While originally an American concept celebrating a bargain-filled day following Thanksgiving, Black Friday has jumped its way across the Pacific and taken hold of Aussie shoppers. As with our Boxing Day equivalent, Black Friday lures in shoppers with one off deals, and offers our retailers a serious boost in an otherwise unremarkable month. But before you mark the date in your calendar (Friday November 26th this year), let’s look at where it all began, how we predict it’s going to pan out for 2021, and most importantly, where to find the best deals and what to avoid.


The lowdown on Black Friday

Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the United States, but where did it all begin? It’s believed the Philadelphia Police Department originally coined the phrase back in the early 1960s to describe the mayhem, traffic accidents and sometimes even violence that occurred in the downtown area, as so many people went out to shop post-Thanksgiving. While it originally had negative connotations, US retailers jumped on one of their most profitable days of the year and used the name to align with moving their revenue out of the red and into the black (or profit). Today, the term is synonymous with huge discounts, big sales, and general shopping hype. Black Friday has now become a retail institution in Australia (minus the turkey) and provided a much-needed 80% leap year on year for sales in 2020.


The addition of Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday has transformed Black Friday into a 4-day shopping bonanza, with the addition of online only sales promoted on the Monday following Black Friday. Originally debuting in America in 2005, Cyber Monday provides a way for smaller retail websites to compete with the big guys – with exclusive offers in place for one day only. In the past few years, Cyber Monday has surpassed Black Friday as the biggest annual shopping event. In 2019, it racked up US $9.4 billion versus Black Friday’s US $7.4 billion.


Predictions for 2021

While some Aussie retailers have chosen to opt-out for ethical reasons, every prediction we’ve seen has pegged this year’s event to be the biggest yet. For some retailers, it may even determine their fate as we head towards the end of another challenging year. So how much money are we talking? According to the National Retailers Association, predictions are set to hit over $5 billion across the long weekend from Black Friday to Cyber Monday. Of this amount, close to $2 billion is expected to be spent online.


Black Friday online shopping


Where to find the hottest deals in Australia

Retailers have traditionally kept things under wraps until the big event, however, last year we saw deals launch much earlier, and online, in response to the global pandemic. This year is likely to be a similar story, and if last year’s deals were anything to go by there will be plenty of bargains to be added to your cart! Deals across every category – from tyres to technology – are likely to be available, so if you’ve been waiting to make a substantial purchase it’s a great time to shop around for a deal. In 2020, fashion, furniture and health and fitness products were all heavily discounted at major retailers like Harvey NormanCatchFreedom, The ICONICeBay and Amazon. To see this year’s early deals head here.


How to score the best sales this Black Friday?

The trick with any shopping event is to try and not get swept up in the psychology of the sales. Often, it’s the hype of getting a good deal and the fear of missing out that get our blood pumping and credit cards swiping, but often, buyers’ remorse will hit. In fact, 64% of Americans regretted buying a sale item according to Finder’s Black Friday Shopping Report.


So how do you shop like a pro? Here are our top six tips:


  1. Start with a plan – let’s face it, you’re bound to stumble upon something you want to buy, but by starting with your shopping list, you’ll stay focussed on the things you really need.
  1. Do your research – following on from that, there’s no use grabbing a bargain if the product is no good. Sales often see shoppers battling over items that they either don’t really need or are being cleared for a reason. Keep in mind that a bad product is a bad deal no matter how cheap it is.
  1. Bring a thrifty friend – having someone to keep you in check adds a valuable layer of reckoning when it comes to avoiding impulse purchases that you don’t really need.
  1. Avoid shopping momentum – we can all get caught up in the thrill of scoring a bargain. The best way to tackle this is to avoid adding impulse items to your basket. It’s often these little things, as you approach the counter that trigger an all-out splurge. Pressure tactics like “only a few left” and “selling fast” are also designed to tempt you to make a purchase – your thrifty friend should save you here.
  1. Look at the price, not the savings – different retailers have different pricing structures, so even at 50% off in one store, you may get a better deal elsewhere.
  2. Beware of scams – with the growth of online shopping comes an increased risk of falling prey to online scammers. From fake online stores created on social media to ‘too good to be true’ offers coming in via email and identity theft, it pays to make sure you’re purchasing from a reputable store. Check and verify their contact information, and preferably shop with retailers that have a local presence.


Ready to get involved?

If you need retail or commercial space to get prepared for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, call your local First National Real Estate office for commercial or retail property advice today.


Black Friday shop employee


While we hope you find this information helpful, please note that it is general in nature. While we may mention goods or services provided by others, we are not specifically endorsing them and can’t accept responsibility for them. For these reasons, we are unable to accept responsibility for any loss that may be sustained from acting on this information.



The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.