Black Friday 2016: What is it, when is it and where are the best deals?

The annual bargain bonanza will be here before you know it - get prepped with our handy guide

Black Friday - let the hunt for deals begin!

What once was the domain of bonkers American bargain-hunters is now also an institution over here in Blighty. Black Friday is the greatest shopping event all year, offering almost unbelievable discounts on practically everything.

Of course, it's gadgets we're most interested in, and Black Friday brings gadget deals aplenty. Phones, tablets, TVs, smartwatches, consoles, cameras and more are available from the likes of Amazon, Carphone Warehouse, Richer Sounds, John Lewis, and almost any other shop you can imagine with genuinely huge price reductions.

But to get the very best gadgets at the very best prices you need to be quick and you need to know what you're doing. Luckily, we're here to help, so strap in and get prepared for Black Friday 2016.

What is Black Friday?

Put simply, Black Friday is a day of huge discounts that occurs each year on the day after America's Thanksgiving, which is always on the fourth Thursday of November.

It basically signals the first day for Christmas shopping and, in an attempt to tempt you into their shops rather than those of a rival, retailers in the States (and now all over the world) drop their prices massively.

Where does the name come from? There are conflicting theories, but who really cares about that anyway? Far more important are the deals themselves, which can be pretty staggering. Many are limited in time or stock, though, so being quick is essential. Lucky for you, when the time comes we'll highlight the biggest deals and provide links straight to them to speed up the process for you. You're welcome.

When is Black Friday 2016?

Black Friday 2016 is on Friday 25 November - at least that's the official date. In reality, this is less of a single-day event and more of a week-long discount extravaganza. Amazon even calls it "Black Friday Deals Week" and runs limited-time "Lightning Deals" for ages in the run-up to the 25th.

It doesn't end there, either, with Cyber Monday adding an extra day of online shopping-focused deals. Wearing out that credit card looks like a very real possibility.

But getting the best deals can be a tiring, time-consuming process - many deals start at midnight or the early hours and can be sold out by the time you'd usually get out of bed, so best get your coffee supply topped up in advance.

What should you buy on Black Friday?

Black Friday is a great time to pick up a new TV

Black Friday brings discounts on almost every kind of product, so you can really pick up anything you like. Anyone looking for a 4K TV, PS4 or Xbox One should stay especially alert, as these always see big price reductions during Black Friday.

Smartphones, tablets and camera bargains feature heavily, too. And it's not just hardware - games and Blu-rays also get the Black Friday treatment, making November a great time to bolster your collections or find a great present to give to someone else at Christmas.

Show me the Black Friday bargains!

Enough of the waffle - you want to see the bargains, don't you? Thing is, they're not available yet as it's not November. When the discounts do come along we'll provide links directly to them right here. In the meantime you're welcome to click on the links below to the Black Friday pages of some of our favourite Black Friday shops - just don't expect them to be offering any deals just yet.

Amazon Black Friday deals

Apple Black Friday deals

Argos Black Friday deals

Carphone Warehouse Black Friday deals

Currys Black Friday deals

Game Black Friday deals

John Lewis Black Friday deals

PC World Black Friday deals

Superfi Black Friday deals

Tesco Black Friday deals

Zavvi Black Friday deals

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