.
Black Friday 2021: Sales & deals we expect
You don’t have to be a fortune teller to predict which devices are likely to see Black Friday discounts – all you really need is a strong aware of release cycles, price histories and past trends. Thankfully, that’s our job here at Tech Advisor, so we can save you the trouble.
These are the devices we expect to see on sale within the next couple of weeks if not sooner:
2020 Apple devices (or older)
2021 was a busy year for Apple as the company managed to effectively refresh its entire product line. This means 2020’s devices are all fair game for major discounts:
Don’t forget that Apple also holds a 4-day Black Friday event every year. While it doesn’t slash prices on its products, it does bundle a gift card with select devices. Last year it bundled gift cards worth up to £120/$150/AUD$210.
With Apple’s push towards the AirPods line, you’re also likely to see big discounts on Beats headphones. In fact, Target has already announced it will sell the Beats Solo 3 headphones for just $99 – that’s $100 off.
Microsoft Surface devices
Microsoft recently launched updates to a whole bunch of its Surface devices as well, so Black Friday season will be a great time to pick up discounts on the previous generation devices. We’re tracking all the best Surface deals of the month right here but these are the products to watch:
Black Friday deals on the Surface Pro 8 aren’t off the table, however. In 2019, Microsoft slashed £375 off a Surface Pro 7 and Type Cover bundle – though the Pro 7 was only launched the previous month. If we spot a similar Black Friday deal this year, you’ll see it reported first in our Microsoft Surface Pro 8 deals round up.
These are Microsoft’s latest products and where to buy them at the best price:
Samsung Black Friday deals: Galaxy S21 range
Black Friday deals on Samsung’s Galaxy S21 range are certain given the phones are nearly a year old (they launched 29 January, 2021). And if Samsung stays true to the predicted release cycle, the Galaxy S22 range should release at a similar time next year, if not sooner. That means, Samsung will want to get rid of old stock.
In fact, Samsung already has generous offers on the S21 range. Right now you can save £100 across the range and also get a free Galaxy Smart Tag. The purchase also slashes £297 off the Galaxy Watch 4 (4G, 40mm) if you buy both together. Head to Samsung to see its Galaxy S21 deals right now. See our reviews of the handsets below:
Also see the best deals on the new Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Z Fold 3 – which already have a promotion that bundles a free Galaxy Watch 4.
Black Friday Xiaomi deals
Xiaomi is no stranger to deals and often has sales running through the year. Its Mi Friday sale lasts until 10 October, where you can already save £10 with code 2021BF10. Admittedly, it’s not a massive discount but we expect Xiaomi to release more attractive offers closer to Black Friday.
Its popular handsets are the Xiaomi Mi 11 and Redmi Note 10 Pro series, which have had major discounts up to £150 off recently.
See the best Black Friday Xiaomi deals in the UK.
Other tech deals to look for
We expect VPNs, Fitbits and Amazon Echo devices to all have Black Friday discounts as well. We’ll be tracking the best offers in our dedicated round ups:
Top 10 predictions for Black Friday 2021
1. More shopping in-stores
It’s the moment retailers have been anticipating for nearly two years: in-store shopping.
Now that more people are vaccinated, and high streets are open again, you can be sure retailers will welcome shoppers back with song and dance (read: very competitive discounts).
While shopping online has ballooned since the pandemic, we’re certain that retailers will want to make the most of their customers’ in-store presence with exclusive discounts, live products demonstrations, and buying advice.
That said, given how busy Black Friday gets, we expect most retailers will maintain limits on how many people can enter at any given moment, and you may still be expected to socially distance in queues (or follow one-way systems). Don’t forget your masks at home!
2. Rise of click and collect
We expect click-and-collect to take off – in fact, research from Business Insider shows this form of purchasing more than doubled in 2020 and will only continue to grow until 2024.
With the increasing strain on delivery drivers in the UK, retailers might incentivize buying or reserving online and collecting in-store. This might include incentives like discounts or bundles.
The benefits of C&C is that you can jump the queue, have a look and feel of the item before you pay for it (if you pay on collection), and save on delivery costs.
3. Free next-day delivery
In the same vein, retailers may entice shoppers with free next-day delivery to limit people from crowding stores.
It’s also one way retailers online can compete with Amazon, which often becomes the go-to for shoppers with a Prime membership. Prime allows unlimited next day delivery on eligible items for free. Sign up for a free 30-day trial or check out our full guide to Amazon Prime ahead of Black Friday.
In the UK, Currys often includes free delivery with code FREENEXTDAYDELIVERY (which is easy enough to remember). Look out for other retailers that do the same, it might save you few pounds/dollars.
4. QVC-style live shopping deals (especially on social media)
Earlier this year Currys PC World introduced its live-shopping service called LiveShop. At its launch, which coincided with Amazon’s Prime Day, LiveShop allowed customers to tune into a livestreamed demo of Google Nest and Pixel devices, while gaining an exclusive discount on the devices.
It was another way in which Currys competed with Amazon, which in the US similarly served customers exclusive discounts via Amazon Live – Amazon’s influencer-hosted live shopping service.
Liveshopping e-commerce isn’t new. In fact, it’s a massive multi-billion dollar e-commerce business in Asia, but it’s only just picking up in the US and UK.
Earlier this year, we saw OnePlus launch exclusive discounts through its its Instagram and social feeds, and it wouldn’t surprise us if the brand did something similar over Black Friday. We’d recommend following all your favourite brands on social media (if only over Black Friday season) so you can pick up any exclusive discounts announced on social.
5. More ways to pay: Buy Now Pay Later
2020 also saw the rise of Buy Now Pay Later services such as Klarna, ClearPay, AfterPay and PayPal Credit. These services allow you to split payments into 3-4 chunks or delay payments without interest (or late fees in some cases).
There are risks associated if you’re unable to pay back, of course, and reports show that it can lead to debt (see our full guide to Klarna), but given the popularity of such services, you’re likely to see more of them at checkout over Black Friday, or retailers offering their own financing options.
We’d advise you to use these services only if you’re certain you’ll be able to keep up with the monthly payments.
6. Slower delivery times
While we mentioned that free next day delivery is likely to be on the cards for many retailers wanting to attract customers, it’s also likely that delivery bottlenecks may make this option unviable.
The global supply chain crisis that’s leaving warehouses short-staffed and under-resourced means your orders may take longer to arrive. In the UK, matters are only made worse by Brexit and the shortage of HGV drivers.
It’s worth thinking about such potential setbacks. Just because you’ve beaten the crowd and bought that last 43in OLED 4K HDTV, it doesn’t mean you’ll get it in time for Christmas or the holidays (which is another reason to buy early if you see a good deal ahead of Black Friday).
7. Expect more refurbished offers and Black Friday trade-in deals
The refurbished market has skyrocketed since the pandemic, and for good reason. Refurbished devices (if you buy smart – here’s how) are repaired to work just like new, are cheaper, and save the planet from electronic waste.
With new phones and laptops releasing every month, you’re almost guaranteed to find refurbished models of the latest devices – but at lower prices. Keep track of the best refurbished phone deals here
In the same vein, we’re starting to see lots more retailers do trade-in offers too – from Currys, to John Lewis and KRCS (for Apple), you can expect additional discounts when submit your old device. MusicMagpie is a refurbished retailer that always has competitive prices on refurbished goods.
Keep an eye out for extra savings with trade-in this Black Friday!
8. Lottery deals
This Black Friday, we expect retailers to drum up excitement by giving away discounts by lottery systems. Currys has already started via its Currys Perks sign up, which gives customers the chance of winning up to £500.
Currys is also running a promotion at the moment that will reimburse the cost of an LG OLED Smart 4K UHD TV for 1 in every 20 customers. Check out the offer here.
Vodafone often has similar competitions via its MyVodafone app for its customers every month – we only expect to see more over Black Friday.
9. More exclusive deals online and better offers
Expect to see more “online exclusive” Black Friday prices, codes, and vouchers.
Retailers wanting to compete with Amazon online are likely to offer big discounts online, some of which you may not see in-store. These are typically earmarked as “online only”.
Some of those voucher codes may only be available via newsletters – which is why we’d highly encourage you to sign up to retailer and brand newsletters right now. Not only does it improve your chance of getting exclusive discount codes, you’ll also know about Black Friday deals as soon as they launch. Similarly, many retailers also have Black Friday sign up pages so you can hear about deals before anyone else. You can sign up to a few below:
10. Slower online experience
With more offers online, you can expect incredibly high volumes of traffic on your favourite retailers’ sites. Brace yourself for being pushed into virtual waiting rooms like Queue-it – especially if you’re after consoles like the PS5 (here’s where to look for stock).
This means you will just need to be more targeted with your shopping. Shop by the product instead of the retailer, so you have other options if the site you’re looking at has any difficulties. Better yet, add those items to your cart now so when Black Friday approaches, you simply have to head to checkout when the price goes down.
Most retailers offer the same prices across the board once sales go into full swing – and if there is a price difference it probably won’t be more than a few pence or pound here and there….