Everything You Need To Know About Black Friday In Australia

Everything You Need To Know About Black Friday In Australia
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One of the busiest shopping days of the year is finally upon us. Black Friday is here. More importantly, the bargains are here. Here’s everything you need to know about Black Friday in Australia.

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What Is Black Friday?

Black Friday is a shopping extravaganza that immediately follows Thanksgiving in the USA. As Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November, logic dictates that Black Friday is always on the fourth Friday in November (note: unless the first day of November is a Friday, in which case, it’s the fifth Friday)

A little extra background first: The days following Thanksgiving have always been huge sales days where bargain hunters flocked to retail stores. However, the term ‘Black Friday’ wasn’t assimilated into the common vernacular until the early 1960s as a way for the Philadelphia Police Department to describe the horrible conditions they experienced on the day – heavy crowding and traffic jams became a permanent fixture of the day after Thanksgiving.

However, a more romantic notion arose in response to the Philly PD, driven by the merchants in Philadelphian stores. In a time before computers simplified everything, accountants and bookkeepers used to use red ink to denote losses and black ink to denote profit. Thus, in an effort to erase the negative connotations of the term ‘Black Friday’, merchants suggested an alternative definition: That Black Friday referred to them turning a profit, getting out the black ballpoint pen and going ‘into the black’.

In recent years, Black Friday has become notorious because of the stories that filter out via US retailers. Fights, swearing, customers rifling through employee only areas, rioting crowds and people bleeding out on the floor are just a few of them. Over time, stores have become better at controlling the chaos and things have been dramatically toned down but Black Friday is still a massive day on the retail calendar.

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When Is Black Friday In Australia?

Black Friday is on November 23 in 2018.

Depending on the retail store, some may extended trading hours and open earlier in the morning. We’ll bring you that information closer to the date.

As Thanksgiving falls on a different date every year, Black Friday also has a different date every year. Next year it will fall on November 20.

The Best Deals For Black Friday 2018

Black Friday doesn’t officially kick off until 12am tonight, but you can already find plenty of deals at places like eBay, Catch, Amazon , The Microsoft Store and The Good Guys. (It’s definitely worth clicking on some of these links – Microsoft currently has Surface laptops for under $800 and more than $2000 off Surface Studio desktops, for example.)

If you stay tuned to Lifehacker, we’re going to have some pretty extensive coverage of the best Black Friday deals . We have a pretty good track record of finding bargains that Australian consumers are looking for – particularly when it comes to consumer tech, gaming and products for the home. Keep an eye on this post on our homepage!

Why Should I Care About Black Friday?

Black Friday heralds the beginning of the Christmas shopping period. It’s a time of the year that retailers gear up for and offer some of the best prices on big ticket items in-store. In addition, in the lead up to Black Friday, many online retailers offer impressive discounts, so it’s an opportune time to grab a bargain.

Australians are probably more familiar with Boxing Day sales but Black Friday is slowly becoming a fixture of the Australian calendar. At retail chains across the country, Black Friday hasn’t quite yet reached the level of notoriety that it has in the US, largely because we haven’t watched on as rampaging simps push and bowl each other over in a rush to grab a bargain.

Instead, we’ve largely watched on and taken advantage of Black Friday deals online. With the imminent launch of Amazon Australia just around the corner, we’re likely to continue that tradition but if you’re bargain hunting in store, there are likely to be plenty of one-day deals available.

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What About Amazon?

In the US, Amazon is the one-stop shop for Black Friday deals and has dominated the sale for decades. This year, Amazon Australia will be getting in on the action itself. The deals won’t be appearing until midnight tonight but we were given a sneak peak. Noteworthy deals include an Oculus Rift + Touch Virtual Reality System for $499, 56% off Echo Plus smart speakers with a free Phillips Bulb and big savings on tech like PlayStation consoles and robotic vacuum cleaners.

If you’re planning to pick up some Black Friday bargains, be sure to join Amazon Prime for better shipping rates and exclusive deals. Click here for a free trial.

I Missed Black Friday, How Can I Get A Crazy Deal?

Never fear! The Monday after Black Friday is also renowned for a startling array of deals and these ones don’t necessarily require you to get off your couch.

Monday November 26 is known as Cyber Monday – a day created back in 2005 to drive people to online sales. Another US-based tradition, Cyber Monday is almost wholly online, meaning that Australians can take advantage of some of the crazy prices.

And then there’s the traditional Boxing Day sale which will see hundreds of stores slashing their prices yet again. If you prefer to shop in physical stores as opposed to online, this is the big one.

My Product Doesn’t Ship To Australia. What Do I Do?

If you’re taking advantage of the online sales but find that the specific store you’re looking at doesn’t offer shipping to Australia, there is a way around it, albeit a (relatively) expensive one.

Australia Post’s ShopMate service is a parcel-forwarding service that lets you shop with an American address. This allows you to ship any products from the US to Australia. Now, the dollar isn’t doing that well at the moment and the glory days of US shopping seem to be over, so it’s unlikely you’ll find many bargains this way but if you’re set on a certain US-only product, this is one way that you can get it shipped over.

There are alternatives though – Shipito, USA2Me and US to Oz all offer similar services with varying prices. Reviews of these companies aren’t all sterling though, so there’s a little Buyer Beware caution here.

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Planning For Black Friday

The most important thing to do is ensure that you’re across the deals you’re after before Black Friday rolls around and when that timer ticks down to zero, you’re ready to go. You don’t want to waste time searching for products because the quantities aren’t always guaranteed and once they’ve sold out, they’ve sold out.

I’d also be careful of price-jacking. Start your research early and begin to get a feeling for how much you would usually pay. When the discounts hit on the day you will be much more prepared to throw down, if you know it’s a good deal.

If you’re planning on heading into store, go early. Try not to be a dick in your effort to purchase the latest drone or camera or stick blender. Play nice, don’t punch anyone and let’s all have a great time in the trying time we call Christmas Shopping.

Good luck!


  • As Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November, logic dictates that Black Friday is always on the fourth Friday in November.

    The exception is that when the 1st November is a Friday, the day after Thanksgiving (28th) is the 5th Friday (29th).

    • I suggest you go read the article again. It’s talking about making use of the US sales, and about how nowadays Australia has Black Friday sales (which are on the same day as the US). Nowhere does it say Australia celebrates Thanksgiving, the only relevance of that is about determining the Black Friday date.

      • I love that you explained it for me even though you didn’t get it.

        Black Friday takes place the day after thanksgiving.

        If there is no thanksgiving, there is no Black Friday.

        There is no Thanksgiving in Australia.

        • I love that you replied even though you used faulty logic.

          Black Friday traditionally follows Thanksgiving, but even if there isn’t a Thanksgiving celebration that doesn’t mean that retailers won’t use it as an excuse to have a nationwide sale with the same name and date as its American counterpart.

          Do you really require that it be “official” in order for it to happen? Black Friday isn’t even a federal holiday in the USA but *shock* their retailers still want a big sale event before Christmas rolls around. One could even argue that its proximity to Christmas is more important than Thanksgiving – I’m sure retailers themselves would find that is true; what has Thanksgiving got to do with a big sale event? Not much, but it’s right before the most important retail period. It’s just a convenient excuse that there is a holiday nearby.

          So to correct your premises and conclusion:
          Black Friday takes place the day after Thanksgiving in the USA.
          Black Friday is designed to trick Americans into spending more leading up to the Christmas period.
          If retailers in Australia want to trick people into buying more leading up to the Christmas period, they can adopt a popular sale event from the USA.
          There is then a Black Friday event in Australia.

    • @jaded, i completely understand your point. i’m 46 and whilst it is no longer surprising, the memetic transfer from the usa to here really saddens me.

      over the course of my life i have watched our population morph into an american tv show. whilst growing up in the bush with no tv and therefore the small school similarly populated, he didn’t- but my own son now sprouts american vernacular all the time to which he gets replies like- “see, in Australia, we say every SECOND day” etc. cue eye-rolls. full-body cringe when i hear “candy”. i can only attribute this to now being in a city and rubbing shoulders with kids and teachers who have already imitated the american culture.

      i think this is the first year i have noticed “black friday” all over my spam folder, which sent me to google, which led me here. it is incredible how quickly we adopt this crap, but spend years arguing the validity of climate science.

      it seems the majority don’t care about the loss of our own unique bent on english language and it’s associated attitudes and values, that i now think of as the old australia.

  • First thing you need to know about Black Friday in Australia…


    All the deals are online in the USA and many of them will not ship to Australia anyway, so this is a crap click-bait story.

    • Mate. If the stores have a ‘black friday’ sale in Australia, then Australia has black friday.

      You can argue til the cows come home whether we SHOULD, given that we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but that’s not going to stop the fact that there are fucking Black Friday signs up in stores, discounts on offer, and maybe that’s something worth paying attention to.

      The article is NOT a crap click-bait story, but rather is very concise and useful to Australians who haven’t been exposed to a US-centric activity and are thus confused by its intrusion into Australian retail.

      It explains where the event comes from, and how what the US does relates to Australians, and how Australian retailers are jumping on board.

      These are useful things for an Australian audience to know.

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