Black Friday isn't all about massive savings on one single day in November. In the UK, we have developed our own take on the sales spectacular, which means less queuing in the cold, fewer bunfights over giant TVs, an enormous spike in internet shopping, and sales which start days - and in some cases even weeks - in advance.
A fortnight early?
Amazon was instrumental in spreading the popularity of Black Friday in the UK, and it's keen to get in on the action this year too. In the US it has already launched its Countdown to Black Friday deals page, and it is promising to do so 'soon' in the UK too. Last year it started a fortnight in advance, so this might offer some clues as to when things kick off this year.
Last year Argos was an early starter too - offering deals on the three Fridays running up to Black Friday. Eventually this ended up hitting sales closer to Christmas at the store, so it may not be so keen this year. It may decide to start days early, but it's unlikely to steal a march on Amazon.
A week early
A major trend last year was for retailers to start their Black Friday sales at the beginning of the week - which in this case will be Monday 21st November. This is partly because Black Friday is becoming an online phenomenon here, and if retailers can spread the online demand it will avoid the risk of systems crashing and distribution becoming overwhelmed.
There will also be a number of retailers who launch on Thursday 24th November and run until Monday 28th (otherwise known as Cyber Monday).
Unfortunately, a striking feature of the Black Friday season this year is secrecy. The major stores have to find a balance between failing to offer enough discounts - and therefore losing customers to the competition - and offering so many that they miss out on a major slice of profits.
It means that they are waiting for someone to jump first, before they decide what their offering is going to look like - which could mean that when Amazon starts the ball rolling we see a flurry of deals emerging.
In the meantime, they are releasing a number of smaller offers - including Argos, Asda and Tesco who all launched toy sales recently.
It's therefore worth bookmarking the pages of your favourite retailers, and popping onto the sites at least on Monday and Friday over the next three weeks (plus Thursday 27th) - to check whether the deals have gone live and get in on the action early.