Black Friday, the start of the holiday shopping season, falls on November 24 this year. However you’d be forgiven for thinking the whole thing has started already, with many shops running “Black Friday” sales way in advance of the actual date. You can find some decent deals right now, but in general, the best deals come on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. So ultimately, it's better to wait it out—it's just a little under two weeks away.
However, good deals can depend on the retailer. On Amazon you’ll find deals from now up until midnight on November 24. There are some which are not time limited, meaning they’ll be the price they are now until the end of Black Friday, or until the stock runs out. Of course, Amazon also has Daily Deals which are ever-changing, and also the Lightning Deals which last for an even shorter amount of time. These are probably where you’ll find the biggest discounts, and it’s tough to say whether the items in these sales will get any cheaper or more expensive as the next couple of weeks continue. Smaller Amazon Marketplace sellers will also be running their own deals, probably closer to the actual day.
When it comes to other retailers, you should start comparing the current deal price with the leaked Black Friday ads which have been hitting the Internet recently. Again, it depends on where you go, but many places currently have discounts which will actually turn into much greater discounts when Black Friday rolls around. You might be led into thinking Black Friday is the best day of the year to get your deals, but that’s not strictly true. Often you’ll see equivalent, or even better deals throughout the year. So do remember that while you will see great discounts over the coming weeks, it is still a marketing ploy.
It is also worth bearing in mind that many retailers have been ever so slowly raising prices on their stock over the past few weeks in preparation for Black Friday. A deal which might look good now may have been barely a saving a few weeks ago. A price tracking website like CamelCamelCamel is good for figuring out the price history of whatever item you want (PC Part Picker and TheTracktor are good too). If you’re seeing a 20 percent discount on something which was actually just that cheap last month, it’s probably worth waiting to see if the price will drop further. If it doesn’t, the price will probably naturally drop back down to that price soon anyway.
As always, be careful with your money and only purchase something if you feel it’s absolutely worth it. Keep an eye on PC Gamer and other websites as we’ll be tracking the best deals just like you. Our friends at TechRadar will be collecting consumer electronics deals, while our pals over at GamesRadar will have their finger on the pulse of videogame and console deals. This time of year is tricky, as you can occasionally get burned when buying something only to see it become even cheaper a few days later. But if you find a killer deal and can justify the purchase, then there’s really no need to wait until Black Friday itself.