Are pre-Black Friday deals any good?

Some retailers have started discounts already, but are they worth it?

Image credit: Digital Spy

Black Friday, the start of the holiday shopping season, falls on November 25 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. Most of them are running at least a few days of extra deals, spilling over onto Cyber Monday, and you can get stuff on sale at some sites even now. Amazon’s Black Friday shopping page is up already with discounts on all sorts of items, and the various retailers’ deals for the actual day itself are leaking out early. 

With seemingly the entirety of November now dedicated to getting stuff cheaper, you might be tempted to dive into the deals right now. But should you? Are these pre-Black Friday deals any good, or should you wait for the day after Thanksgiving? 

Black Friday 2016

Check out our Black Friday hub for an ongoing list of the best deals this year.  

In general, it depends on the retailer. On Amazon you’ll find deals from now up until midnight on November 25. 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. 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. 

We recommend