Black Friday deals 2015 from TVs and phones to toys - online and on the High Street - plus top tips to help you survive retail Armageddon
Scroll through our gallery to view the Top 10 Black Friday deals
Amazon, Argos and Carphone Warehouse are among the names starting Black Friday discounts long before November 27.
Amazon started at midnight on November 23 with 7000 deals that will run until midnight on Black Friday itself. They are spreading the savings across "lightning deals" that are available in limited quantities for a limited period of time, and "deals of the day" that run for 12 hours only.
Carphone Warehouse launched a ten day "black tag" sale on November 23, stretching out the discount season for longer than ever before.
Their deals include a Samsung Galaxy S6 available for free at £22 per month and an HTC A9 available for free at £23.50 per month. Both save £200 on the cost of buying the handset upfront. They are also offering "spike" deals that are available for a day or two only, such as the Nexus 5X available on Monday and Tuesday only at £18.50 per month, saving £200 on the cost of the handset.
“Feedback from our customers revealed that one day simply isn’t enough. They need time to research and consider – they don’t appreciate a one day panic," Jeremy Fennell, managing director at Carphone Warehouse, said.
Argos kicked off Black Friday a week ahead of time, with discounts on Star Wars, Peppa Pig and Disney Frozen toys. But it suffered an early setback when its website went down, in an early warning of the perils of spikes in traffic.
Spreading deals across many days is one way retailers are trying to ease pressure in stores and online. Amazon has found another way by offering early discounts to customers who sign up to Prime.
One in five could pull a sickie to try and bag Black Friday bargains
More than a fifth of people are considering taking a sick day for the Black Friday sales this week, research has found., writes Claire McNeilly.
Employers have been told to brace themselves for a fall in productivity as staff either call in ill or spend hours at their desks searching for bargains online.
Black Friday, which falls on November 27, sees shops cut their prices significantly.
A study by Visa suggests there could be a record £1.9bn of purchases across the UK.
An online rush is expected before people go to work, according to the debit and credit card group, with a crush in the shops also forecast at lunchtime.
Shoppers who miss home deliveries are also being warned to expect long queues when they attempt to collect parcels.
Black Friday was introduced to the UK by retailers in 2013 and has since become a shopping phenomenon.
It falls the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday - the fourth Thursday in November -and it has traditionally signalled the start of the shopping season in the US.
Asda, the chain that brought Black Friday to the UK high street, recently revealed it would not be participating this time around after last year's deals led to police being called to outbreaks of violence in its supermarkets.
Despite ugly scenes of shoppers vying to get the best offers in many outlets, 23% of people questioned in a separate poll of 2,000 by the Perfume Shop are thinking of calling into work sick this week in an attempt to get to the shops or to spend time online looking for bargains.
Yesterday police here issued a warning to consumers about online fraud ahead of this week's discount sales bonanza.
Figures from last Christmas show that individuals and businesses in the UK lost £16.4m to fraudsters through internet shopping and auction fraud.
That represents a 42% hike in total financial loss compared to the 2013 festive period, when victims lost £9.5m.
Between November 2014 and February 2015 losses in Northern Ireland, as a result of 162 reports of online shopping or auction fraud, amounted to £152,351
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Wilson, who heads up the PSNI's Economic Crime Unit, said that consumers should take care to be extra vigilant during key Christmas shopping days, in particular Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
He added: "This year, these dates are Friday November 27 and Monday November 30, but any day is a day to be careful online."
Last year Marks & Spencer was forced to warn its customers of a two-week delay in some deliveries following a Black Friday backlog.
This year Royal Mail has announced it is bringing 10 delivery warehouses back into commission to cope with the extra demand and is leasing an extra 4,700 vans on top of its 44,000-strong fleet.
Nick Landon, managing director of Royal Mail parcels, added that this year would be more organised than last.
"The industry caught a cold last Black Friday," he said. "Retailers did not anticipate the demand, nor how this would be exacerbated by the level of discounts.
"The world of retail knows this cannot happen again, and it is likely that they will attempt to throttle demand by not offering across the board discounts or deep sale reductions and be more selective."
Top tips for surviving Black Friday
1. Make a specific list.
2. Know how much the product usually costs because most of Black Friday deals aren't special.
3. If you don't need something or can't afford it, don't buy it.
4. Be quick. Some online deals sell out in seconds or websites crash.
5. Remember, the much-hyped huge discount items (like TVs) will be limited in stock. It's a lottery.
Top 10 Black Friday deals
1. Batman Electric Motorcycle, Smyths. WAS £149.99, NOW £74.99.
2. Mini Cooper Paceman 6V ride-on car, Halfords. WAS £259.99, NOW £129.
3. Samsung 60JU6000 60in 4k TV, Currys PC World. WAS £1,499, NOW £899.
4. Peppa Pig Lighthouse Mega Set, Argos. WAS £59.99, NOW £19.99.
5. Peter Andre Forever perfume (100ml), The Perfume Shop. WAS £24.95, NOW £5.
6. Nikon Coolpix L340 20 MP 28x Zoom camera, Argos. WAS £199.99, NOW £89.99
7. Samsung Galaxy S6, Carphone Warehouse, free handset worth £200 at £22 a month on contract.
8. Russell Hobbs silver microwave, Homebase. WAS £84.99, NOW £44.99.
9. Workman Construction Set with Tools, Smyths. WAS £59.99, NOW £29.99.
10. Dyson V6 Total Clean, dyson.co.uk WAS £430, NOW £279.