Once again the goliath of Black Friday is approaching and we’re getting set for yet another extended deals extravaganza. As we’re only a matter of months away it’s time to deliver our predictions for Black Friday 2021.
On this page, we’ve been thinking about how the mega sales event will play out this year, what bargains could be found last year and what kind of offers we expect to see on some of the most popular products over Black Friday 2021. Use it as a way to prepare yourself as best as possible for the yearly shopping spree.
Black Friday will start even earlier and run even longer
Long gone are the days when Black Friday lasted for just the 24 hours of the day itself. In recent years, it’s expanded from a single day event to a full week – and now it feels like it essentially lasts a full month. This has happened for multiple reasons.
The first is that interest in Black Friday usually starts to build from the end of October to early November. During this time wannabe buyers start looking into the big ticket items they want to buy this year, how much something currently costs and where the best places are to shop.
Why make folks wait another few weeks, then, if they’re already fixed on making a purchase today? And that’s why the offers will start as soon as possible in 2021. On top of that, if sales start earlier then retailers are already getting eyeballs on their online stores before anyone else.
Ads from major retailers will likely appear from early November with deals that are staggered over the following weeks. Buyers will be encouraged to keep returning day after day to see what latest offers are up for grabs.
A wait and see approach has usually been encouraged over Black Friday as the better deals have regularly debuted on the day itself. That might not be the case this year with such an expanded sales period.
Looking at last year’s US sales data from Adobe, it shows that the most significant price drops occurred at the start of Thanksgiving week. Discounts in popular product categories such as computers reached up to 29% from the Monday, showing you’ve got a larger window that ever to snag a bargain.
On the other hand, the discounts in key product categories in the weeks prior averaged around the 10% mark. So, while those early offers in the start of the month can be tempting, it seems the week of Black Friday is when you’ll want to start adding things to your cart.
The next reason we’ll see a longer Black Friday is due to the ongoing ramifications of COVID-19. Last year we saw retailers adjust as disruptions to supply chains and delivery delays meant a substantially large increase in sales over such a small period of time would have be difficult to manage. It’s one of the reasons why we saw Amazon Prime Day delayed to October in 2020.
While the situation is improving, it would be naive to suggest that the world isn’t still feeling the effects. And that’s why many major stores in the US have confirmed they will be shut for Thanksgiving.
Health concerns are still a major driving force behind this decision as retailers still want to discourage large crowds from gathering in store. It also feels like it was about time the chaos of Black Friday doorbusters were a thing of the past.
Clips featuring hordes of ravenous shoppers showing a complete disregard for the safety of each other and staff by fighting through the crowd to get a cheap TV were not a pleasant sight at the best of times, even moreso during a pandemic. Sensibly, stores have almost completely curtailed this by shutting on Thanksgiving and making online an even bigger focus of their Black Friday sales.
Cyber Monday will still be strong to capitalise on last-minute spending
But what about the tail end of the sale? Well, we already know that Cyber Monday brings another big boost a few days after the main event. More recently, though, this has been drawn out for the full week following Black Friday to encourage any last minute sales.
In fact, last year we saw that consumers spent more in the days after Cyber Monday than expected, according to Adobe. This suggests that, as deals were available over a much longer period of time, people wanted to make sure no other larger discounts were available at the last minute.
You don’t want to hold off for too long, though, as the further into December you go the more prices start to return to normal levels. Keep an eye on this page so you don’t miss out on all the best Cyber Monday deals that are available in 2021.
4K TV prices will fall even lower
Every year, TVs are one of the hottest items during the Black Friday sales. Retailers will usually feature one standout offer to get a buyer’s attention, but there’s often more to see beyond the headline announcement.
Although the size of the screen or surprisingly low price will usually draw your eye, you’ll want to avoid pulling the trigger on a purchase immediately before researching a little into the make and model on offer. A low price can sometimes mean a cheap and poorly made product.
You may need to be willing to part with a bit of extra cash, but it’ll be worth it to get a high-quality model that’ll do justice to whatever you’re watching at home.
Premium sets from Samsung, LG and Sony are regularly the most sought-after, while more budget friendly options from the likes of Hisense, TCL and Toshiba are strong sellers too.
The most interesting Black Friday TV deals should be found on OLED and QLED TVs for those with the cash to splash. There were strong offers on these last year with the lowest ever prices on the Samsung Q70T in the US and the LG BX in the UK. Another year on and these could be even less in 2021, especially as the latest models including the LG C1 and Sony A90J are now more sought-after and could drive bigger discounts on older stock.
We’ll be keeping an especially close eye on TVs with HDMI 2.1 support as these are the ones that are able to take full advantage of the PS5 and Xbox Series X to play supported games in 4K at 120fps. A perfect pairing for those lucky enough to own one of these consoles already. Speaking of that…
PS5 and Xbox Series X won’t be reduced – but there should be a restock
It’s still a struggle to find the PS5 or Xbox Series X in stock even a year on from launch. We don’t expect that situation to change much by Black Friday. With that in mind, it’s extremely unlikely that we’ll see any offers or bundle deals on Sony and Microsoft’s latest consoles in 2021.
Instead, what we might see is retailers holding off on releasing PS5 and Xbox Series X stock in order to capitalise on the spending spree once Black Friday is underway.
We actually saw this last year, with the likes of Walmart and Best Buy including announcements of PS5 and Xbox Series X restocks in their Black Friday ads. These stores even put it down to the exact time when you would be able to make a purchase. Naturally, you had to be lucky to successfully navigate each struggling site within a matter of seconds to secure an order for either console, but the opportunity was there.
Even though millions of consoles have been sold over the last year, chances are the experience of trying to buy a PS5 or Xbox Series X will be very similar over Black Friday 2021 – especially as both will be even more in demand for the holidays.
You can always bookmark our hubs dedicated to all the PS5 Black Friday deals and Xbox Series X Black Friday deals we come across this year to make sure you catch any restocks and the few bargains we expect to see.
Nintendo Switch might get its best Black Friday discount yet
A regular favorite over Black Friday, the Nintendo Switch is in an interesting place this year. With the console still selling so well – especially after the boost it received as folks looked for more home entertainment during lockdown last year – Nintendo has traditionally had very little reason to significantly discount the Switch for Black Friday 2021.
Nintendo usually announces its Black Friday bundle in the weeks running up to the event so you’ll know what to look out for at retailers. In the past two years in the US, it’s been a Nintendo Switch with Mario Kart 8 and 3 Months Switch Online for $299.99.
We’ve also seen Nintendo hold off for Cyber Monday to launch their best Switch offer. This happened in the UK with a similar bundle to the US and threw everyone for a loop who had been scouring the net for bargain over Black Friday, only for a better one to appear immediately after.
That could change this year, though, with the introduction of the new Nintendo Switch OLED. Set to launch in October, it’s due to become the defacto Switch model and should eventually replace the existing one that’s been available for the last few years.
Now, whether that encourages Nintendo or retailers to discount the existing Switch model in order to clear stock remains to be seen. At worst, we should get a bundle that’s at least in line with what’s been on offer in recent years. Still, with the biggest shake up to the Switch market in years upon us, a bigger price drop and the best Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals we’ve ever seen should be considered a strong possibility.
Another thing to keep an eye on is the Switch Lite – a range that is still expanding all the time with new colour variations. Nintendo has done more to push this model in recent Black Friday sales with more substantial price cuts and exclusive bundles featuring Animal Crossing: New Horizons and a Switch Online Membership. This was very popular in the UK last year when it fell to around the £200, a price you’d normally be expected to pay for just the Switch Lite console by itself.
New tech could encourage some terrific laptop deals
It’s clear that the demand for Black Friday laptop deals is going to remain strong in 2021 as it was one of the top three most popular searches during last year’s sale,
2020 was such a big year for new computing tech – with the likes of the Apple M1 chip and Nvidia GTX 3000 series GPUs – so many will be hoping for discounts on devices featuring these components.
Starting with the latest M1 Apple Macbook Pro, we’ve already seen a small price drop on it and the Air model since launch. However, Black Friday could be the chance for something even more eye-catching the premium model, with the 14 and 16-inch versions potentially on the shelves.
Meanwhile, the chip shortage has meant stock issues and scalping has plagued the launch of the latest GTX 3000 series graphics cards. The situation has not completely improved yet, but we’re expecting many Black Friday gaming laptop deals with these GPUs already built-in. It will be the best way to get one as opposed to trying to secure a card by itself in the very limited restocks.
Other specs to look out for in these Windows machines include the more recent 10th or 11th generation Intel CPUs, superfast SSD storage and at least 8GB of RAM to ensure it can handle many tasks effectively and efficiently. Many laptops with these solid 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD configurations have dropped in price with the lessening demand over the last year.
Of course, there’s lots to consider with a laptop deal depending on what you need it for and how much money you’re willing to spend. At the lower end of the scale, we’re expecting there to be some stellar Chromebook offers. We’ve seen devices with larger 64GB storage or 2-in-1 models fall considerably in price over recent months as demand has settled. This could potentially usher in some even better bargains over Black Friday.
Older headphones and earbuds will provide the best value for money
While many places have embraced a more hybrid work schedule, the days of regular commuting have returned for many. Whether you’re on the way to work or in a particularly lively office, you’ll quickly discover the benefits of some noise-cancelling headphones or earbuds.
Of course, earbuds have become increasingly popular in recent years as sound quality, noise-cancellation and portability have all improved. The Apple Airpods Pro was a top item last year – especially in the US – where all the main retailers jumped on a major discount to $169.
Meanwhile, audiophiles will perhaps be more inclined to pick up some new headphones given they will generally offer better sound quality and more superior noise cancelling due to their over ear design. Ones to look out for include the Sony XM4s and Bose 700 as these are two of the best noise-cancelling headphones currently available.
That said, the older Sony XM3s and Bose QuietComfort 35 II are both still very capable sets of headphones that have already seen sharp discounts of around $100/£150 throughout the year. Expect to see these discounts return – and perhaps be reduced further – if you want to get the best bargain.
It’s not just a two horse race, though, as other manufacturers such as Jabra, Sennheiser and Anker are starting to muscle in as well with quality earbuds and headphones at even more affordable prices. You could save yourself even more money here and still come away with some terrific tech as part of this year’s Black Friday headphone deals.
Trade-ins will be the best way to save on a new phone for Black Friday
Last year the US saw some terrific Black Friday phone deals when you traded in old devices. With these, you could hand in your old device at Verizon to save $700 on a new iPhone 12 – plus get an extra $400 in bonus savings if you were switching from another carrier to an unlimited line.
In terms of unlocked phones, the better offers were found on the Galaxy S20 and Google Pixel 5. With new phone models released over the last 12 months, though, some of these could be put in the spotlight during Black Friday 2021.
Meanwhile, in the UK, having an old device to trade in could effectively wipe out the upfront cost of a new phone during Black Friday. We’ve already seen it this year with an offer from EE that took £500 off the price of the Samsung Galaxy S21 when you traded in any phone, making the upfront cost completely free.
Networks in the UK are still handing out data like candy with many contracts that include unlimited 5G data – or at least hundreds of gigabytes that would be a challenge to spend each month. If you already have a device, then you should be able to find a SIM-only deal with unlimited data for its lowest price ever.
It’ll be interesting to see if any seek to capitalise on the growing interest in Xbox Cloud Gaming, which is now available across Android and iOS devices. EE is already offering a monthly £10 add-on that includes Game Pass Ultimate membership and unlimited data for game streaming at no extra cost. The service is still in its infancy with a few technical hiccups but there’s a lot of promise for those interested in a console gaming experience on the go.
And that about covers our Black Friday predictions for the major tech categories this year. Hopefully, all this information has been useful is providing you with some early insights so you’re prepared as best as possible for later this year.
Of course, we’ll continue to monitor all the latest news surrounding Black Friday 2021 over the coming months and will be on hand to bring you all the best offers once the sales get underway this November.