What did the GamesRadar team buy on Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Cyber Monday and Black Friday Sales

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are no longer 24-hour events, but shopping marathons with discounts drip-fed over weeks. It's easy to get swept up in the buying frenzy. Online shoppers spent a record $7.9 billion this Cyber Monday in the US, while UK retailer John Lewis smashed its sales records. Here on GamesRadar, we wrote more than 100 buying guides and deals articles to steer you through the Black Friday and Cyber Monday maelstrom – and that's only the deals we liked. Truth told, it can all be a little bewildering, and - all too often - the TV, console or gadget you really want never gets *quite* cheap enough to tempt you into a purchase. So, having spent so much time and research to bring you the best gaming and entertainment deals - what items tempted the GamesRadar team to part with their hard-earned cash? In one instance, what began as a quest for a bargain 4K TV, ended with a set of transparent fairly light hooks, while another team member decided to get very drunk - at a low, low price, of course…

"Shopping for the family is always better with drinks"

I didn't really have a plan going into Black Friday but with so many deals around it felt like a good time to pick up some early Christmas presents and avoid my usual dash around the shops on Christmas Eve. But after scrolling through countless pages and trying to convince myself perhaps this year my parents really would appreciate a new toaster or mug with their cats face on it I gave up on them and started looking for treats for me. There's nothing I really need having upgraded the TV and PS4 in last year's Black Fridays sales but I stumbled across a good deal on um...wine. So now there's 24 bottles of Christmas liqueur on the way. What I'm telling myself it that if we get through enough of these bottles over the holiday period then maybe they really will appreciate that toaster. It's a win-win. James Jarvis

Items wanted: Presents for the family
Items bought: 24 bottle of wine (for me) 

"The 4K TV I wanted was exactly the same price when its 'Cyber Monday deal' ended"

I'd planned to buy a 4K TV. I did so much research into LEDs, QLEDs and OLEDs that *adopts Troy McClure voice* you may remember me from such informational buying guides as Black Monday 4K TV Deals, Cyber Monday 4K TV Deals and Best 4K TV deals in the US this Black Friday.

Problem is, that my wife - who I must stress is quite reasonable - threatened to leave me if I bought too large a TV. So, I devised a foolproof plan to sneak six inches onto our existing 43 inch 1080p TV, and unbox our new 4K TV before expressing surprise that it was "seriously larger than when I checked with the tape measure".

This created my second problem: no TV manufacturer makes a 49 inch OLED (the best TV panel), so I was essentially looking at a choice of three high-end (ish) LCDs or QLEDS, that never really dropped in price.

TLDR: I sat on my laptop at 23.58pm on Cyber Monday, chewing on my credit card, before deciding I'd wait a whole month until the Boxing Day sales. Funnier yet, the 4K TV I wanted was exactly the same price the next day when the 'Cyber Monday deal' ended. I did make one extravagant purchase this Black Friday: a set of Transparent Command Fairy Light Hooks for £2 (was £6), bringing my net saving for the week to 66%. BOOM. Daniel Dawkins

Items wanted: 49 inch Samsung QLED TV, PS4 Pro 
Items bought: Transparent fairy light hooks

"After last year’s excesses of a 4K TV and a PS4 Pro I kind of ticked off all my ‘more money than sense’ list for the near future"

I didn’t really get anything from this year’s Black Friday sales. After last year’s excesses of a 4K TV and a PS4 Pro, along with some expensive headphones, I kind of ticked off all my ‘more money than sense’ list for the near future. This year, despite sort of wanting even more headphones (you can never have good enough noise cancelling), there was nothing that really grabbed me. I did at least buy a 128GB SD memory card for my Switch, though, because it dropped to silly money. That’s more a functional purchase rather than extravagant, but you can never have enough storage. Leon Hurley 

Items wanted: Nothing
Items bought: 128GB SD memory card

"The devil on my shoulder was whispering something about a PlayStation VR bundle"

I wasn't particularly hankering for anything in this year's Black Friday sales, though the devil on my shoulder was whispering something about a PlayStation VR bundle impulse buy, should any crazy good deals show up at the last minute. Luckily, reason persevered, and the only thing I spent money on was a board game called The Chameleon, down half price to £20, and something I'd very much recommend for any social occasion. It's a present for my wife (ssh, don't tell her), who's a bit of a tabletop fanatic, and something I definitely purchased out of innocent generosity, and totally not as a way to fill the hungering, ceaseless compulsion to buy something, anything on Black Friday. Yep, that's what I keep telling myself. Alex Avard

Items wanted: A PlayStation VR bundle
Items bought: The Chameleon Board Game

"I'm a shopping addict with an itchy trigger finger"

The particular giant 4K OLED TV I wanted never went on sale, but I still managed to do my part for the US economy. Look, do you know how hard it is scrolling through pages and pages of deals to bring readers the best ones? Add to that the Black Friday spam emails that Just. Keep. Coming from every site you've so much as glanced at for the past nine years? At some point, around 11pm when you're still working and everyone else is napping in front of Netflix, you just break. You buy a toothbrush that can connect to Bluetooth, a Home Hub that will play the Moana soundtrack to wake you up, a nice bag you'll definitely spill something on... But no, I didn't get to press the big checkout button for my dream TV. I guess I'll just have to keep living with the 55" 4K OLED I got last year, like some sort of peasant. Rachel Weber

Items wanted: A 65" 4K OLED TV
Items bought: Electric toothbrush, Google Home Hub, coffee body scrub, Dagne Dover handbag, gifts for family, 

"I whispered into the void, and Alexa called back"

Turns out Black Friday is a weird time where you could probably end up buying a tonne of things by accident. I didn't actually want anything really in the Black Friday sales, but if I saw a really great deal on a brand new Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card the deal devils could probably have twisted my arm. However, there were no £300 2080 deals, but I did end up buying far too many Amazon Echo products for my various family members, because who can say no to 50% off the little speaker you can ask what the weather's like today and how old exactly is Mary Berry. But I also treated myself to three brand new games, because again the 50% off sticker whispered to my wallet, with Detroit PS4 only £24.99, Shadow of the Tomb Raider only £22 on Steam and Life is Strange 2 (also via Steam) a mere £2.49. Now I just need the free time to play them all. Sam Loveridge

Items wanted: Nothing (but also secretly a graphics card)
Items bought: Two Amazon Echo Dots, one Amazon Echo Spot, and three games

"This year nothing really caught my eye, and being from the UK the deals are nowhere near as good as my friends over the pond" 

I'm usually a Black Friday kinda guy, but this year nothing really caught my eye, and being from the UK the deals are nowhere near as good as my friends over the pond but I couldn't help but pull the trigger on a printer. Yes, that's right, a boring, Canon printer that was reduced to a whopping £19.99 from £49.99, it prints in full crispy colour, it scans and... that's literally it. I was originally looking for new camera and lighting equipment for my studio but as any deal hunt goes, you never come out with what you went in for. Brandon Saltalamacchia

Items wanted: Camera Equipment
Items bought: Printer

"A £49 virtual donut factory (but also a new PC)"

Yes, I spent £49 on a pretend donut factory. For real. At current exchange rates, that’s $63, 55 Euros, and/or infinity what-in-the-blue-hell-did-you-just-do points. And what exactly does it do? It produces 6 donuts per day – AKA premium currency – in The Simpsons Tapped Out. I’ve been playing it for six years and not dropped any real cash for a least two of those, so figured it was a decent way to keep me invested for another six. Or until EA shuts the servers down in nine months’ time, and I turn into Homer at the end of Bart On The Road, yelling made-up swears into a Hazmat suit. In my defence I did also spend £719 on a new Chillblast PC. Just, uh, without checking that it had the right connections for a thirteen-year-old monitor (it doesn’t) or a disc drive so I can copy and finally ditch 30 years' worth of CDs, which was one of the reasons for buying it in the first place (guess the answer). Meaning at the moment it’s parked in a lonely corner of my study, delivering a word-perfect audition for 'White Elephants Of Black Friday'. But I will have generated another 24 pretend donuts in an utterly meaningless iOS game by the time my new monitor and USB DVD drive – thank goodness for Cyber Monday – arrive, so who is the real winner here? Okay, I mean *other* than my credit card company… Ben Wilson

Items wanted: New PC
Items bought: Virtual donut factory, new PC (missing a few key components), £100 worth of vinyl, bottomless vat of salt

"It'll be like seeing reality for the first time"

For too long have I lived in a 16:10 world. My current PC monitor has served me well, but its 1680x1050 resolution just isn't what most games are made for. Thanks to Black Friday, I've finally made the jump to a reasonably sized, 24-inch 1080p monitor - and unlike the 22-incher I'm writing this on, it ideally won't strobe wildly when I'm first booting up my compy. I've also been told that the jump from a 60 Hz refresh rate to 144 Hz will be like seeing reality for the first time, it'll be so smooth and fluid. From all the hype, I'm assuming I'll also be able to see through walls and hit flickshots in my sleep during matches of Overwatch or Rainbow Six Siege. And as always, I had to answer the siren call of the Steam Autumn Sale and snap up some discounted games on my wishlist, including Slay the Spire, Into the Breach, and Shardlight. No worries that I totally forgot to buy Spider-Man at a discount - I'm sure he'll be swinging back around come Christmas! Lucas Sullivan

Items wanted: A new monitor, Marvel's Spider-Man
Items bought: ViewSonic XG2402 24-inch 1080p 1ms 144 Hz monitor, a bunch of Steam games 

"I didn't want anything, but ended up with a new phone and some exploding kittens"

Going into Black Friday, my only aim was to survive, and maybe pick up a few Christmas presents for my boy. I've already got my PS4 Pro, 4K TV, and a fancy pair of headphones, so I didn't really need anything. It was actually when I was browsing our sister site, TechRadar, looking for ideas about how to present our stories better that I came across some rather lovely mobile phone deals. I have a Samsung Galaxy S8 and I'm really fond of it - it serves me well - but I couldn't shake the idea that upgrading to an S9 would be a good idea. No, scratch that, a GREAT idea. I investigated a number of phone deals but each time I got to checkout, something stopped me. You can't transfer your old number. Oh, ok. You don't get enough data. Ah, well, that'll be annoying. So I gave up. And I bought Exploding Kittens from Amazon because it was half price, and thought that was my lot for Black Friday. But then Cyber Monday rolled in, and we had an email about the Samsung store via our Employee discounts. Oh, I'll just check the price of an S9. Hmmm, not bad. Oooh, I get trade-in for  my old phone? £250? That's pretty good. I'll just see... oh, that makes it very reasonable for a new phone. And... yes, I bought a new phone. Ok then. Time to actually find a Christmas present for my boy now... Andy Hartup

Items wanted:
None.
Items bought: Samsung Galaxy S9, Exploding Kittens.

"I don’t feel like Black Friday is for me - so I just use it to buy early Christmas presents for everyone else!"

I always fall for the Black Friday hype - what great deals will there be? Will they sell out super fast? What can I snap up for next to nothing? - and then it rolls around I see amazing deal after amazing deal... but none of them are for me. Whisper it, but I’m not actually a gamer so a lot of the incredible deals we covered on GR over Black Friday don’t really tick my boxes. Even when it comes to things like TVs and headphones, I find myself uninspired. My TV works, I think, so I don’t need a new one no matter how good the price! I do get slightly tempted by the Blu-ray and DVDs deals (the closest I came to buying something for myself this Black Friday was a Buffy the Vampire Slayer 20th anniversary Blu-ray box set, which was half price… and I already have every episode of Buffy on DVD!) but as a committed streamer I find myself needing physical copies less and less every year. So, what did I buy this Black Friday? Presents for everyone else, of course! The great thing about Black Friday is that it gets people talking about what they want in time for Christmas - the game they never got around the playing, the Funko which would make the perfect stocking filler, their favourite film of the year now out on Blu-ray… and oh look, it’s all discounted for Black Friday too! So that’s what I did. I used Black Friday to start my Christmas shopping early and it’s the best decision I ever made. Lauren O’Callaghan

Items wanted:
A bargain.
Items bought: Some secret Christmas presents.

Still on the lookout for a bargain? The Cyber Monday game deals never end - until, well, they do, which will likely be quite soon