One of the most hectic days in the retail calendar, Black Friday sees stores launch huge sales to encourage customer spending, and typically marks the start of the Christmas shopping season.
Giving shoppers the chance to bag some cheap deals on an array of items ahead of the big day, this year’s Black Friday will take place on Friday 27 November.
However, many retailers often start their discounts ahead of time, up to two weeks early in some cases. This year, some retailers are expected to launch their sales even earlier than usual after suffering a difficult year of trading amid the ongoing pandemic.
That includes Amazon, which has started its discount spree more than a month early.
Here is everything you need to know.
How does Amazon’s sale work?
Amazon’s Black Friday begins today (26 October), over a month ahead of the big day.
Discounts will be applied to products across a range of categories, including toys, beauty and Amazon's popular own-brand devices – the sale is expected to last until Black Friday itself on 27 November.
To see what items Amazon has to offer, go to amazon.co.uk/events/blackfriday.
In addition to the products featured in the sale, Amazon is also offering three months of its premium Music Unlimited service to new customers for free.
What deals can I get at Amazon?
In the run up to Black Friday, Amazon will be launching hundreds of 'Deals of the Day', as well as limited 'Lightning Deals' that are only available while stocks last.
Prime members get 30 minutes early access to these.
At the time of writing, some of the most exciting deals include a certified refurbished second generation Echo Show for just £139.99 (a saving of nearly 30 per cent), and almost 75 per cent off an Oral-B SmartSeries Black 6500 CrossAction Electric Toothbrush.
Elsewhere, shoppers can get their hands on a Garmin Vivoactive 3 GPS Smartwatch for £122.99 (a saving of 39 per cent), and a Lumie Sunrise Alarm discounted by over 40 per cent to just £23.19 – perfect as the clocks have just gone back.
These discounts will change regularly, so make sure you keep checking back for the latest offers on tech, housewares, gaming, Amazon devices, and many more!
What other retailers will be doing early sales?
Deals website Money Saver Online has rounded up some estimated dates for when sales are expected to start at various major retailers this year.
While dates are yet to officially be confirmed, here’s when you could expect discounts to launch.
Sales are expected to start at Argos on 23 November, just four days ahead of Black Friday, but this is yet to be confirmed; last year’s sale included price cuts to a range of major brands, including Apple and Dyson.
Shoppers can reportedly expect sales to begin from 11 November at Currys PC World, with discounts likely to be made on various TV, audio, computer, phones, gaming and appliances.
Reports suggest that beauty retailer Superdrug will launch its sales on either 11 or 14 November.
Halfords’ Black Friday deals will start on 17 November this year, with discounts expected on in-car technology, tools, car cleaning products and scooters.
Popular among parents in the run-up to Christmas, sales at toy store The Entertainer are expected to begin on 20 November, although this is still to be confirmed.
Sales at Next are expected to start on Black Friday itself, on 27 November, although an earlier date could be announced closer to the time.
Why is it called Black Friday?
Black Friday originally began in the US, but has since become an annual event here in the UK and several other countries.
The earliest evidence of the phrase "Black Friday” dates to at least 1961, and suggests the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used by police to describe the heavy and disruptive traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.
As the phrase became more widespread, a popular explanation became that the day represents the point in the year when retailers begin to turn a profit, thus going from being "in the red" to being "in the black".
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Scotsman