You know what? It’s been that kind of a year. Normally, I’d be giving out about the Christmas trees going up the morning after Halloween but screw it. Go on and enjoy yourselves. Leave it up until the middle of March if you want an all. 2020 has been proof that time is just a construct we all agree to live within so let’s break all the rules. One thing that’s appearing nice and early this year is the Black Friday sales. It’s welcome news for people who have lost jobs, lost wages or maybe even just need a little treat. Here’s our guide to shopping during Ireland’s Black Friday sales in 2020.
What Is Black Friday?
There are a few yarns going around as to where the term “Black Friday” came from. One of the nicest ideas is that retailers make so much money from dropping prices during this period that their sales reports go from being “in the red” to being “in the black”. Alas, that’s absolutely not true. Black Friday sales often see retailers trading at a loss. Retailers see record numbers of returns from people who panic buy and other retailers refuse to partake in the sales promotion at all.
The real origins of “Black Friday” go back to 1869 when two investors played the markets and drove the price of gold so high it caused a crash. Foreign trade stopped and farmers suffered from a 50% drop in their crop values. In more recent times, the term “Black Friday” was used to describe a thanksgiving day game of American football which was followed by large droves of people going shopping afterward.
Come the late eighties “Black Friday” simply referred to the last day of November where shoppers sought bargains and retailers fought for their attention and money. Today, it’s the biggest shopping day of the year even though personally, I don’t remember hearing much about it for most of my own life. In fact, if you look at the Google Trends data you can see steady growth since the turn of the 21st century.
That’s just looking at data from the US. Looking at Ireland shows an even later rise in public interest for “Black Friday”.
I’m not sure if it’s the case for America or not, but in Ireland the last day of November isn’t the only day we’re seeking out bargains. “Black Friday” has in fact turned into a month-long sales event for many retailers, but with a global pandemic taking place, will there even be a Black Friday sale this year?
Will There Be A Black Friday Sale In 2020?
In 2020, not even a global pandemic can see the public interest in Black Friday quietened. In fact, given the year people have had it could be the busiest yet with the bigger difference being a shift towards buying online instead of visiting stores. Some retailers have already appeared with their Black Friday offerings and I’ll run through those a little later.
Is Black Friday Dangerous?
This really comes down to what do you mean by “dangerous”. You could joke and say the furore is “dangerous”. As in, I bought a drill on Black Friday that I didn’t use for a year. Physically, Black Friday can be very dangerous. I normal times, people have been injured or gotten into brawls in stores during stampedes to grab bargains. This year shopping in person would bring a new danger because of the COVID-19 pandemic though most retailers in Ireland will be very limited in how they can sell during this period. Then there’s the retailers themselves.
Black Friday sales have divided retailers in the past. Many look through rose tinted glasses and believe the sales event is a god send for retailers but the truth is that it’s a race to the bottom. Customers aren’t generally spending more but instead shifting their Christmas shopping spend from December to November and retailers, in a race to meet sales expectations, are killing their own margins. Getting the balance wrong between sales and profits poses a unique danger to retailers too.
To a certain extent, as a shopper, this isn’t your problem. I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over nabbing a bargain online this year if you spot it. What I would recommend is, where possible, shop local and support your local businesses. All you can do is trust that your local retailers are selling at a price which will keep them afloat.
2020 Black Friday Sales In Ireland
And not we get to the actual bargains to be had in the 2020 Black Friday sales in Ireland. I’ve done some research to find the below but if you are or know of an Irish retailer I’ve missed then drop me a DM on Twitter and I’ll add more retailers as we go.
Harvey Norman Black Friday Sale
Every year without fail, Harvey Norman swaps their website over to the dark vibes of that Black Friday sale. The exciting thing about the Harvey Norman sale is the simple fact they have so much cool stuff. Right now, Harvey Norman is in Christmas mode. This is another trend of 2020 where Christmas shopping has been pulled dramatically forward due to the pandemic. People are shopping earlier than ever because of shortages in fund and fear that stores will close completely.
One thing that Harvey Norman does which I absolutely despise is engendering gifts. I’ll admit we used to do this with our Christmas guide a few years back but it really is ridiculous. Basically, Harvey Norman is categorising gift ideas into groups like “Gifts for Him” and “Gifts for Her“. In their defense, people do search like this and their gifts are somewhat neutral. At the same time, they do classify the Dyson Supersonic hairdryer as a “Gift for Her” which I personally would love.
Anyway, you can browse their Christmas section right now and it looks like their Black Friday pages are just place holder for now. Even though they are lovely wine glasses.
Black Friday At D.I.D Electrical
D.I.D’s sale is underway and promises up to 70% off appliances, TV’s, laptops, tablets, audio, smart home and more. Like Harvey Norman, D.I.D’s website is currently showing the signs of Christmas more than anything else with Black Friday pages seemingly more place holder than anything else.
There are some deals to be found on their Weekly Deals pages. D.I.D rather frustratingly also has sections dedicated to “Gifts for Him” and “Gifts for Her”. I have a pro shopping tip for all our readers out there who are shopping for a “Gift for Her”. A 1.6-litre Soup Maker isn’t always the worst choice. But it nearly always is. I’ll come to D.I.D’s defense here and hold them up as a hero of equality as they’ve also included this simply awful gift idea in the “Gifts for Him” section too.
Don’t let my jibes and jokes get in the way. D.I.D does have some great deals to splurge on so take a look.
Boots Black Friday Deals
Boots loves a good sales event and Black Friday of 2020 seems to be no different. I believe that has a pharmacy Boots will be completely open like normal and offering buckets of deals on a range of products. You can check them out already and if you need an electric toothbrush, Boots might be the very place to get one.
Virgin Media Black Friday Deals
Starting this Thursday, November 12 until November 30, customers signing up to a new TV and broadband bundle will get themselves a free Philips TAPB400 Bluetooth Sound Bar with Google assistant which would usually set you back €179.
Virgin Mobile is also going on offer with a 6-month offer on Unlimited Mobile for just €5 a month. It rises to €25 a month thereafter. Be sure to check out how that stacks up versus the rest of the market as things are getting pretty competitive out there.
Amazon’s Irish Black Friday Deals
Right, so I get that some people are literally feeling a kind of shame when the courier outside your gaff hands you the box for an Amazon order. I’ve said it numerous times than if you can please shop local. But also shop sensible. Check Amazon.co.uk when you’re shopping online this year because you could save a fortune and spend your savings with Irish retailers. You can support local business while also looking after your own wallet you know.
Amazon.co.uk is looking at Ireland very differently lately. Their Black Friday sale ad on TV used an Irish voice-over artist, at least for the Irish market. Amazon has opened a Dublin distribution centre and confirmed to Goosed.ie that this isn’t a test but instead is part of a long-term strategy to expand in Ireland.
Amazon stocks nearly everything imaginable and they’ll be running one of the longest Black Friday sales you’ll find.
I hear you. What’s this got to do with tech? Well, I used to work in an office that had Araya and her team regularly come in for back rubs. I call them back rubs but really it felt like a back realignment and it was the most amazing stress relief you could have during your workday. As many of us work from home and are slowly getting home offices put together, I bet there’s plenty of you feeling like you could do with a back massage. And just like that, I’ve made this Black Friday deal super relevant!
Araya’s Leopardstown-based beauty salon specialises in lots of stuff like micro-blading and eyelash extensions, but like I said it’s all about the traditional massage treatments for me.
You can imagine that businesses like this have had a tough time of it and this is one I can give a first-hand recommendation for as being deserving of your support. To give something back to their clients while the salon is closed throughout the pandemic, the Araya Beauty crew are offering 15% extra free on top of all gift card purchases between now and Friday, November 27th.
When you think about it, this is a perfect Christmas gift idea. Buy someone a massage. Buy yourself a massage!
Kind of similar to Araya Beauty, this isn’t something you’d often find on a tech site. Active Iron are an Irish-owned supplement company that offer a number of products such as their easily absorbed Iron Supplement, B Vitamin Complex, Pregnancy Range and Immune Supplements. Two things why I’m recommending these guys.
- They’re Irish-owned
- We should all give energy levels and health a thought
Active Iron’s Black Friday Special is buy one get one month free on all products across their website. You just need to add the code AIMONDAY when going through the checkout and they’ll add an extra month’s supply to your order for free!
Uncertainty remains, but with news of vaccines and general hope, some of you might be plotting what lies down the road. Irish-based European camping booking specialists Campsited are offering up to 72% off their French camping holidays starting today with special offers and discounts running right through to Summer 2021.
Book your stay at top campsites throughout Vendée, Provence, Bretagne and the whole of France and save when you book online.
Smyths Toys Superstores
Smyths was getting queues in early this year but if you can shop safely online this year and save a few bob, why not go for it. The popular retailer has offers on a huge range of toys, from L.O.L. Surprise! dolls to Marvel action figures though it is unlikely the elusive Playstation 5 will appear this side of Christmas.
The Smyths Black Friday special offers include action figures and dolls, arts and crafts, fun-filled playsets and more. Shop preschool toys for tots, gadgets for gamers and everything in between. As Smyths will be rammed from the day stores re-open till Christmas, now’s your chance to get in online ahead of the rush and find the perfect gifts.
This is the kind of thing I love. I’ve reviewed some sustainable masks already and some super comfy masks too. Rashr is on a mission to reclaim our oceans by removing as much plastic waste as we can and recycling it into something new. In response to COVID-19, they’re producing face masks made out of recycled ocean plastic. The face masks come in adult and children’s sizes with a range of ocean themes.
Rashr’s Black Friday deal is sitewide with 20% off all masks and activewear. Use the discount code Rashr20 at checkout to receive 20% off your purchase.
The Sweater Shop
If I had to find a tech tangent here it would be the amazing story of how Paddy Cosgrave thought the prices of his Web Summit jumpers were in any way justified. The Sweater Shop is another great gift idea coming into Christmas or a nice treat for yourself. Nothing beats working from home in cosy clothes as my new sweatpant collection suggests.
The Sweater Shop is offering up to 50% off across selected stock on their website, including premium-quality Irish Fisherman Jumpers, Cardigans, Aran Knitwear and generally perfect gifts from Ireland at a great price. Buying Irish is pretty popular too right now so this is win-win.
Apps And Services On Sales For Black Friday
There’s more to Black Friday than getting physically items shipping to your gaff. Plenty of online services will offer massive discounts on annual memberships. I’m still waiting to see who drops their price but here are some of the online services I’d be keeping a particularly close eye on:
- 1Password: Whether it’s mobile or a new laptop, this is the first thing I install
- Babel: Want to learn a language? This is the kind of subscription that goes cheap on Black Friday
- Blinkist: Consume entire books in 15 minute audio shorts
- Grammarly: This is usually the second or third thing I install on laptops because it stops me sounding like a two year old
- LastPass: I used to use this but now opt for 1Password
- VPN: NordVPN, Windscribe et al. There’s countless VPNs out there and I’m sure there’s going to be loads on sale this Black Friday
Here are some that I’ve confirmed already.
Protect your laptops, mobiles and tablets from viruses and malware with Bitdefender. This software will also let you track stolen or lost devices. I’ve been personally using this for a few months now and I love it. It’s among the first apps I install on new machines.
I’m going to keep an eye on things appearing over the coming weeks and update this article. When it’s particularly juicy I’ll hit the push notification so if you’re into the offers and the shopping hit that little bell button on the bottom right of the page.
Between hiding your online behaviour and accessing geo-restricted content, having a VPN is always handy. It’s even better if you grab it during Black Friday at a great price. Express VPN is offering 49% off their service when you buy
Black Friday: Frequently Asked Questions
Black Friday 2020 will fall on Friday 27 November.
While lots of events have been cancelled by COVID-19 nothing can stop Black Friday. In fact, if you look around online you’ll already find retailers selling with massive discounts. The big change this year will be online shopping taking over from physical retail.
While Black Friday started out in America today it’s truly global. Using Google Trends data we can see that Black Friday has grown massively in popularity in Ireland since 2014 and continues to do so.
Once upon a time, the answer was 9am on the last Friday of November. Then midnight openings started and retailers started to creep earlier and earlier with their Black Friday sales. Today, the Black Friday sale can start as early as November 1st.
Cyber Monday is the Monday which immediately follows Black Friday. With many couriers not shipping on Fridays, retailers use their online channels to clear through excess stock which they couldn’t shift on Black Friday. Because shipping returns to normal on Mondays, retailers tend to reduce products even further and sell them off on Cyber Monday.
It’s impossible to know. Some really popular items won’t last that long and when they come back into stock they could be full price again. The best thing to do is ask yourself what you’re willing to pay for something instead of constantly chasing the cheapest price.
Yes, of course it is ok to shop with Amazon. With COVID-19 we do encourage you to shop local and if you do shop online try to shop with local Irish websites. If you can’t find what you’re looking for it’s always ok to turn to Amazon.co.uk.