Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably been bombarded with ads for discounted products over the weekend. And if you're the more measured type, you might be holding out until the final day of the sales – Cyber Monday – to make your move.
If this is the case, and you want to avoid an impulse purchase you might regret, you've come to the right place. There's no doubt that there are bargains to be found – as long as you do you research and know what you're looking for.
Our CHOICE experts share their advice on what to consider when you're looking for deals on TVs, mattresses, stick vacuums, air fryers, kitchenware and whitegoods.
And exclusively for CHOICE members, we reveal the highest scoring products in some of these categories, plus insider tips from our experts.
Sales such as Black Friday are the perfect time to look for discounts on tech products, in particular big-ticket items like TVs. There are already big discounts on offer from major home appliance retailers such as JB Hi-Fi, Bing Lee, The Good Guys and Appliances Online, and direct from brands such as Samsung.
CHOICE TV expert Denis Gallagher says, "Black Friday is a great time to update your TV as the 2023 models that were released in April and May have now been on the shelves for some time."
"Companies have lots of stock that they want to move on before the end of the year."
So, there'll be plenty of TVs on sale – but how can you make sure you're getting a good deal, and getting the best TV?
Companies have lots of stock that want to move before the end of the year
"Black Friday is not the time to go looking for any old TV at rock bottom prices," Denis says.
"You're better off looking at mid-range and premium-priced TVs where there's enough of a profit margin that the companies can knock sizeable amounts off the normal price while still making good coin."
And even though the sales officially start on Friday 24 November, keep an eye out in the lead-up: "Many retailers jump the gun and start discounting early, so keep an eye out from now," says Denis.
"Looking at the model numbers and product codes on the back of the TVs will tell you if it's a new model or an older one that you might be able to nab cheaply," says Denis.
Don't get caught with a dud
Check our expert TV reviews before you buy to make sure you're getting the best model. CHOICE members have full access to our detailed reviews. You can filter by size, price, brand and other attributes to find the right TV for you. Members can also check out our top-performing models below.
Black Friday sales are a great time to pick up that pricey Dutch oven, frying pan or air fryer that you've had your eye on but perhaps haven't been able to stretch the budget to cover.
Our testing of cookware items such as Dutch ovens, saucepans and nonstick frypans shows that there are many cheaper items that still perform well. But the sales can be a good time to nab a particular colour from that pricey cast-iron cookware brand, or upgrade to a luxe stainless steel saucepan or fancy copper frying pan that are at the higher end of the price scale.
These cookware items are usually among those offered in the sales by retailers such as Myer, David Jones and specialist shops.
Buying an air fryer?
Are you ready to jump on the air fryer bandwagon or upgrade your older model to something bigger or fancier? First, find out what our CHOICE experts had to say about the most recent batch of air fryer models they tested: 5 things we found in our latest air fryer review.
Prices range from $89 for a basic Kmart model through to $629 for a top-of-the-line Philips, so it can be confusing knowing how much to spend.
Well, you don't need to spend a fortune to find a great one. Many expensive models performed well, but some models we recommend cost less than a third of the price of the most expensive air fryer we tested.
Some models we recommend cost less than a third of the price of the most expensive air fryer we tested
We've rounded up a list of the best air fryers under $250 to give you an idea of what your money can buy if you're on a budget.
But your best bet is to check our expert air fryer reviews so you can find the perfect air fryer for your home and family.
You can filter by price, capacity and style, and we'll give you detailed scores on things like how well they cook crumbed chicken, roast pork, marinated chicken wings and hot chips, plus how easy they are to use and other criteria.
For CHOICE members, we'll reveal the top performing air fryers from our tests – see below.
If planning all this shopping is making you weary, your thoughts may be turning to a nice new mattress. There are a few deals around – brands such as Sealy, Ecosa, Emma and Koala are already promoting Black Friday deals, as well as retailers such as Snooze, Forty Winks and Appliances Online.
But how can you tell if you're getting a good deal? The mattress market can be confusing and complex, with a huge range of brands, materials, prices and marketing spin – and the same products sometimes carry different labels at different retailers, so it can be tricky to compare.
First things first, read the 6 surprising things CHOICE experts discovered in our latest mattress review.
Many retailers have lots of room to move on price. So don't be afraid to ask for a better deal, especially if you're in the store, where it's easier to haggle
One of the key things to know when shopping for a mattress is: don't be afraid to haggle! Many retailers have lots of room to move on price. So don't be afraid to ask for a better deal, especially if you're in a store and buying a traditional mattress, which are easier to haggle on as opposed to buying a mattress in a box from an online retailer.
And the best way to avoid making a costly mistake is to check our expert mattress reviews first. We've tested mattresses from both popular retailers and online bed-in-a-box brands, including Sleeping Duck, Sealy, Emma, Snooze, Sleepmaker, Avatar and more.
And for CHOICE members only, see below for the best mattress on the market.
We spoke to people who recently bought a mattress and also to CHOICE experts to find out how to get the best prices, what to look for and if it's really possible.
It's easy to assume that Dyson is the best brand in the stick vacuum market, but again, you don't have to spend a fortune to find a star performer.
Yes, Dyson models perform strongly in our tests and are worth considering if your budget allows. But they're not the only player in the market – and other brands are hot on their heels.
If you want Dyson performance without the exxy price tag, check our expert stick vacuum review to find a model that delivers on both price and performance.
And for CHOICE members, we reveal the best stick vacuums you can buy below.
Our whitegood experts at CHOICE have some quick-fire tips for you if you're looking to buy a large appliance in the Black Friday sales –and we've noticed many retailers discounting these types of products already in the lead up to the sales. You can find more tips for each of these categories in our buying guides.
Don't pay for features you're not going to use, and don't worry too much about capacity. You probably only wash about 3.5kg at a time, so don't stress about paying more for a 10kg machine over a 9kg.
Front loaders generally perform better than top loaders and are more energy- and water-efficient, but they do cost more upfront, and remember you'll have to bend down to use them.
Vented dryers are cheap to buy but expensive to run, while heat pump dryers on the whole are cheaper to run but expensive to buy.
What's best for you? It depends how often you run it – if you only use your dryer once a month or so you'll never recoup the cost of the more expensive heat pump one.
And don't buy a washer dryer combo if a separate washer and dryer is an option – they wash just fine but their drying leaves a lot to be desired.
Most importantly, before you buy, measure up and make sure the fridge will fit through your door and in your kitchen. And as with other whitegoods, don't pay more for features you won't use.
Take note of the energy star rating – your fridge is always on so you want one that's energy efficient.
Use our expert fridge reviews to find one that performs well too, so you're not wasting money on prematurely spoiled food down the track.
Finally, consider colour: fridges are big and noticeable so you might want something flash, but stainless steel usually costs about $100 more than white, and other fancy finishes more again. A graphite glass finish will get oohs and aahs, but consider whether you'd prefer the savings instead.
No matter what you're buying in the sales, one thing to keep in mind is that a product is only a good deal if it's going to perform well and last. If a product is made with cheap components or is likely to develop faults quickly, you may find yourself sending it to landfill within a short period of time or forking out money for expensive repairs sooner than you'd like.
To help you buy good-quality products that last, from reliable brands, CHOICE has included insights on what you can expect in terms of faults over time with certain products for eight appliance categories on our site, including fridges and dishwashers. CHOICE members can view these insights in the product review tables. Over time we'll be measuring the lifespan of products till people experience their first major fault that needs a repair, which will then keep that product ticking. It's another reason to check CHOICE reviews before you buy to ensure you're getting the best value for money.
To help you find the best Black Friday products, we've compiled the top performers from our tests.
Consider becoming a CHOICE member to access our results, as well as our full test results for more than 200 product categories, including whitegoods, tech products, home entertainment, kitchen appliances and much more.
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