Everything you need to know about the Black Friday shopping event in Australia

Photo: Johanne Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

One of the busiest shopping days of the year is almost upon us. Black Friday is coming. More importantly, the bargains are coming. Here’s everything you need to know about Black Friday in Australia.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a shopping extravaganza that immediately follows Thanksgiving in the USA. As Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November, logic dictates that Black Friday is always on the fourth Friday in November (note: unless the first day of November is a Friday, in which case, it’s the fifth Friday)

A little extra background first: The days following Thanksgiving have always been huge sales days where bargain hunters flocked to retail stores. However, the term ‘Black Friday’ wasn’t assimilated into the common vernacular until the early 1960s as a way for the Philadelphia Police Department to describe the horrible conditions they experienced on the day – heavy crowding and traffic jams became a permanent fixture of the day after Thanksgiving.

However, a more romantic notion arose in response to the Philly PD, driven by the merchants in Philadelphian stores. In a time before computers simplified everything, accountants and bookkeepers used to use red ink to denote losses and black ink to denote profit. Thus, in an effort to erase the negative connotations of the term ‘Black Friday’, merchants suggested an alternative definition: That Black Friday referred to them turning a profit, getting out the black ballpoint pen and going ‘into the black’.

In recent years, Black Friday has become notorious because of the stories that filter out via US retailers. Fights, swearing, customers rifling through employee only areas, rioting crowds and people bleeding out on the floor are just a few of them. Over time, stores have become better at controlling the chaos and things have been dramatically toned down but Black Friday is still a massive day on the retail calendar.

When is Black Friday in Australia?

Black Friday is on November 24 in 2017.

Depending on the retail store, some may extended trading hours and open earlier in the morning. We’ll bring you that information closer to the date.

As Thanksgiving falls on a different date every year, Black Friday also has a different date every year. Next year it will fall on November 23.

Why should I care Aaout Black Friday?

Black Friday heralds the beginning of the Christmas shopping period. It’s a time of the year that retailers gear up for and offer some of the best prices on big ticket items in-store. In addition, in the lead up to Black Friday, many online retailers offer impressive discounts, so it’s an opportune time to grab a bargain.

Australians are probably more familiar with Boxing Day sales but Black Friday is slowly becoming a fixture of the Australian calendar. At retail chains across the country, Black Friday hasn’t quite yet reached the level of notoriety that it has in the US, largely because we haven’t watched on as rampaging simps push and bowl each other over in a rush to grab a bargain.

Instead, we’ve largely watched on and taken advantage of Black Friday deals online. With the imminent launch of Amazon Australia just around the corner, we’re likely to continue that tradition but if you’re bargain hunting in store, there are likely to be plenty of one-day deals available.

The best deals for Black Friday 2017

Black Friday is still two weeks away, but you can already find Black Friday deals at places like Kogan and eBay, while other retailers are gearing up for the day.

If you stay tuned to Lifehacker, we’re going to have some pretty extensive coverage of the best deals and places to look on Black Friday this year. We have a pretty good track record of finding deals that Australian consumers are looking for – particularly when it comes to consumer tech, gaming and products for the home. Keep an eye on this post on our homepage!

I missed Black Friday, how can I get a crazy deal?

Never fear! The Monday after Black Friday is also renowned for a startling array of deals and these ones don’t necessarily require you to get off your couch.

Monday November 27 is known as Cyber Monday – a day created back in 2005 to drive people to online sales. Another US-based tradition, Cyber Monday is almost wholly online, meaning that Australians can take advantage of some of the crazy prices.

My product doesn’t ship to Australia. What do I do?

If you’re taking advantage of the online sales but find that the specific store you’re looking at doesn’t offer shipping to Australia, there is a way around it, albeit a (relatively) expensive one.

Australia Post’s ShopMate service is a parcel-forwarding service that lets you shop with an American address. This allows you to ship any products from the US to Australia. Now, the dollar isn’t doing that well at the moment and the glory days of US shopping seem to be over, so it’s unlikely you’ll find many bargains this way but if you’re set on a certain US-only product, this is one way that you can get it shipped over.

There are alternatives though – Shipito, USA2Me and US to Oz all offer similar services with varying prices. Reviews of these companies aren’t all sterling though, so there’s a little Buyer Beware caution here.

Planning for Black Friday

The most important thing to do is ensure that you’re across the deals you’re after before Black Friday rolls around and when that timer ticks down to zero, you’re ready to go. You don’t want to waste time searching for products because the quantities aren’t always guaranteed and once they’ve sold out, they’ve sold out.

I’d also be careful of price-jacking. Start your research early and begin to get a feeling for how much you would usually pay. When the discounts hit on the day you will be much more prepared to throw down, if you know it’s a good deal.

If you’re planning on heading into store, go early. Try not to be a dick in your effort to purchase the latest drone or camera or stick blender. Play nice, don’t punch anyone and let’s all have a great time in the trying time we call Christmas Shopping.

Good luck!

This article first appeared at Lifehacker Australia. See the original here.

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