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For many, November 24th will be just another Friday, but for some it will be an excuse to take leave of their senses, and go absolutely stark raving bonkers all in the name of bagging a bargain. I am, of course, talking about Black Friday, an American import that seems to have become a ‘thing’ over here, in much the same way that Halloween, but probably more scary – awesome!

Traditionally, Black Friday was the day after Thanksgiving in the US, when most major retailers would open very early, and offer promotional sales. The concept seems to have started creeping into the UK around 2010, but it was not until 2013, when Asda’s American owners, Walmart, became one of the first major retailers to encourage the madness, that it really took hold of consumers. Remember the images in newspapers, and on TV, of grown adults resorting to fisticuffs in order to get their hands on a discounted flat screen TV? It brought a whole different meaning to the phrase ‘going wild in the aisles’.

Big Ticket Bargains

If you are on the look-out for big ticket items, Black Friday can be a great time to buy, but it is definitely worth doing some homework beforehand to make sure that you are getting the best deals. Check out reviews of the items you are interested in, and prices at different retailers to ensure that the deal you think you are getting is actually a good one. Techradar or hotukdeals  have full lowdown on where and when to get the best bargains, and whether they are bargains at all. Online deals may go very quickly, so you have to be prepared to act fast to bag the bargain.

Beating the Rush

Many retailers don’t even wait for the big day anymore, so it is definitely worth keeping your eyes peeled and finger on the button. Amazon plan to start offering deals from 17th November, whilst Argos will be going one step further, with ‘Black November’ events, with different offers throughout the month. For the gaming geeks out there, just a heads up to let you know that the Game website will have details of their offers on their website from Thursday 23rd November, which may mean staying up way past their bed time to get the best deals!

Despite the initial excitement for this consumer-frenzy, it seems that some retailers are a bit over the whole Black Friday madness. Last year, Ikea, Next and would you believe even Asda themselves decided to bail out. Other companies, such as M&S, Selfridges and John Lewis have turned their back on all that uncivilised consumerism, and plan to have weekend long Christmas-themed sales instead! (Much more keeping in the spirit of the festive season!)

As a Frugal Femme, I do like to get my money’s worth, but I don’t want to risk getting concussion in the process, and have never really got involved in the Black Friday thing, but it seems that I may well be in the minority. Last year, bargain hunting Brits spent a whopping £5.8 billion over the 4 days from Black Friday, to the more recent, Cyber Monday.

Cyber Monday Funday

Cyber Monday can be seen as the slightly less dangerous, not as highly strung, slightly more sedate cousin of Black Friday, which can be done in the comfort, and safety of your own home. Remember though that whilst Cyber Monday may be less physically dangerous than hand to hand combat in a supermarket, buying online can be dangerous in other ways, especially if like many Cyber Monday-ers you are doing your shopping in the middle of the night when normal sensible thought can often go out the window, and you are convinced that you do need a bread making machine or nose hair trimmer, just because it is on special offer. Just be careful that you don’t get sucked in and end up with something you definitely didn’t bargain on!