As Black Friday (25 November) and Cyber Monday (28 November) fast approach, Amazon has launched its extended pre-Christmas sales, and Argos has announced a 13-day run of offers, discounting thousands of items for just under a fortnight.
Here’s what’s happening.
Amazon’s “12 days of pre-Christmas”
Amazon’s “12 days of pre-Christmas”, which kicks off this week, sees new deals launch every five minutes.
The pre-Christmas sale from the Seattle-based juggernaut promises twice as many deals as last year, including discounts worth “millions of pounds” on thousands of products.
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At launch the offers included discounts on music and films, and discounted membership to Amazon Prime for £59.99 instead of the normal £79.99.
The promotion closes at the end of Black Friday. As a result, this sale will not run during Cyber Monday, though it’s likely Amazon will run other deals if previous years are anything to go by.
“In response to positive customer feedback for Black Friday deals, we are introducing the Black Friday Sale – 12 days of fantastic deals on must-have gifts and products,” says Doug Gurr, spokesperson for Amazon UK.
Amazon Prime customers, including those on an initial free trial, will have 30 minutes’ early access to flash deals, and will qualify for free delivery. If you’re planning to trial the service, remember if you don’t cancel during the first month you’ll be charged the £79.99 annual fee.
Argos’ lucky 13-day sale
Hot on the heels of Amazon’s announcement, Argos raised its 12-day offer by another day to 13. The Argos pre-Christmas sale will commence on Friday 18 November, and will run past Black Friday and Cyber Monday to the end of Wednesday 30 November.
It says thousands of products will be on offer, and while the deals “remain a closely guarded secret,” discounts will be available on technology, toys, consumer electronics and domestic appliances.
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John Rogers, the Argos chief executive, says: “Last year’s Black Friday was the biggest and most successfully shopping day ever for Argos.
“Without doubt Black Friday and Cyber Monday have changed how people shop for Christmas in the past few years.”
Last year Argos reportedly received 12 million visits on Black Friday, processing 18 transactions a second during peak trading periods. It has recruited 10,000 temporary workers in the run-up to Christmas.
If you’re looking for a new cashback credit card it’s possible to get even better value from the Amazon sale. American Express is offering an extra 3% cashback on Amazon sales (capped at £15, or a £500 spend) for new American Express Platinum Cashback card holders who sign up before the end of January 2017. That deal is on top of the introductory 5% cashback rate.
However, bear in mind that cards typically take between seven and 10 days to arrive once you've successfully applied, so you'll need to be quick to benefit from Amazon's sale.
You can find the full details for this card in our weekly cashback and reward credit card roundup.