The temperatures have plunged, the city lights have been turned on, and people are just about able to mention the C-word – the time for Christmas shopping is definitely upon us.
And while the Black Friday phenomenon is still a relatively new one for retailers here, the discount sales are set to go down a treat with Irish shoppers who have begun to rely on the November 25 bargains for their gift-buying.
But like that one house on your road that has already put up their decorations, some retailers are more eager than other to bring their sales to the public waiting to part with their cash – and the one-day flash sales have become more of a two-week bargain hunt.
Whether you plan to trawl the streets to pick up the perfect present for your nearest and dearest, or will be flicking through the online stores from the comfort of your own couch, we give you all the information you need to know.
Amazon – kicked off the Black Friday sale last Monday (November 14) and plan to have thousands of products with up to 50pc off until midnight this Friday, November 25.
Argos – opened its pre-Christmas sales campaign on November 18 and it is set to run for a full 13 days (until December 1). The store states: “Our Black Friday event offers won’t go lower on Black Friday at Argos, or we’ll refund the difference.
Arnotts – have stated that they are not going to have an official Black Friday sale but have advised customers to keep an eye on their social pages for details about their upcoming ‘Mega Event’ this week.
Asos – have been remaining tight lipped on what exact deals will be offered come Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) but they have been “warming up” ahead of the date itself with discounts of up to 50pc on selected items all this week.
Aer Lingus – advertising €50 off round trips to all of their North American destinations, including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Toronto, all week.
Brown Thomas – have not advertised specific sales ahead of this Friday but there already are up to 40pc of selected items in their mid-season reductions and it might be worth keeping on the list.
Boots – launched its Black Friday offers last Saturday with huge deals on electricals, beauty and perfumes. More than 50pc off some electric toothbrushes and savers too.
Carphone Warehouse – have launched a Black tag event on for a limited time which offers up to €100 off selected phones for a limited time.
Currys PC World – have not let their customers down with “the best Black Friday deals as part of the Black Tag Event”, citing savings of up to 70pc for products from computing and smart tech to home appliances and entertainment essentials.
Read more: Revealed: How much you will spend on buying presents this Christmas
Dyson – are making sure that some of us get that hoover we’ve all be wishing for on Christmas Day with online discounts of up to €180 on exclusive products.
Debenhams – are already well underway as regards Black Friday deals with the store offering up to half price on pretty much everything.
DID Electrical – kicked off their Red November sale ahead of Black Friday, offering discounts all month.
Easons – plan to launch their ‘Black Friday weekend’ on November 25 with deals including 10pc off everything online and free delivery on purchases worth over €10.
Ernest Jones – are keeping the exact details of their ‘Black Friday Event’ to themselves but “everything from diamond rings to beautiful necklaces” will be available at a cheaper than usual price at the end of the week.
Harvey Norman – are not disappointing this festive season with early Black Friday sales slashing €100s off certain electronic goods and huge savings on home appliances. They say that they are also “matching competitor prices”.
HTC – maintain that this The Black Friday sale kicking off at 7am on Thursday, November 24, will be their biggest ever. Running until 7am on Tuesday, November 29, there are some incredible reductions across smartphones, bundles and accessories with savings of up to €170 on some items.
Littlewoods – a Black Friday week is what is on offer here with new deals launching at 8am daily. “There are even more deals to come on Black Friday,” the store teases.
New Look – are getting warmed up for November 25 with a ‘Black Friday Countdown’ with 50pc of a lot of fashion items before the day itself.
Peter Marks – are touting deals all this week, Monday 21 through to Monday 28, including discounts on GHDs and Steampods.
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Ryanair – is running a whole week of exclusive flight deals, starting Monday November 21, through to Black Friday and finishing on Cyber Monday.
Sky – are giving away a free 32″ Samsung TV to new customers who join Sky TV on a 12-month contract, in a special offer that ends on December 8.
Smyths – had already launched a 50pc sale on selected toys – and 20pc on selected bikes – ahead of the official Black Friday date.
But…let the buyer beware
While it’s tempting to hold back on shopping you might have already done in the hope of bagging bargains on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it comes with a few caveats.
Here are some tips from the take five campaign to help online shoppers avoid falling victim to financial fraud:
*If you are using a retailer for the first time, always take time to research them before you give them any of your details. Be prepared to ask questions before buying.
*Trust your instincts – if an offer looks too good to believe, then there is often a catch.
*Be sure you know who you are dealing with. Always access the website you are planning to buy from by typing the address into your web browser and be wary of clicking on links in unsolicited emails.
*Look for the padlock symbol in the address bar. It is a good indication that the retailer is reputable.
*Only use retailers you trust, for example ones you know or that have been recommended to you. If you are buying an item made by a major brand, you can often find a list of authorised sellers on their official website.