- Black Friday originated in the USA as a retail sale held on the day following Thanksgiving.
- For many years we Aussies watched with envious eyes the bargains to be had at American retailers, before Australian retailers started to get on board with Black Friday sales in recent years.
- Eight out of ten Aussies shop online. With sales like Black Friday perfectly timed just weeks before Christmas, we can’t see the online shopping trend slowing down anytime soon.
Black Friday is a phrase that suggests different things to different people.
Some think of ladders not to be walked under, bad luck to be avoided, black cats and witches to be shied away from.
Others think about the movie franchise with that deranged Jason Voorhees character wandering around in a creepy ice hockey mask.
But for us, it’s all about shopping and that special day at the end of November, conveniently just weeks before Christmas, when it seems like the whole world is on sale.
But it wasn’t always like this for Aussies.
What is Black Friday all about?
Black Friday is the name given to the Friday after American Thanksgiving. Since the early 1950s, people in the US have seen it as the start of the Christmas shopping season. It’s only in recent years it’s been routinely referred to as Black Friday.
The first known use of the phrase Black Friday in reference to shopping is way back in 1952. An American journal called Factory Management and Maintenance mentioned workers taking the Friday after Thanksgiving as a sick day, so they could have a four-day weekend.
Is it just us, or is there something quite attractive about the fact that a multi-billion dollar industry has built up around some factory workers chucking a sickie 60 years ago?
Who can blame them really? Sounds like something we Aussies would be in favour of.
Black Friday comes downunder
For many years, Aussies had to watch with envious eyes as the Americans got everything. Not only did they get to eat turkey and stuffing until they couldn’t even stay awake as they celebrated their Thanksgiving Day, but they also got to go shopping with crazy deals the following day.
Well, not anymore ‘Merica. Not anymore.
Just like that old lady said in When Harry Met Sally . . . We’ll have what they’re having!
A few years ago, some clever US retail stores operating Downunder decided they’d see if Australia would welcome the Black Friday concept. Stores such as eBay, Apple and Bloomingdales had a crack, some Aussie retailers jumped on board and BOOM.
Australia has Black Friday.
And we have it on the same day as the US. This year it’s November 29, and if you want to plan years ahead, check out this calendar page.
Black Friday vs Cyber Monday
As we’ve already mentioned, Black Friday is the Friday after American Thanksgiving and there’s another special shopping day, Cyber Monday, the following Monday. This year, Cyber Monday will be December 2.
Traditionally, Black Friday was an actual physical shopping day. Shoppers would roll out of the house and hit up the shopping centres to shake off the so-called turkey sweats. Cyber Monday was reserved for online sales.
However, in recent years, the two have kinda merged, so it’s basically one big four-day shopping weekend extravaganza.
Throw in Australia’s Click Frenzy just two weeks before Black Friday and November is about as close to paradise as any shopper could wish for.
Everybody is online shopping
According to a recent report on Australian eCommerce, eight out of ten Aussies now shop online. The report states that as of February 2019, 80.8% of people shopped online. It goes on to predict that soon, one out of every ten items purchased will be online. And those numbers are only rising with every passing year.
In fact, they predict that by 2021, 22 million Aussies will be buying online.
I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to see that Aussies are completely happy shopping from the comfort of their own homes. Or office. Or on the train going to work.
It makes you wonder if the days of queuing outside stores for hours before dawn, waiting to get trampled on by thousands of other bargain hunters, is a thing of the past.
However it happens, we love shopping. We know you love it too because our biggest shopping days of the year blog has proved so popular.
What deals can we expect this Black Friday?
With the increase in online shopping and that all-important promise of pre-Christmas delivery, it’s no wonder retailers are keen to get on board with these types of regular sales. And as competition between retailers continues, the Black Friday sales have started to creep into a week-long event.
And that’s really good news for consumers because we all want our hard-earned dollars to go as far as they can.
Let’s take a look at what you can expect from this year’s offerings.
Predicting what retailers will be offering is not an exact science but according to the team at TechRadar, there are some pretty safe bets:
After its very successful 2018 debut, Amazon Australia is sure to be offering some pretty sweet deals.
Major retailers such as JB HiFi and eBay will be pushing hard for a slice of the action.
If you’re thinking about getting a new laptop, wait until Black Friday because these items are usually heavily discounted.
Looking to upgrade your home theatre system? TechRadar advises to wait and see what’s on offer as TVs and soundbar prices will be cut.
We want more!
Just as with Click Frenzy 2019, we don’t have an exact list. But what we can do is use last year’s list to make some educated guesses. So, here are some of the big retail brands you can expect to be involved . . . and some of the discounts they offered in 2018.
For our techy types, Microsoft offers included:
• 3 games with Xbox One S 500GB consoles for $279
• Up to $500 off selected personal computers
• Up to 40% off Minecraft controllers
• 40% off Xbox Live 3 months subscriptions
• Up to 15% off selected Surface Pro 6, Laptop 2 and Book 2
After some home appliances? The Good Guys offered:
• 15% off Microsoft Surface Pro and Surface Book
• 20% off Logitech keyboards & mice
• 20% off Smeg clearance cooking appliances
• 40% off Stonewell frypans
• 20% off Whirlpool ovens and cooktops
For our business travellers, Air New Zealand was offering 30% off business class flights to New Zealand.
Bookworms were thrilled to find The Book Depository had books discounted by up to 66% and free delivery.
For shoppers looking for a new summer wardrobe, Newchic had:
• Up to 80% off select brands
• Items for less than $1
• Discounts for orders over a certain amount. Last year it started at just $79.
The Body Shop had up to 50% off selected products.
As we get closer to the sales, no doubt we’ll start to see retailers doing their own advertising, so the best idea is to keep an eye out for the best deals.
Can I use my cashback site or credit card to get an even sweeter deal?
Our regular readers know we’re huge supporters of cashback credit cards and cashback websites here at Credit Card Compare.
Cashback credit card
If you already have a cashback credit card tucked away in your wallet just waiting for the sales to begin, now’s the time to start dusting it off. Double dip those benefits like nobody's watching!
A cashback credit card may also earn rewards points, but not always. But what it does do is pay money back into your account. The most straightforward cashback credit cards pay back a fixed rate percentage on all purchases made, usually for a limited time after card approval. Selected retailer cashback cards provide a bonus rewards points rate for shopping at participating outlets.
If you don’t have a cashback credit card yet, you’ve still got a few weeks until the sales starts, so if you get cracking and follow our bright green application links, you should have your new card in your hands before you can say ‘Bring on Black Friday!’
Another way to score cashback when shopping is to do your online shopping via a cashback website. You can earn big cash discounts when purchasing your favourite brands.
If you’ve clicked ‘Yes’ to allow your preferred cashback tracker to track your browsing, it’ll let you know if you can use it or not. It’s often the case that there are some restrictions on Black Friday deals being able to be used in conjunction with the cashback, but it’s certainly worth checking.
Get started on your shopping list
With a few weeks to go before the Black Friday sales start, it's a good idea to put together a list of what you are looking for as Christmas gifts and maybe a few cheeky gifts for yourself too.
That way when the sale starts you’ll recognise the real bargains and stop yourself from being tempted to impulse buy more than you had planned. With Cyber Monday making it a four-day sale for lots of retailers, now is the time to get your plan in place to grab a bargain.