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Black Friday is fast approaching, giving you the chance to bag some fantastic bargains ahead of the Christmas shopping rush.
But with more retailers signing up to the sales each year, navigating Black Friday can be easier said than done.
To help, we’ve put together a bumper guide, explaining where the concept came from, how the sales work, and where you can find the best deals.
When is Black Friday 2021?
This year’s Black Friday sale officially begins on Friday 26 November 2021. However, while the main sale begins at the end of the month, in the lead up many retailers, like Amazon, have already began to offer deals from this week.
Originally, Black Friday began in the US, as a follow-on to Thanksgiving which always falls on the fourth Thursday in November. In the US, the Friday that follows Thanksgiving is an unofficial holiday, and because lots of people are off work, shops tend to drop their prices to kickstart the Christmas season.
Black Friday first started in the UK over a decade ago, after UK retailers caught on to the popular US trend.
Cyber Monday is an off-cut of Black Friday; it is always the Monday that falls after Black Friday.
The Cyber Monday tradition began in 2005 after the US National Retail Federation noticed that there was a significant spike in digital sales the Monday following Thanksgiving. This year, Cyber Monday falls on Monday 29 November 2021.
But Is Black Friday starting early?
This year a selection of retailers – including Amazon – have launched a range of early Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.
There are a number of early deals coming out this week on Amazon, offering some amazing discounts on a wide range of products, from home essentials to luxury products, and everything in between.
What are the best Black Friday deals?
Black Friday used to be known for its fantastic deals on technology – from smartphones to Kindles – but these days Black Friday deals extend to every industry. You’ll find discounts on fashion, beauty, homeware, family favourites and more.
You’ll have to wait until the sales begin to find the best bargains, but Amazon’s early Black Friday deals include:
Savings up to 35% on cookware from Tefal, Le Creuset and KitchenAid.
Savings up to 40% on vacuum and carpet cleaners from Shark, Bissel, and Vax.
Saving up to 45% off popular Amazon devices, including Echo and Kindle.
Is Black Friday a good time to do Christmas shopping?
If you buy smart, Black Friday is the perfect time to start your Christmas shopping. The deals can make shopping for gifts more affordable, especially when purchasing big ticket items.
However, it’s worth noting that not everything listed as a Black Friday deal is the bargain you’d expect. A 2019 investigation from the consumer watchdog Which? found just one in 20 Black Friday “deals” is cheaper during the shopping bonanza than at other times of the year. Read our guide on avoiding dodgy deals to make sure you’re not duped. We’ll also update our shopping guides throughout the sales to share our top picks.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.