Black Friday is not just a solitary day any more, it’s an extended period when the holiday shopping frenzy lurches into gear and, now that we have the technology, you don’t even need to leave the house to compete with crowds looking for the best deals.
Traditionally, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving Day in the US, when retailers offer drastic discounts for one day only. These days, though, Black Friday knows no bounds: the deals start and end all days of the week and reach far beyond the American states.
As always, online shoppers should stay safe and savvy, making sure to read the fine print when it comes to delivery costs and terms and conditions, and reading reviews and product descriptions to ensure there are no surprises when items arrive.
Independent sellers on Etsy and eBay even offer discounts for the occasion, just search for ‘Black Friday’ or ‘Cyber Monday’ (its partner in crime, and one of the biggest days for online shopping annually). We’ve listed some other retailers getting in on the act below.
As we’ve now come to expect, Apple is holding a Black Friday event true to the 24-hour timeline. From 12.01am to 11.59pm on 29 November, the online store will offer exclusive deals to shoppers and all orders over €123 qualify for free delivery.
Promotions unleashed on Friday can’t be combined with any other offers and sale prices apply to limited stock only, so get in there quick if you want to come away with a good deal.
The king of e-commerce, Amazon is well-practised in Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals and, this year, has focused on ‘Lightning Deals’. These promotions offer a limited number of discounts on an item for a set time only. A status bar will tell you how many deals have already been picked up in customers’ baskets or purchased and a timer lets you know how much time you have to stake your claim. Should you miss the boat, you can join a wait list in case another customer decides not to follow through with the purchase at the check-out.
Amazon’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals cover a wide range of products, including video games, gadgets, toys, homewares, electronics and audio-visual equipment. New deals are added regularly and you can check ahead to see what products will be getting a discount, though you won’t be able to see the price until it goes live.
As we don’t have a dedicated Amazon retail site for Ireland, Irish customers can check out Black Friday Deals Week on Amazon.com for products from the US or Amazon.co.uk for the UK marketplace. Alternatively, you could test your European language skills (or make use of Google Translate) to search for deals from Amazon in Germany, France, Spain or Italy – all of which are holding either Black Friday or Cyber Monday events over a few days. You may even be tempted to seek deals as far afield as China or Canada, just always make sure that you check the delivery options and beware of customs charges from expensive products shipping in from outside the EU.
GameStop has annually held online Black Friday events for Irish customers and this year will be no exception. Newsletter subscribers, followers of the brand on Facebook and Twitter followers will be the first to know about offers as they become available, starting at 8am on 29 November.
New offers will be added throughout the day, including deals on consoles and new release titles. What’s more, GameStop Level 3 Loyalty customers will also get additional discounts on these offers.
Adobe is offering a solitary deal for Black Friday bargain-hunters, available until 2 December. During this time frame, customers can sign up to a special Creative Cloud plan offering access to Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5, plus feature updates and upgrades as they are available, 20GB cloud storage for file sharing and collaboration, and a Behance ProSite, all for €12.29 per month.
As this is a special package, there isn’t a comparison to be made to know how much of a deal you’re getting, and the catch is that you have to commit to a one-year plan. That said, a full set-up with Creative Cloud can cost €61.49 per month, so for those just wanting to try out the photo-editing software, it’s a far less expensive option.
Valve’s online games portal Steam should be in full swing today, with deals continuing until 3 December. There are also rumours of a second holiday sale running from 19 December to 2 January so, if you miss the deals this time around, there’ll be a second chance.