Black Friday 2019
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when the concept of sensible shopping for things you need goes out the window and you embark on a frenetic and impulsive spending spree a few weeks before Christmas. Yes, that’s right, Black Friday 2019 is nearly here. Or, in shopping terms, the storm before the calm.
As I mentioned in a previous post about shopping in Málaga, I’m not a massive shopper. But I think the allure of achieving significant discounts and saving money on all manner of new products on the market is tantalising for pretty much all mankind.
What’s more, new retail sectors get involved every year and the potential for catching a bargain in every area of commerce goes up exponentially during this 24-hour period on the last Friday of November.
Creating a monster
Or should I say 48-hour period? Or the last weekend of November? Or even the entire week before and after the date chosen for Black Friday? Because, like it or not, the shopping bonanza has got too big for its boots and, in certain countries and certain retailers, it’s frankly getting a bit out of hand.
This year, you’ll see some shops advertising “Black Week” as opposed to cramming their sales into one day. You’ll see “pre-Black Friday” sales starting on 25th or 26th November… a warm-up of sorts for impatient shoppers, presumably, or because retailers genuinely can’t cope with the demand or re-stock quickly enough on the big day.
And then there’s "Cyber Monday". If you haven’t maxed out your credit card by this point, Monday 2nd December is the day to grab a great deal on tech products such as computers, mobile phones and thousands of other miscellaneous gadgets, as well as other online purchases.
In truth, it’s just another Black Friday in disguise; the difference being you make all your purchases online (as the term “cyber” suggests) instead of camping outside Bluewater shopping centre all night in the pouring rain in a bid to be the first through the door when Currys PC World opens.
The name "Cyber Monday" was first coined by Ellen Davis of the USA’s National Retail Federation in 2005 and the whole reason for its inception was to encourage the growth of ecommerce.
And that it did. In the US alone, online sales from Cyber Monday totalled 7,900,000,000 USD in 2018, while it is by far and away the most lucrative online shopping day for retailers in many other countries, including the UK, Sweden and Germany.
The wonders of the internet
To be honest, if you’ve not been bombarded with adverts promoting Black Friday sales whenever you read the news online, surf the web or even open your emails, the chances are you’ve probably been living under a rock. Literally.
And this phenomenon – adverts popping up related to stuff you’ve already searched for online, not living under a rock – is due to a little something called cookies. I don’t want to bore you with a lecture on computer jargon, but instead make the point that, although these adverts are annoying 90% of the time (it’s often surprising to see how much of your search history for clothes, sports equipment, cars, flights, mortgages, dentistry – you name it – is converted into advertising material via cookies), they’re actually quite useful as Black Friday approaches.
Let’s say you’ve been looking for one of those robot vacuum cleaners but have been waiting for them to come down in price. If that’s in your internet search history, you’ll doubtless see a colourful, in-your-face banner advertising a Roomba for half the price at Currys PC World this Black Friday. Which is great for you because you can bag yourself a great deal there and then, without having to even do the search yourself.
Plus, you save yourself a wet and thoroughly disillusioning overnight camping trip by the bins outside Bluewater.
So, where can I find the best buys?
If you live in Spain, it’s the usual suspects that are investing heavily in Black Friday advertising. El Corte Inglés, the department store and one-stop shop for more or less anything you can imagine, has announced discounts on products across all its departments, with savings of up to €1,000 on TVs, €100 off Apple products and up to 40% off everything else. It is also offering a special discount code for 25% off your online clothes shop between 28th and 30th November, which you can find out more about (in Spanish, I'm afraid) here.
For electronics and tech goods, MediaMarkt and Worten are very much on the radar this Black Friday. Both companies are keeping the exact details of their deals close to their chest and, as such, invite web visitors to sign up to be the first to find out about them when they're released.
In any case, and based on previous years, we can expect significant savings; while there appears to be a specific focus this year on items like wireless headphones, smartwatches, the latest smartphones, plus other connected and AI devices.
Rest of the world
If you live anywhere else on planet Earth, your go-to product search might be via the Amazon platform, which has more offers than I can even begin to describe. From the mainstream to the obscure, you'll find loads of Black Friday discounts, as well as daily deals lasting just a few hours and new featured best buys popping up every hour or so throughout the course of the day.
As you might expect, Chinese ecommerce giant AliExpress is getting involved, too. Its take on Black Friday is to get in there even earlier and start with a separate flash sale for "Singles Day" (apparently that exists) this coming Monday 11th November. Smart work from them, as their revenue will surely peak twice in the same month - starting with its spinster sale (although I'm sure you don't have to necessarily be single to shop on this day).
Even Ikea are getting in on the action. So that means you can furnish your house exactly the way everyone else does… but for up to 60% less during their sale.
The moral of the story: don't be the black sheep this year. Find yourself a bargain on a product you don't really need and buy it just like everyone else.
Are you planning on buying anything in “Black Week”? Or have you not come around to the idea yet? Leave me a message in the comments with your thoughts on today's post and I'll get back to you as soon as possible!