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Black Friday 2019 in Australia: Everything you need to know to score the best deals

(Image credit: Future)

The word is spreading: folk Down Under are fast becoming aware that the merry month of November is a great time to shop thanks to a week-long sale period that sees prices across pretty much everything – from furniture to clothing, toys to tech – slashed significantly.

The race to find the best Black Friday deals just gets more intense with each passing year. Thanks to the annual sale event, savvy shoppers can save plenty of money in the run up to Christmas – and even help eliminate the pressure of last-minute gift shopping.

Despite having their origins in the US, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have become very popular in Australia with both retailers and shoppers alike, forever changing the local shopping calendar. Outside of the Boxing Day sales, the last couple of weeks of November are when stores across the country offer some of their biggest discounts across a plethora of products (ranging from clothing to electronics to furniture) to lure shoppers.

Retailers are definitely reaping the benefits of adopting the Black Friday sale period, with November 2018 recording the highest online retail turnover to date, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The ABS reports that overall Australian retail turnover rose 3.6% during Black Friday 2018 compared to the previous year. 

That’s a clear indication that Aussies love bargain hunting while comfortably settled on a chair or their couch. That’s somewhat of a contrast to the US, where the concept of ‘doorbuster’ sales are still popular – shoppers queue up outside brick-and-mortar stores and jostle for the best bargains.

So, given that Black Friday sales appear to be getting increasingly fierce Down Under, what can we expect from this year's deals?

  • Looking for the best deals on the hottest tech? Check out our continuously updated tech deals page for the latest discounts!

When is Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019?

Black Friday is the Friday immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, so this year it will fall on November 29, 2019.

Cyber Monday, as the name may suggest, is the Monday immediately after Black Friday. So Cyber Monday 2019 will fall on Monday, December 2.

Although the two days are, on paper, individual sales, it’s become hard to distinguish between them. More often than not, retailers begin their Black Friday sales well before the actual day and end the sale well after Cyber Monday, giving shoppers an extended week (or two) of excellent bargains.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday so late in the month, it's actually the perfect opportunity for you to get your Christmas gift shopping out of the way, and save some cash while you're at it.

What’s the difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

There was a time, especially in the US, when Black Friday meant physically going to a store to shop, mostly to shake off the turkey sweats, while Cyber Monday was exclusively for online deals. Now, however, there’s barely any difference since most deals offered through the November sale period are also available online.

As an online sale, Cyber Monday is a more recent development, coming after the advent of the internet and e-commerce. It traditionally marks the point when people realised they needed to get a wriggle on and start buying Christmas presents.

Another point of difference that’s more valid in the US than anywhere else is that Black Friday was traditionally more about electronics and other high-ticket items, while Cyber Monday was more about lifestyle goods. Nowadays, though, they’re all just one big smooshed-together shopping spree over an entire week or two.

Why Black Friday and Cyber Monday matter

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have changed the way we shop in the run-up to Christmas, and they’ve had a massive effect on the retail industry, especially online. 

For the shoppers, the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales frenzy means a whole week or more of what appear to be good deals, but if you aren’t too careful, you could end up going overboard.

If you’re savvy, though, and take advantage of TechRadar's Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals monitoring, you really can save a lot of money on some of the hottest tech in town.

Last year, Australian consumers were so focused on Black Friday sales that December’s overall retail turnover fell, according to the ABS. This year, the Black Friday weekend falls across the end of November and into December – which makes the perfect time to get your Christmas shopping sorted.

The Black Friday deals to expect in 2019

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, we saw Black Friday go from being a single-day event prior to 2015 to being spread over an entire week – if not more – in 2018.

With Amazon firmly established in Australia, the competition has gotten fiercer. This could mean local retailers will be scrambling to sell more and possibly offering higher discounts.

While it’s hard to predict exactly what could happen this year, here are some safe bets:

  • After its debut Black Friday sale last year, Amazon Australia will make sure its own devices get rather juicy price cuts
  • Alongside Amazon, other retailers like eBay and JB Hi-Fi will push hard on sales
  • You’ll want to hold off buying a new computer as laptops always get a big discount
  • It will be a great time to upgrade your home entertainment system with prices on TVs and sound bars likely to be slashed
  • You should definitely find some great deals on some of the best headphones
  • Cameras, in all forms, will have savings firmly in their sights

The top deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018

Here at TechRadar, we spent hours and hours sifting through the best deals from the major retailers – and last year we saw some really big trends emerge, which should influence this year’s discounts.

How does TechRadar prepare for Black Friday?

Black Friday is one of the most important times of the year for TechRadar – we spend weeks ahead of the big day (or weekend) making sure the whole site is ready for people looking for the information they need to help them make the right buying choice. Whether that's knowing which is the best laptop, TV or iPad, or just seeing great deals for them through our sister site Getprice – Australia's leading price comparison platform – we've got everything you need to know.

Like 2017, the Nintendo Switch once again outshone the PS4 and Xbox One X deals in 2018. That said, gaming gear is always a hot-selling item, be they consoles, bundles or individual titles. We even saw VR headsets drop in price over the Black Friday period, with both the PlayStation VR and Oculus Go available for less.

Laptops also saw some deep discounts, with up to AU$1,200 off on selected models, including gaming laptops.

Home AV was another winner, with the Nvidia Shield TV making it to our top deals in 2018. Personal audio wasn’t too far behind, but the popular Bose QC35 II headphones saw the biggest drop in price thanks to Amazon.

For those after the latest smartphones, you’ll need to keep an eye on eBay. The auction site’s 20% off discounts meant you could snag a new handset for less.

Many wearables, including smartwatches and fitness trackers, were almost 50% off. Considering how expensive some of Garmin’s excellent multi-sport watches are, that kind of a discount will be welcome again.

Photography buffs should definitely get excited too, as Black Friday 2018 saw a plethora of cameras, including DSLRs, mirrorless, bridge, travel compacts and action cameras being heavily discounted. The world’s foremost drone manufacturer wasn’t going to get left behind. Even DJI got in the act and offered its own Black Friday deals on drones and accessories.

And then there’s home automation – not only were smart speakers available for less, smart displays made the cut for the first time, heating up the battle for your home.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019 deals: what we predict

There's no way the Australian Black Friday bandwagon will slow down this year. In fact, we fully expect it to outdo last year’s performance. What we’re hoping is that retailers extend their deals for a longer period of time to entice shoppers.

In 2018, some retailers in the UK and US promised to ‘future price match’, meaning consumers could buy something during the Black Friday sales and know that if the price dropped later, they could reclaim the difference. While that didn’t happen in Australia, we’re hoping it might catch on soon. 

What did happen, however, was that discounted prices were being offered on laybys as well, especially on high-ticket items. This offer was so tempting that our Australian cameras editor ended up paying a small deposit on an entirely new kit – camera body, lenses, filters and all – during Black Friday, but paid the full Black Friday price in the third week of December, long after the actual sale had ended.

However, despite all this, we’re still expecting that the best deals will be found surrounding Black Friday – as ever, our advice is to know your budget going in, set a maximum price you’re willing to pay (having done the research to know what sort of prices your desired tech has been at throughout the year) and stick to it.

And if we do say so ourselves, TechRadar’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals pages are, of course, worth keeping an eye on if you’re looking to bag the very best deals in tech. (Bookmark this page and it’ll be populated with all the best Black Friday deals come November – you won’t even need to search them out!)

What technology should you be looking out for? These are our top predictions for what desirable gadgets you’ll be able to get for less.

Top deals to expect from Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019

Image credit: Apple

Image credit: Apple

Apple iPhone XS / XS Max / XR

Apple released the 2019 iPhone flagships in September this year, so don't expect the iPhone 11 range to be discounted during Black Friday. Instead, you'll likely score an excellent bargain on last year's models, with the infamously expensive iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max potentially becoming a lot more affordable. That said, we did see the iPhone XS Max get a significant discount last year, so it's possible we'll see something similar again with one of the iPhone 11s. We'd also expect some decent deals on iPads, too, as Apple has refreshed the line-up.

Image credit: Samsung

Image credit: Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 Plus / S10e

As with the iPhones, so with the Galaxies, and deals likely won’t be restricted to the latest S10 range. You can expect the Note 10 to be discounted as well, giving those who like Samsung’s phablet range a chance to scoop up the latest Note for less. And with the 2019 handsets all released long before Black Friday, there's likely to be some big bargains on older Galaxy S9 and Note 9 handsets too.

Nintendo Switch

Every time there’s been a big sale, especially on Amazon, the Nintendo Switch disappears within seconds. We’re positive this popular console will be discounted again in 2019, but you will have to hurry and snag one before stocks disappear again. For the first time, though, there's going to be a choice where the Switch is concerned, with Nintendo releasing a 2019 version of the original console with better battery life and also launching the Switch Lite, a purely handheld version of the console.

Sony PlayStation 4

With news of the PS5 swirling around the ether and a pretty saturated market, we’d expect to see some great deals on the PS4, especially bundles, where retailers have much more room to manoeuvre. Amazon has already shown us that it’s willing to offer great bargains on gaming consoles, so the competition is high.

Xbox One X

Microsoft’s 'pro' console saw a darn good discount on Amazon last year, so expect Microsoft to try and match that this year, with plenty of bundles to choose from, both direct from the manufacturer and on the world’s largest online marketplace. With competition that hot,  also keep an eye on the big Aussie retailers – like JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and the Gamesmen – as they are likely to price match or offer their own unique bundles.

4K HD OLED TVs

As in previous years, Black Friday 2018 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 2019 could be a very good weekend for you indeed.

Amazon Echo devices

It wouldn’t be Black Friday if Amazon wasn’t slashing the prices of its own Alexa-enabled smart speakers. That won’t be all you can score from Amazon, though. You’ll find the Fire TV Stick available for less, along with Ring doorbells and Philips Hue smart lights for those looking to set up home automation on a budget.

Early Black Friday 2019 deals available in Australia

With November already here, retailers are going to start preparing for the big sale. While you'd think this time was the calm before the storm, think again. There are already some excellent offers available on a wide variety of gizmos and gadgets, and we've handpicked a few in case you can't wait until Black Friday comes round at the end of the month.

Microsoft Surface Go 64GB Tablet | AU$399 (was AU$599, save $200).

One of the best deals of the day! This stunning tablet from Microsoft is a dream and perfect for anybody on the go. It boasts a very decent 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage, plus all-day battery life with up to 9 hours of unplugged power, making it one of the best tablets on the market. Currently at a ridiculous low price of $399, you might as well get two. View Deal

Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop | i5 / 8GB / 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD / GTX 1650 | AU$1,439.01 (was AU$1,799.01; save AU$360)

If you're getting started in the world of gaming but not sure what to get, the Dell G5 15 Gaming Laptop is for you! This entry level gaming laptop features Nvidia's GTX1650 graphics and a storage blend of 128GB SSD with a 1TB HDD. 16GB of memory is plenty too. This combination gives great capacity for gaming along with everything else. Currently on sale at 20% discount (saving you AU$360) – grab it whilst its hot! View Deal

Sony Alpha A9 (Body Only) | AU$4,288 (was AU$$4,999; save AU$711)

The Sony Alpha A9 is an impressive full-frame mirrorless camera with tracking performance specialised for action. Giving Canon and Nikon a run for their money, sport photographers will appreciate this camera’s quick 20fps burst shooting. It was a whopping AU$7,000 at launch, but with the release of the second iteration, Sony has slashed the RRP of this superfast snapper. But it’s cheaper still on eBay, allowing us mere mortals to partake of Sony’s amazing camera tech.View Deal

Fitbit Versa Lite | AU$195 (was AU$249)

It's the parred back version of the original Fitbit Versa, offering just the basic smartwatch functions but the same fitness tracking features. However, it's not been discounted this heavily before, so if you're after a great looking wearable with a superb companion apps, then this is one heck of a bargain available on all four colour options of white, blue, lavender and mulberry.View Deal

Black Friday 2019 FAQ: what it is, when it happens and where to get the best deals

Are Black Friday and Cyber Monday 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, with the sale usually starting before the actual date and extending well beyond Cyber Monday.

What and when is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the Friday immediately after Thanksgiving in the US. It’s the day when retailers offer big discounts to kick-start the holiday shopping season. Black Friday 2019 will be Friday, 29 November.

What and when is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is the Monday immediately after Black Friday. Cyber Monday 2019 will be on Monday, 2 December.

What’s the origin of Black Friday?
Let’s take a Black Friday history lesson: the first known mention of Black Friday related to this shopping experience was in November 1951, when the journal Factory Management and Maintenance used it to describe people calling in sick the day after Thanksgiving so they could have an extra day off work. At the same time, US police was using the phrases “Black Friday” and “Black Saturday” to describe the horrendous traffic that crowded the streets at the beginning of the pre-Christmas shopping season. In 1961 there was a movement from the local governments to change the shopping season to “Big Friday” and “Big Saturday”, but it clearly never caught on.

How did Cyber Monday get its name?
The term was coined by Ellen Davis and Scott Silverman of the US’s National Retail Federation and Shop.org, and it was a deliberate move to promote online shopping back in 2005 when the internet was made of wood and powered by steam. It was intended to help smaller retailers compete with the big names who were harping on about Black Friday, although of course those big names promptly jumped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon too.

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?
Generally speaking, yes – although there are two kinds of deals. The first has been pre-agreed between brands/retailers and suppliers, so they’re not as off-the-cuff as you might expect. The other is sudden price drops, whether that’s an algorithm working out the best way to attract users to buy (as brands like Amazon often will) or just the big names price-matching one another. 

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 and Cyber Monday 2019 deals?
Doing your homework really helps. 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, particularly cameras, 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 gives 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.