Twenty years ago retailers would have told you that the best month for retail sales was December.
With Christmas and the Boxing Day sales, there was no beating that time of year when it came to consumers parting with their cash.
But now one weekend has stolen the mantle of being the best time for shopping - and it's a whole month before Christmas.
Black Friday (November 24) and Cyber Monday (November 27) now offer an incredible array of deals for the bargain hunter keen to get Christmas shopping out of the way, or to get a hold of those items they've been longing for a hefty discount.
In years gone by the event has been the focus on the big national retails. But that too is no more.
'Mum and Pop' small business retailers and service providers are getting involved in the shopping event with their own offers in a bid to combat the 'big guys' and keep local money local.
And more often than not, local shoppers are getting the best end of the deal - getting exactly what they need right on their door step all while supporting a local business.
Scroll below to find deals in your local area. Simply click on your local paper to see deals in your region.
Local businesses often give back to their communities through sponsorship and other means of support.
Research from Monash University shows that 65 per cent of Australians will participate in an upcoming sales event, with 51 per cent of Australians choosing Black Friday and Cyber Monday as their peak times for purchasing.
In 2023, close to $8 billion is set to be spent across Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales as shoppers hunt for bargains and try to overcome the rising costs of living.
Sharesies Australia country manager, Brendan Doggett said consumers should have a sales strategy before they start adding things to their shopping carts.
"While Black Friday is certainly a time for cost-conscious consumers to snag a bargain as we all feel the cost of living crunch, it's very easy to get carried away," he said.
"In fact, two-thirds of Aussies said they planned to take advantage of an upcoming sales event."
Brendan said it would pay to be prepared for Black Friday sales, and offered the following top tips for hitting the high street:
There are risks associated with online shopping. CHOICE senior campaigns and policy advisor Alex Soderlund said scams had been on CHOICE's radar all year, with some of the biggest threats to consumers including phishing websites impersonating major brands.
"Black Friday is a huge time for online shopping and sales, which also means scammers will be out in full force," he said.
"Our recent investigation showed that scam ads are rife on digital platforms."
Third-party logistics provider B dynamic Logistics' cofounder and CEO Mal Siriwardhane said shoppers need to be alert with parcel theft hitting record levels.
"Doorstep parcel theft is usually a crime of opportunity, and shoppers need to be prepared and ensure they have a good plan in place to avoid their parcels being taken," he said.
According to Mr Siriwardhane, nearly 220,000 households experienced theft that included delivered online shopping parcels in 2021, and he said there were several ways that people could protect themselves and their purchases.
Wireless surveillance cameras are easy to install and can be purchased from hardware stores. Most include an app so you can view your front door from anywhere as long as you have internet access, and you can also place security stickers on windows to let thieves know they are being watched.
Many logistics and delivery partners offer customers the ability to track the journey, location and delivery of their items in transit, and by doing so, customers have a better understanding of when deliveries should arrive and can make alternative arrangements if needed.
Many homes now have a smart lockable box at their front door, which enables delivery drivers to simply open the box and drop the item in. Lockboxes can be controlled remotely via an app, enabling the shopper to unlock the box before the delivery driver arrives and lock it again once the item has been delivered.
Complete delivery instructions fully
Provide clear delivery instructions at the online checkout when purchasing items online. Most checkouts can include additional information, so use this and ensure your details are clear and straightforward.
Signature on delivery
Depending on the options available when completing delivery information at the online checkout, if you intend to be home or have someone to collect the item, ensure you tick the signature confirmation box.