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Christmas Presents

Christmas. It's a word that can fill you with joy or dread, or perhaps a little bit of both, especially as it appears to be getting more and more expensive every year.

As the festive period draws nearer the media is awash with headlines about the rising cost of Christmas and 2015 is no different:

‘Families expected to spend an average of £796 on Christmas this year’

‘71% of celebrating households plan to shop for presents online’

‘Black Friday 2015 will lead to the first £1bn online shopping day in the UK'

‘The average child's Christmas list adds up to nearly £900, with parent's buying an average of £207 worth of their wishes'

To help you combat the festive pull on your purse strings, we've put together this guide to getting the best deals over the Christmas period, including tips for making the most of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, savvy budgeting ideas and of course, a few friendly nudges towards our money-saving discount vouchers.


Contents

1. Black Friday and Cyber Monday

2. Ways to Save this Christmas

3. Last Order Dates for Christmas Delivery

4. vouchercloud Christmas Competitions


Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Ever since 2010, two notorious American traditions have slowly crept their way onto our shores and into the mind-set of retailers and consumers alike; Black Friday and its lesser known digital sibling Cyber Monday. At vouchercloud we want to make sure you can take advantage of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals around, so sign up for our emails to guarantee you don't miss out on the best discounts. Or, give us a like on Facebook to receive updates about the best deals and exclusive content on these famed shopping days.

What are Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Black Friday

Black Friday is always the first Friday following Thanksgiving in the United States and is often regarded as the official beginning of the Christmas shopping season. As a result, most major retailers extend their opening hours, offer incredibly good discounts on popular products and encourage shoppers to fill their baskets both online and in store. In America, the media has long described Black Friday as the busiest shopping day of the year and the craze has clearly been adopted here in the UK.

This year, Black Friday is on Friday 27th November and retailers have been gearing up for weeks to offer consumers some of the best deals around.

Why is it Called Black Friday?

The Philadelphia police force coined the term in the 1960s. They were referring to the same day, the Friday after Thanksgiving, which even back then saw a mass of ravenous Christmas shoppers descend upon the popular retail area. Pedestrians and motorists caused a great deal of congestion, much to the dismay of the police, which led to the ‘Black Friday’ label.

An alternative meaning behind the name relates to accounting. As would be expected, the onslaught of customers on a single shopping day leads to a considerable hike in retailers’ revenue (over $50b was spent in the US across the four-day weekend last year). It is therefore said that the period propels retailers to move ‘out of the red’ and ‘into the black’. Hence, Black Friday.

Online Shopping on Cyber Monday

Traditionally Black Friday focused on driving customers to high street stores and shopping centres but with the meteoric rise of online shopping, Cyber Monday was soon born and now, both days are big for shopping in person and on the web. Set to fall on Monday 30th November this year, Cyber Monday is seen as the online equivalent of Black Friday. On Cyber Monday shoppers can browse and spend without the hassle (and risk) of fending off the hordes of other customers in stores. Instead, the first Monday after Thanks Giving is the time consumers shop from home, heading to the internet to grab the latest bargains and limited-time deals. Last year Visa estimated £720m was spent online in the UK on Cyber Monday and Amazon UK sold an incredible 64 items per second, accumulating over £5.5m in sales.

All this hubbub shows how important it is to make sure you are the first to know of the best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal because you won't want to miss out! Sign up with vouchercloud and we'll send you an outstanding array of up-to-date deals from the best shops and online stores around.

So what Deals can you Expect?

Black Friday

Gadget connoisseurs will be waiting with baited breath to find out if Apple, who are notorious for never having a sale, will be participating in the Black Friday excitement in the UK this year.

In 2013 they bucked the trend for Black Friday and Black Friday only but last year, there weren't any discounts to be found on the iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, or the rest. They're yet to enlighten the public on the possibilities of saving this year but if you take a look at the offers in 2013, it shows that it pays to wait and find out.

On Black Friday in 2013 the iPad Air was cut from £399 to £368, while the iPad mini was discounted from £249 to £234 and the larger-screened iPad 2 from £329 to £304. Apple computers also came down in price, with the MacBook Air and iMac on sale with savings of £81.

Amazon is another retail giant that proudly waves the Black Friday flag. This year, This year they're holding a massive deals event over 10 days, to include the massive discounts on Black Friday, in which there will be time and quantity limited offers on some of their best products. What's more, they even cut the price tag on Amazon Prime membership, especially for the big day! Members will have exclusive access to Amazon Black Friday deals ahead of time, so it's worth signing up for the privilege to avoid missing out.

The king of department stores, John Lewis, is also partaking in this year's Black Friday, stating on their website:

"Our commitment to being Never Knowingly Undersold means that we match our competitors' prices all year round - so on this day, we'll have even more deals to enjoy."

On Cyber Monday last year, dozens of websites offered special discounts, including Sony, Phones4U and Argos. Tesco released a host of money saving discount codes, as well as product sale prices including £10 off Google Chromebooks and 1/3 off selected gadget accessories. Very.co.uk added extra discounts to a range of fashion and gifts, while Boots offered a range of Cyber Monday discounts, lowering prices on perfume, makeup and gift sets.

For those who can't easily get online on Cyber Monday, some retailers are taking the shopping phenomenon a step further and offering 'Cyber Week' deals.

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday become increasingly more popular in the UK, it might get tricky trying to keep an eye out for the best deals and buying what you want before stocks run out. You can rest easy knowing that vouchercloud has done all the hard work for you, finding the best offers around and making it simpler for you to make some great savings in the run up to Christmas.

Visit the dedicated Black Friday page on vouchercloud to find this year's best deals, or check out our selection of Cyber Monday offers.


More Ways to Save this Christmas

If you don't manage to get all your Christmas shopping done during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don't fear, here are some useful Christmas shopping tips to help you spend wisely.

  1. Make a list of who you need to buy gifts for, with gift ideas next to their names. This will hopefully stop you from forgetting someone important and having to endure a last minute panic splurge.
  2. It's scary how quickly spending can spiral out of control, so make sure you set a budget for each person - and stick to it.
  3. Make sure you're getting the best deal available on your shopping using price comparison sites. They work by simply comparing the price of your chosen product with a huge variety of online retailers, so you can be sure you're paying the cheapest price.
  4. Make a point of using your Boots Advantage Card and other loyalty cards like a Tesco Clubcard or Nectar card. In the run up to Christmas you can enjoy benefits when you buy household necessities such as toothpaste and bump up your points to use towards presents! Look out for special 'double points' promotions too - many stores have frequent incentives in the run-up to Christmas so take advantage of earning even more points when you spend.
  5. Plan ahead and spread out your purchases over November and December, this way you won't over-stretch your finances. You can't be too prepared!
  6. Sign up to the vouchercloud newsletter and get exclusive access to discounts and handy perks like free delivery.
  7. Plus, we gather together the best Christmas vouchers all in one place, so be sure not to miss them!

Last Order Dates for Christmas Delivery

Everyone has the best intentions to be organised and have all their Christmas shopping completed and each present wrapped up by the 15th of December - but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. With all the mulled wine, mince pies and festive shenanigans going on, in the lead up to the big day it may suddenly dawn on you that you might have left your Christmas shopping a little too late. Or maybe you've forgotten about poor Aunt Susan…

If you happen to find yourself in this predicament, here are some of the biggest online retailers’ last order dates. There might still be time to place your order online and have the final batch of presents delivered to your home.

Department Stores

Store Name Standard Delivery Before Christmas Last Order Dates Extra Info
Argos Before 6pm 23rd December Before 6pm 23rd December Store collection up to 24th December
Amazon 20th December 23rd December Free delivery available
Asda George Before 7pm 18th December Before 7pm 22nd December Free delivery on selected products
BHS Before midday 20th December Before 2pm 22nd December Free standard delivery on orders over £25
Debenhams 18th December Before 2pm 23rd December Free standard delivery on orders
Harrods 20th December 22nd December Next Day Delivery £12
Harvey Nichols 17th December 22nd December Free Named Day Delivery on Hampers
House of Fraser 18th December Before midday 23rd December Free standard delivery on orders over £50
John Lewis 20th December Before 8pm 22nd December Free standard delivery on order over £50
Liberty 16th December 22nd December Next Working Day Delivery £10
Littlewoods 23rd December 23rd December Check details for individual items
M&S 18th December Before 5pm 22nd December Free next day in-store collection available
MandM Direct 17th December Before 5pm 21st December Standard Delivery £4.49
Selfridges 16th December 22nd December Order before 4pm for Next Day Delivery
Tesco Direct 17th December 21st December Free Click+Collect
The White Company 18th December 22nd December Order before 5pm for £7.95 Next Day Delivery
Very.co.uk 19th December Before 3pm 23rd December Free standard delivery

Fashion Retailers

Store Name Standard Delivery Before Christmas Last Order Dates Extra Info
Agent Provocateur 21st December 23rd December Standard Delivery £5
Ann Summers 21st December Before 2pm 23rd December Click and Collect available
ASOS 20th December Before 5pm 23rd December Free delivery available
Boden 18th December 22nd December Standard Delivery £4
boohoo.com Before 9pm 20th December Before 9pm 22nd December Standard delivery £3.99
Burton 20th December Before 4pm 23rd December Free Delivery on orders over £30
Coast Before 1pm 17th December Before 8pm 23rd December Standard delivery £2.99
Dorothy Perkins 20th December Before 4pm 23rd December Next day delivery £5.95
French Connection Before midday 18th December Before midday 22nd December Standard delivery £3.95
Gap 16th December 21st December Standard Delivery £4
JD Sports Before 6pm 21st December Before 6pm 21st December Before 2pm 22nd Dec for store delivery
Jigsaw 21st December 23rd December Free Standard Delivery when you spend over £100
Karen Millen 19th December 24th December Special 60 minute delivery - before 5pm Christmas Eve
Made.com 18th December 18th December Large Furniture Items Last Delivery 15th December
Missguided 15th December Before 1pm 22nd December Next day delivery free on orders over £60
Net a Porter 21st December 22nd December Order by 3pm for £8 Next Day Delivery
Next 22nd December 22nd December Standard delivery £3.99
New Look Before 6pm 21st December Before 8pm 22nd December Free next day delivery on orders over £75
Office Shoes 20th December Before 3pm 23rd December Free standard delivery
Paul Smith 16th December 22nd December Next Day Delivery £10
Schuh 21st December Before 10pm 23rd December Check & Reserve available in stores
SportsDirect Before 7pm 20th December Before 7pm 22nd December Standard delivery £4.99
Superdry 21st December 22nd December Orders by 10pm for Next Day Delivery
Topshop/Topman Before midday 21st December Before midday 23rd December Standard delivery £4
Urban Outfitters Before 2pm 21st December Before 2pm 22nd December Standard delivery £3.99
Warehouse Before 1pm 20th December Before 8pm 23rd December Free standard delivery on orders over £50
Zara 21st December 22nd December Free Delivery to Store

Electrical Stores

Store Name Standard Delivery Before Christmas Last Order Dates Extra Info
Apple Various Various Free delivery available
Currys/ PC World Before 4pm 21st December Before 9pm 23rd December Free delivery available
Dell 16th December 21st December 'Smart Selection' items deliver in three working days
GAME 21st December 21st December Free standard delivery
HP 17th December 22nd December Free Delivery on £15
HMV 17th December Before 2pm 20th December Free delivery on orders over £10
Zavvi 21st December Before 9pm 23rd December Free standard delivery

Beauty Shops

Store Name Standard Delivery Before Christmas Last Order Dates Extra Info
allbeauty.com 21st December Before midday 23rd December Lovely beauty gifts sets
Boots.com 18th December Before 7pm 23rd December Free standard delivery on orders over £45
Feelunique Before midday 21st December Before midday 22nd December Free standard delivery on orders over £10
The Body Shop 17th December Before 11am 22nd December Free delivery available

Great Gifts Stores

Store Name Standard Delivery Before Christmas Last Order Dates Extra Info
Buyagift.com Before midday 19th December Before 3pm 23rd December Buy eVoucher gifts on Christmas day
Cath Kidston 22nd December 22nd December Order before 3:30pm for £3.95 standard delivery
Firebox.com 18th December Before 7pm 22nd December Unique gift ideas
Hotel Chocolat Before 6pm 17th December Before midday 24th December Standard delivery £3.95
H Samuel Before 2pm 22nd December Before 3pm 23rd December Free delivery on orders over £49
lastminute.com Before 2pm 21st December Before 11:30am 23rd December Adventurous gift ideas
Pet Runway 15th December 22nd December Free Delivery on Orders over £40
Pets at Home 18th December 22nd December Order before 8pm for Next Day Delivery
Thorntons 20h December Before 1pm 23rd December Standard delivery £4
Toys R Us 16th December Before midday 21st December Free delivery available
Watchshop 22nd December 22nd December Order by 4pm for Next Day Delivery
Waterstones 21st December 22nd December Free standard delivery on orders over £20
WHSmith Before 11am 18th December Before 11am 21st December Standard delivery £2.99
Virgin Experience Days Before 2pm 21st December Before 2pm 23rd December Buy eVouchers on Christmas Day

Christmas Food

Store Name Standard Delivery Before Christmas Extra Info
M&S Food to Order Before 5pm 15th December Last collection slots on 24th December
Sainsbury's Groceries Collection While collection slots last Last collection slot midday 24th December
Tesco Groceries Delivery While delivery slots last Last delivery slots on 24th December
Waitrose Christmas Turkey Orders 15th December Delivery or collection 20th to 24th December

If the worst comes to the worst and you do miss those crucial last delivery dates, fear not - eVouchers for experience days and printable gift cards make great presents too. Check out our available offers for Virgin Experience Days and Red Letter Days to give someone a gift they won't forget. For your last minute gift cards check out our sister site Giftcloud, where you can select from a huge range of gift vouchers from top brands and send the present instantly via email, text message or through Facebook.


Win Prizes this Christmas with vouchercloud!

Christmas competitions with vouchercloud

This year we are offering a selection of exclusive prizes, ranging from the latest gadgets and electronics to 5* all-inclusive trips abroad. We're adding a new prize every day right up until Boxing Day, so there are plenty of ways to win big for yourself and the whole family!

If you want to get involved with our fabulous daily giveaways, simply login or signup.

We hope you'll be able to use vouchercloud this year to get the most out of Christmas!

Wishing you all a Merry money-saving Christmas and a Happy New Year,

- The vouchercloud team x

Christmas sparklers