The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales originated in the US, and although they aren’t officially a thing yet in Australia, retailers Down Under are catching up with the trend and beginning to cash in, offering a plethora of discounts to lure shoppers.
Adopting this shopping strategy seems to have paid off, too, with reports from the 2016 event showing a 6% increase in retail sales compared to the November average in Australia, with Melbourne spending the most (17%), followed by Sydney (12%) and Brisbane (7%) in that one month.
The history of Black Friday sales
Black Friday is always the Friday immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, so Black Friday 2017 will be on 24 November.
It’s the starting gun of the Christmas shopping season, and it’s famous for what retailers call ‘’: deals so good that shoppers will try and break down the front doors to get at them. Inevitably, that means it’s also famous for shoppers battling one another, with each Black Friday bringing a new bunch of YouTube clips showing people fighting over flat-screen TVs.
The tradition of sales on Black Friday began in the ‘60s, when American retailers used to mark profits and losses in their ledgers in black and red ink respectively. Before the Christmas season kicked off, retailers tried to turn year-long losses into black-marked profits, thus kicking off the largest and most popular shopping trend of the year.
Australian retailers began to show interest in replicating Black Friday sales locally about five years ago, and the shopping event now gets nearly as much attention as the Melbourne Cup.
But Black Friday doesn’t have to be about getting caught in a real crowd of shoppers trying to reach the best bargains. Online deals are available in plenty, meaning you can beat the crowds and not have to take a day off work.
What to expect from Black Friday 2017
As Black Friday gains in popularity in Australia, more and more retailers are joining the bandwagon and offering greater discounts. And with competition between retailers gaining momentum, 2016 saw Black Friday go from being a single-day event to being spread over a few days.
JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman turned out to be the most popular retailers shoppers looked to for Black Friday deals.
If Amazon sets up shop by the time Black Friday comes around this year, the online retailer could shake up the market with their own deals. This could mean local retailers will be scrambling to sell more and possibly offering higher discounts.
Predicting the best Black Friday deals of 2017
iPhone X and iPhone 8
Apple’s iPhone X is dramatically different from the older flagships, including the latest iPhone 8 handsets, and we can reasonably expect all three 2017 Apple phones to go on sale in November. Predictions from Cuponation – Australia's leading couponing website – are that the iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus will see discounts of about 3% to 7%.
Samsung Galaxy S8
Black Friday 2016 saw really good deals on the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, with retailers like Kogan offering up to $450 off on the two handsets. That was a fantastic deal, and we’re expecting to see similarly great Galaxy deals on the Samsung Galaxy S8 in 2017. In fact, Cuponation predicts that the Galaxy S8 will be the top phone, seeing anywhere up to 27.5% off on the usual RRP.
PlayStation 4 Pro
Black Friday 2016 was all about the PS4 Slim, and Black Friday 2017 will be all about the PS4 Pro. As with 2016, we’d expect the very best deals to be on bundles, with some of them costing only a little more than the PS4 Pro itself, so start working on your game wish list: a bundle’s only a good deal if it includes the games you actually want to play. Up until now, the PS4 Pro has held pretty close to its RRP, but you can expect that to change later this year with perhaps up to 28.5% off, particularly now that Microsoft has launched the Xbox One X.
Xbox One X
Microsoft’s launched it pro console, right in time for Black Friday 2017. As with the Xbox One in 2016, we’d expect to see the very best deals on bundles, rather than on the console itself: there’s more wiggle room for the retailer there, so they can afford to be more daring with the discounts.
4K HDR OLED TVs
Black Friday 2016 was positively packed with TV deals, including nearly half-price deals on selected OLED TVs. High-end sets are where the really expensive RRPs are, and the ever-advancing world of telly tech means those prices can only be sustained for a fairly short time. If you’re in the market for the kind of TV whose price tag wouldn’t look out of place on a car, Black Friday 2017 could be a very good day for you indeed.
Black Friday 2017 FAQ: what it is, when it happens and where to get the best deals
Are Black Friday sales held in Australia?
Most definitely. Black Friday may have started off as an American tradition, but it's become increasingly popular in Australia over the last five years or so, with major retailers like Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, and Ted's Cameras offering big bargains on a wide variety of products.
What and when is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving. It’s a day when retailers offer big discounts to kick-start the holiday shopping season. Black Friday 2017 will be Friday, 24 November.
What and when is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is the Monday immediately after Black Friday. Cyber Monday 2017 will be on Monday, 27 November.
What is Black Friday deals week?
It’s the week that includes Black Friday. Retailers are increasingly offering deals before and after Black Friday itself in an attempt to stand out from the crowd.
Are Black Friday deals real?
Yes, although in some cases the discounts have been negotiated well in advance with suppliers. As with any sales, you’ll see a mix of genuine bargains, discounted end-of-line stock and mysterious things found in the back of a warehouse somewhere.
Where can I find the best Black Friday deals?
Right here on TechRadar of course! We scour all the top retailers’ Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals so that you don’t have to – and we tell you whether the deals are worth getting excited about too. Whether it’s a 4K HDR OLED TV or an Xbox One controller, if it’s discounted we’ll have the details here.
How do I get the best Black Friday 2017 deals?
Know what you want, know what you can afford to spend and know the market: you’ll often spot retailers charging higher than usual prices in October so they can offer amazing discounts on Black Friday. Pay particular attention to real prices, not RRPs: TVs are particularly bad for this, with sets whose RRP is eleventy billion dollars routinely selling for a few hundred dollars.
It’s also a very good idea to be flexible: for example, if you fancy a Sony 4K TV then think about the features you want rather than a specific model number: the BRV123ABD54-88C-9218-B may not be discounted on Black Friday, but an almost identical set with the specification you want probably will be.
Can I get cashback on Black Friday deals?
Sometimes, yes. Your credit card may offer cashback on purchases, and some big brands often offer cashback even when you purchase from a retailer.
Am I protected when I buy on Black Friday?
Yes. In Australia, anything you buy from a company online is covered by a wealth of consumer protection legislation which give you the same rights as with any other online purchase.
How can I stay safe on Black Friday?
Black Friday brings out the scammers as well as the sellers, so be wary of unsolicited emails or links to deals on social media, no matter how legitimate they look: anything asking for card details or login details may be a scam. Phishing sites do big business on Black Friday, so be extra suspicious – and if you’re on a PC, make sure your security software is up to date. Many security suites automatically block known scam sites.
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