Black Friday – what is it? And is it actually any good?

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is THE shopping day of the year. It’s so big, stressful and exciting, people lose their minds and forget they are normal members of the human race, by fighting, screaming at each other, and queueing down the street at four in the morning for a cheap Furby.

Black Friday did not exist in the UK five years ago – not properly anyway. Wal-Mart (the massive American Store) is the king of Black Friday, and Asda (who is now owned by Wal-Mart) brought it over to the UK.

Very basically, on Black Friday, you get the best deals of the whole year in one crazy day. The problem is that 1000 other people want the same item as you, which means refreshing pages online, websites crashing, or literally fighting over an iPad like your life depends on it, in an industrial park.  

This year, internet sales over the 21-hour period are expected to surpass £1bn for the first time in UK history. See, it’s a big’un.

Black Friday doorbuster

When is Black Friday?

This year (2015), Black Friday will fall on Friday 27th November. The rule is, it takes place the day after Thanksgiving, which is always the fourth Thursday in November. It also conveniently falls in line with the last paycheque before Christmas, so people need to buy presents.

The sale kicks off at midnight or 8am usually (although, the actual sale can start a week beforehand – looking at you Amazon!).

Doorbusters

A doorbuster is a clever (and slightly evil) marketing strategy, where a store will reduce an item (it’s usually a big tech item) by loads, and advertise it in advance to create a buzz. The product will be so good, you’ll feel compelled to queue up early in the morning to make sure you get your hands on the product. But guess what, you won’t be the only chump queueing in the cold and rain, there will be hundreds of you. But guess what, there isn’t enough product for the people queuing up. Not by a long shot. So what happens? People literally bust through the doors to get their hands on it. It gets messy and violent. 

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So here’s the thing, once you’re in the shop the store has done its job. You may or may not get that doorbuster item, but now you’re inside you’ll also purchase one of their other products –  most of which either are not marked down at all are showing the highest allowed retail price with a percentage knocked off, making it look like you’re getting a deal, but you’re most likely paying what you would normally.

Doorbusters are what made Black Friday go from a relatively positive term in the 80’s to a now infamous term. 

Is Black Friday actually any good?

You know how it is – just because the stores are telling you it’s a bargain, doesn’t mean you should take its word for it. Some deals on Black Friday are amazing (if you can get them), but others are filler.

Amazon are known to raise prices before the big day, to reduce them again so it looks like you’re getting a bargain, but in reality, you are getting the standard price. So if you do plan on shopping at Amazon, where to be fair, some of the best deals will be – check on CamelCamelCamel beforehand to see how much the product is usually.

Is Black Friday Overrated?

Sure, it’s bloated, and yes, we’re kind of already over it – but in all the chaos, fist fights and drama, there are some amazing deals out there. Do your research beforehand. Know what you are looking for and do some pricing in advance, then you’re less likely to get burned by Black Friday.

What do you intend on buying? Let me know in the comments.

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