The Black Friday 2021 sales are inching closer every day, with thousands of deals across big-name brands on the horizon. What was originally a one-day sale in the US, taking place the day after Thanksgiving, has since exploded into a weekend-long event, finishing on Cyber Monday. And every year more retailers participate, with bigger discounts and more deals on offer.
Nobody does the event bigger or better than Amazon, with the online retailer launching its early-bird deals weeks ahead of the main weekend. In 2020, the company announced its sale had been the biggest (and longest) in its history, as the pandemic forced shoppers online in bigger numbers than ever before. Slashing prices across TVs, laptops, home appliances, beauty products, kids' toys and more, it's the best place to shop this Black Friday.
Thankfully, we here at IndyBest have put together this guide to everything you need to know ahead of the 2021 sale. Read more:
What is Black Friday?
Refering to a weekend-long shopping event - the Black Friday event traditionally begins the day after American Thanksgiving and runs through to the following Monday, also known as Cyber Monday - marking the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. This year, Black Friday falls on 26 November, and there will be hundreds of retailers discounting big-ticket items online and in-store.
What's the history of Black Friday?
The shopping event began as a one-day, post-Thanksgiving sale, as stores slashed their prices to kick off the festive period. While it's hard to pinpoint exactly where Black Friday comes from, it's believed the phrase was coined in the 1960s, when Philadelphia police officers used it to describe the chaotic traffic the day after Thanksgiving. It's also thought to refer to the period when American retailers make most of their profit, moving from "the red" and into "the black".
Then, as the internet and social media took off in the Noughties, videos of American shoppers rushing into stores to bag a bargain started to go viral, prompting UK retailers and brands to get in on the trend. Amazon led the way, launching its first UK Black Friday promotion in 2010, and it's now become a major fixture in Britain, with bigger discounts and more brands participating every year.
When is Black Friday 2021?
For 2021, Black Friday will take place on 26 November, spanning the weekend and finishing on the following Monday. Amazon's is typically the biggest of all the sales - in 2020, it launched its early-bird deals a whole four weeks before Black Friday itself, which was two weeks longer than its 2019 sale period. Discounts began a good four weeks early, and it's expected that the retailer will follow a similar timeline for 2021.
The online giant also has a dedicated page on its website where it will be announcing details of its 2021 sale in due course.
What is Cyber Monday?Cyber Monday is the last day of sale prices before Christmas, so it's your last chance to bag a bargain.
Originally the phrase described the day when web sales would peak ahead of the festive season, but now it's become another sales event, and a great opportunity to find deals you may have missed out on during Black Friday.
What's the best way to get a Black Friday 2021 deal?Over the next few months, we'll be bringing you all the details you need about the Black Friday sales through extensive guides on how to find the best bargains and the biggest offers from specific retailers such as Amazon, John Lewis & Parners, Currys PC World, Argos and Very.
We'll also be rounding up great discounts on products like tech, home appliances and beauty products. Many retailers, such as John Lewis and Amazon, allow for a speedier checkout if you register for an account with them. You can enter your delivery details ahead of the sale starting to avoid having to input them every time you place an order, and potentially miss out on a deal.
If you're purchasing larger items such as a fridge freezer, TV or household appliance, it's always a good idea to check the guarantees beforehand, as well as being clear on the relevant returns policies. Don't forget to measure up for these pieces too, not only the space it will fill, but your doorway too. Additionally, many brands offer access to discount codes and early-bird sales via their newsletters, so if you have a favourite place to shop, make sure you're signed up with them before Black Friday kicks off.
Tips for shopping the Amazon Black Friday 2021 saleAmazon's Black Friday sale often sees thousands of products heavily discounted, with many of its own devices, such as the Echo dot speaker (GBP49.99, Amazon.co.uk), Ring doorbell (GBP89, Amazon.co.uk), the Kindle (GBP69.99, Amazon.co.uk) and Fire tablets (GBP49.99, Amazon.co.uk), seeing the biggest savings. To help navigate the mammoth amount of deals, we have a dedicated team here at IndyBest who will be bringing you the biggest and best offers throughout Black Friday.
The best thing you can do is make a list and not stray from it, as this will help you avoid making impulse buys on items you don't need, and ensure you find deals on items you actually want. Before it starts, we'd recommend signing up for an Amazon Prime membership. Costing GBP7.99 a month or GBP79 annually, it gives you unlimited next-day delivery, access to its streaming services Amazon Music and Amazon Video, and 30-minute early access to lightning deals throughout the year and during Black Friday.
You can also create wish lists with the retailer that allow you to save as many items as you want in one handy place, and, when Black Friday is here, you can swiftly add them to your shopping basket and check out faster. Lastly, check the RRP prices of items you're hoping to find in the Black Friday sale, and that way when the discounts begin, you'll be able to know if it's a great bargain or not.
What were the best Amazon Black Friday deals last year?
Last year was Amazon's biggest Black Friday sale yet. As the pandemic was in full swing, with a nationwide lockdown in place, non-essential shops remained closed and many shoppers turned to Amazon and other online retailers. According to a blog post by the retailer, some of the bestselling products in Amazon's 2020 Black Friday sale included its Echo dot speaker (GBP49.99, Amazon.co.uk), Barack Obama's memoir, A Promised Land (GBP15, Amazon.co.uk), the Revlon one-step hair dryer and volumizer hot air brush (GBP44.63, Amazon.co.uk) and Amazon's smart plugs (GBP24.99, Amazon.co.uk).
Black Friday is also an opportunity to find discounts on Apple products. The tech giant rarely, if ever, discounts items, but with third-party stockists such as Amazon, you can often find big savings on MacBooks, iPhones, iPads and AirPods. For example, last year we spotted the Apple AirPods with charging case (GBP124.99, Amazon.co.uk) were reduced from GBP159 to GBP124.37.
They also earned a spot in our guide to the best wireless earbuds, where they greatly impressed our technology critic. "Apple's distinctive earbuds have been massively successful since they first launched and they remain even now some of the very lightest in-ears you can find.
The design is unchanged since day one, but improved electronics inside mean that you can say, 'Hey, Siri' to invoke the virtual assistant without even touching the earbuds." Not only that, this Philips hue white and colour ambiance starter kit (GBP102.98, Amazon.co.uk) also saw a big saving in 2020, reduced from GBP149.99 to GBP89.99.
The bulbs came out top in our review of the best smart lighting, with our technology critic also noting: "Philips knows pretty much all there is to know about lighting, including how to illuminate a room in different colours." "If you only need your bulbs to light up in white, you can choose a cheaper starter kit, but the ambiance kit has a wide colour spectrum (there are 16 million)," he added.
What were the best Amazon Cyber Monday deals last year?Despite Amazon kicking off its Black Friday sale from 15 October in 2020, if you missed out, its Cyber Monday sale had plenty of deals to go around. The third-generation Echo dot (GBP39.99, Amazon.co.uk) came down from GBP39.99 to GBP18.99 - less than half the original price.
It's also a speaker that impressed our reviewer in our round-up of the best smart speakers.
They said: "It can do all the Alexa-related stuff of the most advanced speakers such as answering questions, turning smart home gadgets on or off, and so on. Radio, podcasts and audiobooks all sound good, with clear vocals. Echo devices can make audio calls to one another and these work well, too."
The popular NutriBullet 600 (GBP57.99, Amazon.co.uk) was also reduced, from GBP89.99 to GBP57.99. We think it's perfect for whipping up smoothies, juices and soups.
It is also featured in our review of the best jug blenders. Our tester said: "The ever-popular NutriBullet is always a solid choice for those who are predominantly looking to blend fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds into smoothies.
Although it only uses a 600W motor with one strong setting, its blades rotate at an impressive 20,000 rpm in a cyclonic motion to speedily break down stems, skins and seeds at great speed."
Where can I find the best Black Friday 2021 deals?At IndyBest, we'll be rounding up the best deals and discounts throughout the run-up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so make sure you bookmark this page to always be in the know about Amazon's best deals.
For all the information on the best discounts across all the participating retailers, read our guide to the Black Friday sale, and what to expect from the 2021 sale weekend.
Voucher codesFor the latest discounts on home appliances, tech, toys and more, try the links below:
Looking for everything you need to know about Black Friday 2021? Read our guide to find out the dates for the sale and what deals to expect from Apple, Dyson and more
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