There are just a few days to go until the official Black Friday 2019 sales start on November 29. However, numerous retailers have had a jump-start this year, with many shops releasing their deals last Friday.
Love it or hate it, there's no denying the unstoppable force of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. What started off as a tradition across the pond has now become the highlight of every British bargain-hunter's calendar. And it's clear to see why.
Whether you're brave enough to flock to London's Oxford Street or prefer to shop online from the comfort of your own bed, there are serious savings to be had. Laptops, games consoles, phones and clothes are all sold at a fraction of the price — perfect if you want to do some early Christmas shopping.
Amazon is typically ahead of the curve and launched its deals last Friday, covering tech, home appliances, fashion and more. John Lewis and Currys PC World have also jumped on the bandwagon, and don't underestimate the sales of Boots and Very, either. Deals from retailers are updated daily, and we have rounded up the best of today's offerings below.
To help you plan for the rest of the sales, we have created a guide of everything you need to know about Black Friday 2019 — including what date the sales start, how to find the best deals, how to be safe when shopping online, and the best discounts available so far.
What is Black Friday?
Black Friday is a tradition that originates from America, where retailers cut prices on a huge range of items the day after Thanksgiving. However, in recent years, Britain has also jumped on the bandwagon.
As such, you can expect major UK retailers to cut prices on a large selection of items — including big-budget electrical items, beauty gift sets, kitchen equipment and clothes.
When do the Black Friday sales start? Latest news
The official day for Black Friday 2019 is November 29. However, many retailers have already slashed their prices in an attempt to stay ahead of competitors — including Amazon, which has hundreds of great offers including Lightning Deals (flash sales that last a few hours) and a range of discounts that should last for the rest of the week.
John Lewis and Currys PC World have also joined in on the action, launching early sales last week. Currys PC World has particularly impressive deals on tech, while John Lewis has some great offers on kitchenware and home appliances.
Best Black Friday deals today
Today, our favourite Amazon Black Friday deal is this pair of Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H9i Wireless Bluetooth Over-Ear Headphones which are almost half price at £230, down from £450. Typical of Bang & Olufsen, these headphones have a great sound quality. They're also wireless, and Bluetooth-enabled, so you can listen to music even if you don't have your phone on you.
It's also worth mentioning the Echo Dot (3rd Gen). This new smart speaker, equipped with Alexa, is just £22 today —down from £49.99. Other Amazon products, including the new Fire HD 10 tablet, are also in the sales.
If you're looking to make a bigger purchase, we recommend the LG Electronics OLED55B9PLA 55-Inch UHD 4K HDR Smart OLED TV with Freeview Play, which has an incredible discount. It was £1,799 and is now just £1,099. This TV has received rave reviews for its picture and sound quality, which might make it a sound investment.
Currys PC World
Elsewhere, the retailer is offering a £100 discount on the Dyson V8 vacuum, now £299. And, of course, there are deals on smart TVs, game console bundles and laptops — including a £300 discount on the HP Pavilion 14" laptop, intel Core i7, which is now £649.
From John Lewis, we have been impressed by the Philips Sonicare Healthy Smile Gift Set with ExpertClean and Airfloss Pro, which is now £140, down from £250. The toothbrush has six brushing modes and a pressure sensor, to protect your gums, and the airfloss can help you to eradicate plaque.
The noise-cancelling Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones are also being sold at a slight discount, at £249, down from £299. They are comfortable and have been positively reviewed for their excellent sound quality.
Deals from other retailers
Elsewhere on the high street, Boots has launched its Black Friday deals. Its best deal today is on the BaByliss Curl Secret 2667U, which is over half price — at £58, down from £119.99. The Telegraph rated these curlers as one of the best on the market, so they might be worth the investment.
Great deals have been launched online, too. On Very, the Xbox One X Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order game bundle is being sold for £299.99, down from £499.99. There are also deals across smart home devices, electricals and home essentials — including the well-reviewed Shark DuoClean IF260UKTH Cordless Vacuum, which is now £298, down from £479.99.
How can I find the best deals this week?
There are ways you can make sure you're the first to know when shops announce their discounts.
The Telegraph is currently updating our Black Friday channel every day this week with offers as soon as they're made available, so it's worth bookmarking our pages now.
Sign up to email updates from retailers, download their apps and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. That way, you'll get notifications that keep you in the loop.
It's also a good idea to do your research in advance and bookmark the products you want to buy - as such, you create a shortcut to seeing the discounts as soon as the deals are released.
Sign up for Amazon Prime, because the online retailing giant gives Prime members exclusive discounts as well as early access to "lightning deals" (the ones that usually sell out within minutes) 30 minutes before the rest of the internet. That extra time could be crucial on Black Friday.
What about Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday 2019 will officially take place on December 2 this year, despite the sales day's growing futility. It's not that there won't be deals, though — while Cyber Monday was once the day Black Friday-worthy deals would finally appear online, many of the best Black Friday deals are now web-only from the very start of the sales period.
That's not to say there won't be fantastic deals, of course. Amazon typically saves a few big bargains for Cyber Monday and an increasing number of retailers take site-wide discounts even lower, particularly if they haven't sold all they expected to.
History of Black Friday
Police officers in Philadelphia were actually the first to coin the term 'Black Friday' in the 1950s. Large crowds of tourists and shoppers came to the city on the day after Thanksgiving, causing chaos and traffic jams, so police officers had to work long shifts to control the carnage. As such, they labelled the day Black Friday. The name spread throughout Philadelphia and was later printed in The American Philatelist magazine in 1966.
By the late 1980s, the name was commonly known across America and linked to post-Thanksgiving sales.
Black Friday only spread to the UK in 2010, when online retail giant Amazon introduced the concept, promoting a range of discounts and deals. In 2013, supermarket Asda (owned by American retailer Walmart) held its own Black Friday sale - which resulted in chaos, as shoppers physically fought over flat-screen televisions. Following this, the sales bonanza spread across the UK, with many retailers now offering online deals, too.
Shopping tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Online shopping is usually a leisurely activity - something you can do while watching a series on Netflix. Not on Black Friday. On this day, you're in a race to get the items into your basket and checked out before the deal is no longer available. Sound stressful? Don't worry - we've got some tips to help you get the best deals available on the day.
- Set up an online account in advance. Create an account on the sites where you'll be shopping on Black Friday. To speed up the checkout process on the day, make sure you store your account details so you can shop without wasting precious time.
- Haggle using live chat. While haggling can be mortifying at a market stall, it's easily done online. All you need to do is type the deal you want, or the discount code you've been given, into the website's live chatbox and see if the retailer can shave a little more off the price. In December 2015, Telegraph Money managed to haggle £65 off a Dell laptop. If you don't ask, you don't get.
- Grab an abandoned basket discount. This is a cheeky method that isn't guaranteed to work - but it's worth a shot. Some retailers offer customers discounts if they see they have put an item into their basket and not checked out. So, go on the website, add items to your basket and then close the window. A few days later, you might receive an email trying to entice you to buy the items at a discounted price. Retailers who have been known to offer this discount include Asda, Asos, H&M and Waitrose.
- Check Flubit. If you've found a product you like on Amazon, and you have a spare couple of hours, enter the URL into the Flubit generator - it will tell you if there's a better deal elsewhere on the internet. This can take up to three hours and Flubit, which receives a commission on each deal it facilitates, does sometimes admit that Amazon has the best price on an item.
- Shop around. Don't fall for the first deal you see. Instead, conduct a simple search on Google's 'Shopping' channel to check whether other retailers are offering a better discount. If you don't have time to check the prices yourself, you can use a price comparison site such as My Supermarket, which collates the best deals and allows you to see which are cheapest.
Confused about what to buy? See Telegraph Recommended for best in class product reviews and expert buyer's guides.