Black Friday is back, and it can be a great time of year to take advantage of offers before Christmas.
The day of discounts originated in the United States, but is now almost as big an occasion across the world.
Here’s everything you need to know about when sales are taking place.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is the informal name given to the day after Thanksgiving in the US, when big retailers offer huge discounts on goods in what is considered to be the biggest shopping day of the year.
In normal years, some shops open shortly after midnight, but most open at either 5am or 6am and customers queue around the corner – some even camping out overnight – to get their hands on a bargain.
This has often resulted in mayhem as customers scramble and fight each other over heavily-discounted goods. Since 2006, there have been seven reported deaths and 98 injuries throughout the US on Black Friday.
Black Friday first made an appearance in the 2010s when Walmart-owned Asda announced it would be running a Black Friday campaign. More and more retailers – including Tesco, Amazon, John Lewis and Argos – began to follow suit.
But in 2014, the police were forced to get involved after fights broke out and people were trampled and assaulted in many stores across the country as shoppers violently scrambled for a bargain.
When is Black Friday 2022?
Black Friday is always the Friday after Thanksgiving, which means this year it is on Friday 25 November.
But many retailers start announcing discounts in the weeks leading up to the day.
Cyber Monday takes place the following Monday, so this year it will be on November 28.
Why is it called Black Friday?
It is believed to be the point in the year when retailers start to turn a profit and go from “in the red” to “in the black”.
Another explanation dates back to the 1960s when the Philadelphia Police Department coined the phrase to describe the chaos ensued by the congestion of pedestrian and vehicle traffic on that day.
What are the best deals?
Customers usually take advantage of the big ticket slashes to buy themselves a new television, games console or mobile phone.
But it’s not a sale day exclusive to electronics, and the bargains now sweep across the retail board to include clothes, toys, cosmetics, food and drink.
Amazon is particularly well known for its Black Friday sales, and it has confirmed that its deals are available from November 18.
Currys is already offering deals on items such as laptops and white goods.
Argos has already discounted goods such as hoovers and TVs, and promises their products will not be cheaper during the actual weekend.
John Lewis is having special Black Friday offers on the post-Thanksgiving weekend, including Cyber Monday, but they are also already holding an autumn sale.
Are there Black Friday scams?
In the past, shoppers have been warned to beware of online “bargains” that are actually scams.
Nearly 30,000 unsuspecting shoppers were conned out of a collective £15.4m over the Christmas period in 2020, according to data released by Action Fraud in 2021.
A total of 28,049 people reported to the body that they had been duped in the period from November 2020 to January 2021. This marked an increase of almost two thirds (61 per cent) when compared to the same period in the previous year. As victims often feel too embarrassed or upset to admit that they have been scammed, this figure likely represents a fraction of the number of people conned.
Last year, Action Fraud urged Christmas shoppers to take extra care when making purchases online.
“Christmas is an incredibly busy time for us all but sadly, criminals will see this as an ideal opportunity to take advantage of shoppers who are caught up in the excitement of securing a bargain online,” said Pauline Smith, director of Action Fraud, at the time.
“If you think you have found a bargain that is too good to be true, it probably is. Stop and think before making a purchase as it could protect you and your money.”