When we think of shopping sales, we often think of frenetic crowds and shops opening their doors at midnight. ‘Black Friday’ is now hitting Australia in a big way – and not quite in the traditional way. Canstar Blue explains what you need to know about Black Friday.
Online shopping is an increasingly major part of Black Friday – especially in Australia, where many participating retailers are U.S-based online shops. This is a great chance for shoppers who don’t want to have to fight through crowds and stress to snap up a bargain before they’re all gone.
What and when is Black Friday 2021?
In 2021, Black Friday in Australia will take place on November 26. However, you should expect the Black Friday sales period to start a couple of days or weeks prior. Originating from the U.S, Black Friday is a shopping holiday that has gained a lot of momentum in Australia and now competes with Boxing Day and EOFY as our biggest shopping events.
It’s typically held on the Friday following Thanksgiving in the U.S (which is always the fourth Thursday of November). Black Friday also marks the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. Jolly good!
Black Friday might sound a bit morbid, but ‘black’ refers to being ‘in the black’ – (i.e. turning a profit). In accounting, profits are recorded as black, and losses are recorded in red. For retailers, ‘Black Friday’ is an opportunity to use sales to sell more stock – particularly excess, under-performing, and discontinued or older models.
Why should Aussies care about Black Friday?
With the rise of online shopping and COVID-19 throwing a spanner in the works, retailers now have to work harder to keep up with Black Friday trends or risk losing market share to U.S and other international retailers. This means that brands and retailers will offer competitive deals and discounts to gain and retain loyal customers. This presents a great opportunity to snag a really good deal if you look in the right places.
Can you buy TVs in Black Friday sales?
Black Friday sales cover a huge range of categories including household appliances, technology, and electronics, fashion, health and beauty, and so much more.
Canstar Blue’s shopping expert Megan Birot said Black Friday was a great time to score some savings on big-ticket items like TVs and other appliances.
“If you’re in the market for a new TV or washing machine, there are some great deals available if you’re comfortable going for an older model which may not have the latest tech, but will have all the functionality you need at a reduced price,” she said.
“As always though, do your homework before you buy anything. Find out which retailers are offering the biggest discounts, compare prices on their website and online, and research which brands or models are worth your hard-earned money.”
What to look out for this Black Friday?
Both big and smaller retailers participate in Black Friday sales (in stores and online), so cast a wide net for the best shot at catching a bargain. In terms of which products to look out for, knowing your brands and product releases can be handy to predict what might go on sale. The usual suspects include products that are:
- Recently replaced by a newer model
- Much-hyped but under-performing in terms of sales that are likely in excess supply
- Larger and more expensive, meaning a little discount nudge is sometimes needed to encourage shoppers to buy
Of course, there’s no real telling what will be discounted and by how much until retailers begin to release their Black Friday sale catalogues and pricing. With big sale events, the best bargains can sell out quite quickly so doing your research ahead can prepare you to move quickly to stay ahead of the shopping crowd.
What is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is a continuation of Black Friday sales online, when (arguably) some of the best deals, discounts, and sales coupons are offered. This year, it falls on Monday, 29 November.
Black Friday shopping tips
Now that we’ve covered the basics, here are some shopping tips to help you score the best deals and avoid getting ripped off.
Do your research: We’ll never say this enough − due diligence goes a long way towards scoring yourself a good deal and avoiding buyer’s remorse. Before you even start thinking about shopping, find out which retailers are participating in Black Friday sales, and who’s offering what and for how much. You can sign up to newsletters, or stalk your favourite brands and retailers on social media for the lowdown. It’s also good to remember that just because something is discounted, it doesn’t mean it’s a good deal! Make sure to compare the price of a particular product from different retailers and brands. Never buy the first thing you see!
Know your consumer rights: All retailers and manufacturers must comply with Australian Consumer Law (ACL), under which consumer goods and products sold in Australia come with automatic guarantees, regardless of any voluntary or extended warranty provided by a seller. The ACL also offers you protection against faulty or unsafe products and services and unfair treatment from businesses.
Check the fine print: Retailers typically don’t offer refunds or returns on sale items, so consider your purchases carefully. Check the terms and conditions of each purchase and the retailer’s returns policy. Under the Australian Consumer Law, retailers need to provide a remedy (refund, replacement or repair) for a faulty product but are not obliged to offer you a refund or exchange if you change your mind.
Only shop from trusted and verified websites: There are tons of fake websites out there, so make you’re buying from a verified and real site. You can easily identify secure sites with a URL that starts with ‘https’ with a closed padlock next to it. When paying online, only use a secure payment service such as Visa, Mastercard or PayPal.