Boxing Day vs Black Friday: Which sale event is stronger?

It's a battle of the sale events and only one can be victorious.

Boxing Day vs Black Friday Compare

We all enjoy a good sales event. And it’s not like we don’t get a few good bargains during the year with events like Amazon Prime Day, Singles Day, Clearpay Day and Blue Monday.

Without a doubt, the two biggest days for sales are Black Friday and Boxing Day. If you’ve had your eye on any items for a while or just want to snap up some bargains, these are the two days to do so.

Black Friday is a sale event based on the US tradition of Thanksgiving and takes place the day after the holiday. It’s one of the days that really kick-starts a lot of Christmas shopping. But if you’re looking to shop for yourself, should you shop on Black Friday or wait for Boxing Day?


Black Friday

Pros

  • 26 November 2021 – before Christmas!
  • Site-wide discounts
  • Big brands often discounted
  • Typically better for fashion discounts
  • International sale event – shop non-UK brands
Cons

  • Some stores have low discount percentages
  • Certain stores avoid Black Friday altogether
  • Low stock likely to be an issue in 2021 due to supply issues

Boxing Day

Pros

  • Typically higher percentage discounts
  • Big brands often discounted
  • Good for technology discounts
  • Popular for UK-only retailers
Cons

  • Not usually site-wide
  • After Christmas – too late for gifts

Which is better? Boxing Day or Black Friday?

Waiting for Boxing Day or doing all your shopping on Black Friday can seem like quite the gamble. To put it simply, you don’t want to miss out on the better sale.

Black Friday

Various pieces of price-tracking research have found that there are genuinely good tech deals in both Black Friday and the Boxing Day sales, but for home appliances, Black Friday may not be your best bet.

In 2019, Finder tracked 24 products across the UK’s 6 most popular retail categories, and looked at 4 retailers for each product.

Across all the products, there was an average price reduction of 5.7% on Black Friday, compared to the average price over the previous 12 weeks. However, a quarter (25%) of the products we tracked actually increased in price on Black Friday.

The best retail category for Black Friday discounts was fashion. On average, the 4 products we tracked in this category were 15.5% cheaper across the 16 price points we monitored – almost twice as good a discount than the next best category, video games, where we saw an average price drop of 8.1%. The worst category for bargains was household appliances – the average price of the 4 products we monitored increased in price by 1.6%.

According to Finder’s latest research, 1 in 3 of us plan to take part in Black Friday 2021, spending an average of £275 each, which is less than in 2020.

Boxing Day

While the popularity of Black Friday continues to grow, it doesn’t necessarily take away the hype of Boxing Day sales. These sales have more of a tradition and in-store presence for Brits. Many more stores closed on Boxing Day 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of online sales for Boxing Day continues to grow exponentially.

The bottom line

The answer to which sale to shop really boils down to what you’re shopping for. As a discount and deals site, Finder reports on both sales. On Black Friday (26 November) we expect to see more sales that are “site-wide” or “store-wide”, with discounts tending to be slightly lower than on Boxing Day.

However, on Boxing Day you can expect to see a number of more significant deals. As retailers are trying to get rid of an abundance of stock they lump thousands of items into sale sections. Here we can and have seen discounts of up to 80% off in some instances. Retailers like Very, Currys and ASOS held Boxing Day sales of this style in 2019 and we predict will do so again in 2022.

This doesn’t mean that the Boxing Day sales will only be a mixture of old stock and summer clothing. Many retailers are competing with one another so we’re still predicting that there will be a number of big ticket items on sale like designer bags, Dyson vacuums and Apple AirPods.

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